National Event on Collaboration: Cultural Sector Are Stronger Together

Six arts organisations will team up to host one national event about collaboration entitled “Stronger Together”.

Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) and Pilot Theatre, with support of Arts Council England, will host the event at Northern Stage, Newcastle on Wednesday 29 June 1.30pm – 6pm.  Innovatively, three national venues – Cornerhouse, Manchester, Watershed in Bristol and Lyric Hammersmith – will live stream the event to more delegates across the country.  Some of the best thinkers and leaders from the cultural sector and beyond will be sharing their thoughts and provoking conversation all across the UK.

Erica Whyman, Chief Executive of Northern Stage, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to bring together artists, producers, strategic thinkers and funders from across the country to celebrate existing collaborations, and challenge each other to be bolder, more generous and clearer about why and how we want to work together.  The day is an experiment to see how creative we can be in talking to one another across four cities and a chance to meet new collaborators from all the cultural forms.”

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said, “Stronger Together will bring the sector together to develop a critical debate. This event reflects our aspirations to use the real experiences of the sector to work together in partnership to build our collective knowledge.”

The unique national event will explode the myth that conferences are all about sitting listening to examples.  Northern Stage has transformed its main auditorium into a giant living room (removing all 450 seats) and delegates will be encouraged to talk about what they want to collaborate on and their own experiences of partnerships.  There will be some curated conversations in the theatre’s studio looking at the limits of collaboration and the challenges of working internationally and a chance to see some case studies of excellent strategic collaborations across the building.

The day will also see collaboration in action in a speed-dating event, SOUP, where artists, producers, funders and policy-makers get to chat to each other for three minutes each about an idea they have, or simply to make a new connection.

And there is tapas, entertainment and excellent company for those who can stay in Newcastle into the evening.

Audiences in Manchester, London and Bristol have a chance to participate in the day without travelling to Newcastle.  The conversations and provocations will be available through live streaming, blogging and a twitter feed #artstogether, downloadable case studies and presentations and live Skype-based interaction with Newcastle throughout the day.  The three venues will be running their own conversations and discussions in their venues and sending details back to the main event in Newcastle.

Marcus Romer, Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, said: “Pilot Theatre are delighted to be able to be part of this project- which enables the sector to join, connect and engage in a number of cross platform ways across the country, and to discover and discuss the ideas that can make us stronger and work more collaboratively as an industry.”

For further details:  www.northernstage.co.uk

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