Evaluation shows our Strategic Touring programme is helping arts and culture reach more people

The Arts Council’s Strategic Touring programme is improving access to art and culture and is reaching more people in areas of low arts engagement according to a new, independent evaluation published today. The full evaluation can be found here.

 

 

 

The Arts Council’s Strategic Touring programme is improving access to art and culture and is reaching more people in areas of low arts engagement according to a new, independent evaluation published today. The full evaluation can be found here

One of the projects in the North took Impressions Gallery‘s Hidden, an exhibition that had generated a huge amount of national interest and attracted more than 13,000 visitors in three months, into 12 schools with the aim of building relationships with pupils and their families. For this Hidden Schools Tour all the schools were in areas of Bradford with low arts engagement and 10,508 students took part in the project.

Each school was given a full gallery exhibition, interpretation materials and the support of a School Consultant to advise on ways to exploit the possibilities of the exhibition within the school. Gallery staff delivered lessons and workshops, tailored to meet the needs of each school and the age group of participants. These included hands-on photography workshops with artist Jonathan Turner in which pupils recreated eras in British history and explored social identity using photo shoots and post-production sessions.

The Hidden Schools Tour culminated in an exhibition at Impressions Gallery, Who Do We Think We Are: Young People Take Over, which displayed the students’ artworks alongside footage and boards telling the story of the project’s development. The initiative intended to raise students’ aspirations by presenting their artworks in a professional cultural venue using high quality production techniques. This was the first time the organisation had dedicated its gallery to showing the outcomes of a participatory project. Who Do We Think We Are: Young People Take Over ran from 13 December 2014 to 7 February 2015 and attracted 5,047 visitors.

A teacher who took part in the project said,  “I think it’s probably the most fun they’ve had in probably two years of school… it’s something they will never forget”.

And a pupil, aged 16, added, “It was very fun and I loved taking photographs! I wouldn’t have done anything like this if the Hidden exhibition hadn’t been in the school.” 

The project was nominated for a National Lottery Award in 2015 and Impressions Gallery has published a blog where you can read more about the project.

The evaluation of our Strategic touring programme has shown how audiences in the North have been able to enjoy some great work from around the country as productions toured to the North. These included libraries across Kirklees which were visited by the Book Trust’s project, venues in the North East which took part in Isis Arts’ Big M tour of On the Precipice, and Motionhouse’s Captive which visited Kendal’s Mintfest.

We’re have just announced the successful applicants to the latest round of the Strategic touring programme. In the North these are: 

Ziggy’s Wish has been awarded £190,000 to deliver a pilot-tour of the award-winning, cross-media project HOAX, comprising a dark stage musical and graphic novel. The tour, HOAX Our Right to Hope, will visit six venues – in Liverpool, Barnsley, York, Grimsby, Penrith, Bolton/Manchester – working with arts, health, community, education, military and technology stakeholders to increase arts engagement among socially excluded audiences and participants, and to quantifiably decrease social and self-stigma around mental health.

Open Eye Gallery has been awarded £95,850 for Culture Shifts for a project working with Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, the Wirral and St Helens arts teams, and the Creative People and Places project in St Helens. It will explore the era of mass sharing where photographs are used to reflect and create our identities on social media. During 2016 eight photographers will collaborate with people from across the Liverpool City region to create photo stories that are meaningful to them. During 2017 they will work with curators to develop exhibitions online and at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead, The Atkinson in Southport, The Brindley in Runcorn and The Kirkby Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Arts Council

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