Moving Roots reaching out from Battersea

Battersea Arts Centre’s touring network Moving Roots has announced five partners around the country for its three year programme.

The partners are The Old Courts, Wigan; Lyrici Arts, Medway; Action Factory, Blackburn; Jumped Up Theatre, Peterborough; and Common Wealth, East Cardiff. The scheme will develop co-created works led by communities devised to inspire social change in urban centres.

Main image from We're Still Here at East Cardiff's Common Wealth 

“It isn't about organisations 'reaching out' to people in underserved communities - it's about bringing people together for a common creative purpose, as equal partners, as joint collaborators, as 'co-creators' in the deepest sense of the term” said the centre’s artistic director, Tarek Iskander. “These ambitious new partnerships and ways of working have a simple idea at their heart: that it is possible for us all to achieve a fairer, more inclusive and more vibrant cultural future.”

The project’s aims  are to use performance to spark social change, to give local people a role in shaping creative activity in their communities, and to partner artistically vibrant places, and it grew out of  Battersea Arts Centre’s six-year Collaborative Touring Network (CTN), which reached audiences of 50,000 people who would otherwise have little or no access to live performance in their hometown. It has funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation, and has a collective fundraising target from partners of £122,500 over the period.

The initiative sprang from the 2015 Warwick Commission survey finding that arts subsidy failed to reach many of the country’s less prosperous communities, partly because touring work often connects with only the most affluent and socially advantaged audiences sop that the work often represents a metropolitan or urban view of culture.

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