Supporting Artists and the Arts
by Julien Boast, HFC CEO & Creative Director
Although the theatre is now closed to the public for our exciting and ambitious redevelopment project, our Arts Development team are still very much open for business, continuing to support professional artists and working with schools and young people to bring arts to local communities across Cornwall. Thanks to support from the Arts Council, Cornwall Council and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, our Arts Development work spans the entire county with opportunities created for individuals to perform and create in diverse theatre spaces including care homes, schools and colleges, village halls, museums, galleries and gardens.
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy. The team have attended the Royal Shakespeare Company Play Making Festival with students from Treviglas, Brannel, Redruth, Humphry Davy, Liskeard & Callington schools performing on the RSC’s main stage; delivered workshops for youngsters from Pondhu and St Breward primary schools and held “end of term” pop up and performance events for our Youth Dance and Theatre Companies at The Burrell Theatre and Perranporth Beach.
As we reflect back on the last 6 months, highlights have included work on 26 Creation Space projects, week long residencies in 17 local venues allowing professional artists to develop and test new work and the staging of Nick Darke’s ‘Hell’s Mouth’ by members of the HFC Youth Theatre, which was critically acclaimed as ‘THE BEST YOUTH THEATRE SHOW EVER SEEN’. Many of the young people taking part in this production have been members of our Youth Theatre for many years, using the opportunity and experience gained with us as a spring board for working with other professional companies or indeed pursuing a career in the arts. This year’s graduation cohort has seen 8 young people go on to either drama or dance schools or studying performance at a higher level.
Talent Development of professional artists is a key focus for us with the team offering mentoring support and encouraging artists to reflect on the work they have done in the past and talk about what they would like to accomplish going forward. Over the last six months, we have supported 160 artists through one to one sessions including our Associate Artists, such as Jethro Compton who is currently The Little Princess in Vienna and Emily Dobson who recently worked as choreographer on WildWorks’ 100: UnEarth at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Whilst we continue to prepare our building to hand over to the building team, the Arts Development team will be working tirelessly across the community to ensure that the power of performance can continue to inspire, educate and be enjoyed. Coming to an unusual performance space near you soon……