Annual Report 2011 â€“ 2012 1
A note from the Chair The year 2011-2012 has been a time of change for DASH. Both staff and board have needed to be flexible in developing a future direction for DASH. Some of the main developments have covered the moving out of the DASH space into a smaller base in Shrewsbury town centre. This is a positive move because DASH will be closer to similar creative organisations and will not be held back by costs associated with the space. Also with the reduction in staff hours we are not able to run the labour intensive premises, so staff will be able to focus on the artistic programme. This is important because this year has seen the completion of Outside In and the development of IN. These are the two main projects organised by DASH with the support of mainstream galleries, but there are other projects as well. Staff and Board have participated in several planning days to work on how DASH is going to meet the requirements of its new Arts Council National Portfolio status. These days have involved considering the direction of DASH, board development, fundraising and overall organisational development.
Yvette Priestley Chair
Artistic programme Our artistic programme was made up of five strands: • Outside IN • IN • DASH Film • DASHSPACE • M21 Outside IN This was the year that Outside IN was completed. This included: • Camp DAG at Oriel Davies Gallery Newtown • Noemi Lakmaier’s exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery (Object/Female) • Defying Definitions Symposium at the Arena Theatre Wolverhampton Camp DAG Camp DAG 'interrupted' everyday life, confronting society's perceptions of disabled people and was intended to make people think about what it means to be an 'insider' or an 'outsider'. The Camp was created, performed and ‘got out’ over 4 days. The intention of the work was that a travellers camp would appear overnight and stay for 2 days and then disappear. There would be minimal marketing before the event, except for ‘surreal’ flyers placed around Newtown. This would create an interest, a word of mouth, a potential reaction (positive or negative) to the Camp. The Camp would be filmed in a low key way and this film would be the artwork that would be shown. To achieve this ‘deceit’ it relied on the Camp being well equipped. Thanks to the contacts of the gallery curator we had an extra caravan, marquee, general camp equipment and a Shetland pony! The Camp achieved its aim as many people thought it was a travellers camp, but home to Disabled people. In fact we developed a positive relationship with local travellers families. The seven Wales based Disabled artists who were recruited to be part of the Camp, in general, had a very positive experience and gave themselves to the Camp. It has assisted the career development of a number of these artists. Wolverhampton Art Gallery WAG Noëmi Lakmaier created a new living installation, in which she explored issues of power and control in society, particularly in relation to gender. CCTV monitors tracked the artist’s movements, offering the viewer clues as to her whereabouts, her only awareness was limited to the footsteps, voices and glimpses she saw from her location. Lakmaier was interested in the relationship between objects, people and space, and the presence of the viewer as voyeur. The installation also featured works by artists Shani Rhys–James; Ana Maria Pacheco and Bridget MacDonald which are part of Wolverhampton’s art collection. 3
Noemi’s commission dramatically changed from her original submission, due to the artist having changed her style and context of her work, during the two years between her selection and the exhibition. The staff at WAG showed incredible patience in dealing with the artist, as Noemi only announced her new concept 3 months before the exhibition date. The gallery moved the exhibition date back two months to December 2011 (to coincide with the Symposium) to allow them time to ensure the complexities of the new piece (a false floor in the gallery) would work and be safe. The New Art Gallery Walsall TNAGW TNAGW continued to be involved in OI, even though Sean Burn’s residency finished in February 2011. Defying Definitions Symposium This was a successful event that attracted a good mix of attenders: curators and gallery staff, arts organisations and artists. The Symposium happened over 2 days, with the first day involving a visit to the Frank Cohen collection in Wolverhampton and a performance by Kim Noble in the evening. The second day was a mixture of the Outside IN artists showing and talking about their commissions, the galleries talking about the process, the evaluation and the marketing and DASH talking about the concepts behind Outside IN and the future. There were forty four attendees over the two days. Disability Arts
IN the Mainstream
