Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Working internationally

April's Creative Conversation featured Sabrina Smith-Noble from Visiting Arts, who joined our discussion on how to develop international partnerships for your work.

Sabrina gave a short presentation on Visiting Arts' work - their purpose is to strengthen intercultural understanding through the arts by creating opportunities for artists to explore new connections and expand the skills and knowledge of new and existing cultural players for a diverse and sustainable arts environment.
It was exciting to hear about the different schemes that are available, and I am amazed that so few performing arts practitioners have taken up the opportunities of working with international artists, developing residencies, or just accessing the funding to pay for international artists to come over and 'play' with a UK artist for a week. As soon as I got back to the office I went straight to their website to sign up for their E-newsletter so that I am among the first to hear about new opportunities as soon as they become available, and I suggest you do the same.

Sabrina said “As we’re continually reflecting on our programmes to facilitate the needs of the UK cultural sector in engaging internationally; I’d like to take the opportunity to explore how appropriate our current programmes are in creating opportunities for the performing arts sector. " True to her word, the Conversation was quickly opened up to ask participants what they felt would be useful for them within the performing arts sector, as artists and directors, and I know that Sabrina took our comments and feedback away with her to her team. Watch this space to find out how many wonderful new international partnerships blossom as a result of people hearing about the work of Visiting Arts and making their own plans for improving inter-cultural relations!

Next month the Creative Conversation theme is Innovative Programming with guest Matt Fenton from the Nuffield Theatre at Lancaster University, who has given over the programming of the venue to local artists or residents a couple of times, so it will be interesting to hear how he and his audiences feel after that brave move! May will also be my last Creative Conversation as Director of PANDA, so an emotional one for me. I'll have to make sure that we get extra special Pain-au-chocolat to keep me chirpy and chipper. See you there!