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Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

Annual Report 2007 - 2008

Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

Chair’s Report 2007/8 2007/8 may come to be seen as the year Dancefest ‘came of age’ and the vision, hard work and dedication of all concerned finally received recognition in the form of greatly increased core funding from Arts Council England for the next three years. The year in question has been the usual mixture of lively and popular communitybased classes, innovati ve site specific work such as the ‘Ashes to Ashes’ performance at St Swithun’s Church in Worcester and work in schools, providing skills and expertise that contribute significantly to the educational agenda in the two counties. There has also been much valuable work behind the scenes in de veloping existing partnerships, such as the Worcestershire Dance Promoters, and new ones such as the link up with the Extended Schools Services leading to the delivery of classes in new areas in Herefordshire. The latter part of the year saw the preliminary work undertaken on another largescale site-specific performance, this time at Goodrich Castle, renewing the partnership with English Heritage that produced the spectacularly successful ‘Dreams & Ruin’ project at Witley Court in 2005. The project was given a welcome boost in December 2007 with the Arts Council backing it with a substantial ‘Grants for the Arts’ award. Next year’s reports will have a lot more to say about the now completed project but I am able to reveal that it would indeed turn out to be another excellent e vent! It is with much regret that circumstances led to my decision to stand down as Chair in January 2008, although after nearly eight years in that position I am sure it was well overdue for someone else to take the reins! It has been a privilege and pleasure being Chair during this period and I am proud to ha ve been part of the success story that is Dancefest. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all of the directors who ha ve been on the board with me during this time for their efforts and support, thanks also to Rose and all her team for their fantastic work and send my best wishes to my successor, Adele Cope, who will be an excellent Chair and will, I’m sure, steer Dancefest very ably forward. With a sound strategy in place for future de v elopment through implementation of many of the recommendations of the Organisation Development Consultancy, Dancefest is poised to make an even more significant contribution to the arts landscape of the two counties in the years to come. John Denton Chair (April - January 2008) September 2008

Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

I am delighted to ha ve the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of John Denton as Chair and to be part of Dancefest for the next stage of their journey. My thanks go to John who has nurtured and guided Dancefest through some crucial stages of their development in an en viable way. O ver recent months Dancefest ha ve continued to build on the significant vote of confidence given by the Arts Council. The ongoing implementation of the organisational de velopment strategy and the consideration of future structures, support and funding will all help to ensure future success for the organisation. I am proud to be part of this inspirational organisation and I look forward to working with Rose, the Dancefest team and all the Directors of the Board o ver the next year. Adele Cope Acting Chair September 2008

Wired Aerial Theatre

Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

Manager’s Report The year from April 2007 to March 2008 has seen much welcomed increased support for Dancefest, demonstrated in several ways: • • •

demand for work – demonstrated by a thriving community and project programme a positive outcome from the organisational development consultancy that will guide Dancefest development for the next 3-5 years increased core funding from Arts Council England.

These things combine to give confidence that as a development organisation Dancefest is pursuing a pathway that is appropriate to the community in which we work. Working chronologically through the year important highlights ha ve been •

Organisation Development Consultancy The organisational and fundraising strategy written by Diana Johnson, was commissioned at a time of rapid development. From small beginnings in 2000 Dancefest had expanded in many ways, and the time was right to review what had taken place and to look at the organisation’s placement for the next three to five years. It was a rigorous process that searched through every area of work and included discussion with members of the arts, education, local authority and funding bodies. The result is a fair and practical document that Dancefest will use to inform its revised business plan for 2008-2011.

2,635 people took part in projects resulting in 11,337 at tendances

Projects Dancefest delivered numerous projects during the year. In Herefordshire Janene Wyatt works each year with four clusters of schools that are part of the Minster Partnership, whilst in Worcestershire Dancefest leads after schools projects in the five clusters of schools in the Droitwich and Worcester area. These projects are supported by the community classes which enable children to carry on the work they ha ve begun. A film project celebrated the 10th anni versary of the opening of Kidderminster’s Art Gallery and Library in vol v ed young children, Cuckoos Nest Theatre Company and elderly participants from The Tulip Tree Day Centre. Ha ving worked on a schools project to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the opening of Tenbury Cinema – the performance was cancelled due to the Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

severe flooding that took place in the town. The town’s Pump Rooms were still affected in September when we were due to start children’s sessions, they eventually started in January. A very successful street dance summer school was led by 2FaCeD Dance Company and Jenny Dunn. It culminated in a curtain raiser for 2 FaCeD’s performance of State of Matter. •