During 11-12 we had formal meetings with staff at the five galleries involved in IN: • The Public • The Herbert • The mac • Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery • The Arnolfini All five galleries made a commitment to IN and we began to draw up a timetable for the three years of IN 2012-2015. We held our first five galleries meet in March 12 at the mac which was attended by all five galleries plus Amanda from Oriel Davies, who provided an evaluation of Outside IN and the lessons to be learnt. The main lesson was to reduce the time between selection and realisation. We redrew the timetable to reflect the changes and issues happening in each gallery. The timetable for IN is now: • The Public June 2013 • The Herbert September 2013 • Shrewsbury April 2014 • The mac September 2014 • The Arnolfini February 2015 plus Symposium DASH Film Festival 4
The Film Festival happened over three days in October 11 at the DASHSPACE in Shrewsbury. In our original plan this was a ‘quiet year’ where the film festival was a local event and 2012 would be UK wide. Due to our reduction in staff and resources this was our last Film Festival for the next few years. The Festival was attended by 134 people. DASHSPACE The DASHSPACE has evolved over the year to not only being our base for Visual Arts Workshops, but a base for other arts groups: • Weekly learning disability dance group • Youth theatre sessions • Learning Disability performance group • Grange pottery group We took part in the Shrewsbury Open Studios, with eighteen artists exhibiting in the SPACE We completed our Improvised music sessions with a number of new participants. We were the base for the audience Shropshire network. Our bookings from Shropshire Council have diminished as they slashed their training budget. M21 M21 (The Medieval to the 21st Century) was our Live art Unlimited funded project, which was part of the Cultural Olympiad. It involved commissioning eight new pieces of Live Art from UK and Croatian Disabled artists, which were shown in Much Wenlock.. During 11-12 all the detailed planning and organisation happened, with the event realised in May 2012. This has been one of the largest projects that DASH has organised and promoted. It clearly stretched our resources and the budget. We could not afford a production manager as we needed a technical manager and an event manager. Their fees were very small (four days and three days). But in hindsight we could have combined some of these two roles under a production manager and brought in a technician for the weekend. We successfully bidded for Unlimited talent funding for three of the artist: • Sean Burn was mentored by Bobby Baker • Tanya Raabe mentored by Lois Keidan of Live Art Development Agency • Ann Whitehurst mentored by Paul Darke
Staff and Board The Board membership has been fairly stable, with two members leaving Stephen Gibson and Joy Tudor. This has left DASH with a totally committed Board. We have several people who are keen to join the Board, but this is on hold till we have completed the majority of our transition funding work. We were selected for Transition funding (£20,000) to support DASH through the process of changing from being an RFO to being an NPO. This will consist of: • Board Development • Fundraising Strategy • Digital marketing Strategy • Resource and Organisational Development The process will clearly help DASH face up to the challenges of the next three years. We have also been part of the Creative Bridge programme, which is supporting the Staff in Business development and mentoring. Project management and Associate artists Due to Blue Eyed Soul closing during this year and Arty Party in Telford awaiting further funding, we asked Rachel Liggitt (Blue Eyed Soul) and Ray Jacobs (Arty Party) to be associate artists. This has involved: • Ray running a bi weekly performance group at the DASHSPACE • Rachel using DASH for financial and administrative support Both artists were key elements in our successful Shropshire Council bid and will be running art events in 12-14 As a follow on from Camp DAG and our relationships we built up with Welsh Disabled artists, we were invited by Arts Council Wales to project manage a Welsh Disabled artist (Joolz Cave-Berry), who will be receiving a large development grant.
Fundraising £1000 from Leadership and Management advice service towards the resource and organisational development of staff £2500/year for two years (12-14) from Shropshire Council for arts activities in Shropshire We are proud to have been funded as an NPO and we see this reflects the raising of our profile as a Disability arts organisation. We are glad that we are now receiving acknowledgement of our skills and experience from the Visual arts sector. This has reflected in the process of recruiting the five IN galleries, which has been simple and straightforward. During 11-12 we have been planning how we would deal with a 30% reduction in our funding from ACE from April 12. It was clear that we had to be proactive in face of reduced resources. We were unsuccessfull in raising additional funding from Trusts and Charitable Foundations, which meant we had to begin scaling down our operation: • • •
Reducing from 3 staff to 2 staff, with Paul Darke Visual Arts Manager taking voluntary redundancy in December 2011. The 2 remaining staff reducing their hours from 3.5 days/week to 3 days/week, from April 2012 with a wage freeze. Closing the DASHSPACE and relocating to a smaller and cheaper office space in the summer of 2012.
The annual report for DASH Disability Arts from the period 2011/2012.