Dancefest ’07 – two performances at the Swan Theatre, Worcester The annual performance that in vol ves a piece by the majority of community classes is an important reflection of regular participation. Everyone who takes part has the opportunity to perform. These occasions are intensive, hectic and mixed in quality, but they bring together in one place all the people who take part in Dancefest classes throughout Herefordshire and Worcestershire. People can meet and watch each other. Ine vitably performances are sold out and the atmosphere generated by parents and friends is warm, enthusiastic and supportive – ideal for the community dancer.

1,048 people saw a community performance created by Dancefest

Partnership links Dancesfest has worked to sustain existing and create new partnership links. With the site specific project for Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire planned for July 2008 a huge amount of groundwork was undertaken. The development of regular classes in Ross on Wye in partnership with Extended Schools Services provided strong local connections and funding, the longstanding relationships with the education and outreach department at The Courtyard, the arts officers at Herefordshire Council and English Heritage were fundamental to setting up of project. New links were made with Heritage organisations, the Market towns Initiative. Dancefest continued to lead Worcestershire Dance Promoters gaining funding for a marketing consultant to develop a marketing strategy that could be easily managed by its members. The key outcome has been a website, www.danceinworcestershire.com, that lists performances and classes at each of the member venues. The Worcestershire Dance Forum led by Worcestershire Arts Education brings together the agencies who are delivering dance in education and is in the process of creating a dance strategy for the county. This is an interesting de velopment as it in vol ves the partnership development managers and Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

specialist performing arts schools, extended schools delivery, the aim being to provide a better, more targeted service.

1,027 people went to Dancefest’s community classes resulting in 8,490 at t endances

Herefordshire Youth Dance Tour 08 Like Dancefest ’07 the annual Herefordshire Youth Dance Tour brings people together to share the work they ha ve created. Here the focus is on young people working with professional dance workers from Dancefest and 2 FaCeD Dance Company in a residency in their school or youth group. The results tour – this year to John Kyrle High School in Ross on Wye, Whitecross High School in Hereford and Queen Elizabeth high School in Bromyard. Year on year the participants and audiences ha ve grown, the result of a strong partnership between Dancefest, 2 FaCeD Dance and the education department at The Courtyard. In a very rural county the increasing amount of youth dance taking place is a tribute to the dance workers and co-ordinators.

Ashes to Ashes A site specific performance for a disused Georgian church in the centre of Worcester. Created by dance workers and performed by community groups, including an intergenerational project and the dance workers themselves. Ashes to Ashes is another example of Dancefest’s commitment to using different spaces to generate ideas for performance and to attract new audiences.

Marketing As the result of a marketing review by staff and board members looking at the branding of the organisation we had to decide on a strapline to accompany the Dancefest logo – which you will see is ‘participation, projects, performance’. This sums up our aims of encouraging people to dance for fun, to develop skills and creativity, as part of a healthy lifestyle; to create performance and to play a part in audience development for the professional programme in the region. The marketing strategy has resulted in the rebranding of the organisation we can be seen in the new logo, now reproduced on stationery, the website and banners

Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334


Dancefest Annual Report 2007 - 2008

•

Increased funding from Arts Council England The year ended on a very unexpected high note when Dancefest had notification that its grant for the next three years was to be doubled. This was always something that Dancefest had hoped for but had not been led to expect. The money has been used to improve staff pay and conditions and bring it into line with similar sized organisations - a return for the huge amount of work that e veryone has contributed.

During the latter part of the year John Denton resigned as Chair of the Board, a position he had held since 2000. I am very pleased that he remains a director but I would like to take this opportunity to thank John for his help and guidance during our formati ve years. Adele Cope is currently acting Chair and I look forward to working with her during the forthcoming year.

Company limited by guarantee no. 4177900 registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1092334

Dancefest Annual Report 2007-2008  

Dancefest's annual report

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