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THE SHOW IS ONLY PART OF THE PICTURE For many of our audiences, attending a performance at Lighthouse is all about what happens before them on the stage or screen and rightly so, that is what they have paid to see. The curtain goes up, the baton raised, the microphone lifted - that magical instant in which memories are made and lives changed. But nothing ever makes it before an audience without the first moment of inspirational thinking and the endless hard work that goes into creating a spectacle. It’s a process that can take years and the involvement of many people to get to that magical moment. Our family pantomime takes more than a year to create although the rehearsal time itself is only three weeks! To that end, as the region’s leading cultural provider Lighthouse forges partnerships with a range of cultural organisations and individual artists working to realise their artistic projects. This summer we provided marketing services support to the illuminating Dorset Moon experience that saw Luke Jerram’s iconic lunar installation Museum of the Moon at home in three very distinct Dorset locations with different supporting programmes, featuring local and international artists, in each. More than 41,000 people turned out to join in the experience – a truly magical example of how public art can move the population. We have partnered again this autumn with Activate Performing Arts to announce its co-presentation of Michael Pinsky’s astonishingly visceral artwork Pollution Pods on Brownsea Island, as well as its restaging of locally based Gobbledegook Theatre’s contemplative open-air experience Cloudscapes on Studland Beach. At the time of writing we are hosting the return of Roundabout, Paines Plough’s wonderful pop-up theatre in Bournemouth Gardens as part of Arts by the Sea Festival, not only offering three theatrical premieres of new writing but also valuable workshop experience to our over-subscribed Young Writers courses and stage time for partner artists like improv company Black Cherry, our monthly stand-up comedy club and Live and Unheard, the home-grown showcase for unsigned local music talent. And every week our spaces are filled by groups as diverse as Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists (who helped us unveil our new automatic doors in such memorable style), and associate artists like Angel Exit Theatre working on their latest production, not to mention the acting schools that are based here and Bright Sparks, our creative discovery programme to nurture, empower and enable talented young people to explore the arts, ensuring the seeds of future careers are planted in rich and fertile soil at Lighthouse.


Elspeth prepared for her panto cow encounter with Jack and the Beanstalk co-producer Darren Reeves

But perhaps our most quantifiable partnership doesn’t go unseen at all. In fact, it is the most obvious one of all – the partnership we enjoy with the community we serve. In attracting audiences, productions and businesses to Poole, Lighthouse is driving economic activity worth millions of pounds, promoting the town and its facilities, attracting investment and enhancing the region’s reputation as a beautiful place in which to live and work and visit.

Elspeth McBain, Chief Executive, Lighthouse

THE VALUE OF LIGHTHOUSE According to figures produced using Arts Council England indices, Lighthouse is worth more than £14 million a year to the local economy. That figure from 2012 – the last time reliable figures were available – included all investment and financial support to date as well as the benefits to the local economy of Lighthouse audiences and performers spending, its employees being in work and not out of work and its support for the many small businesses in Poole and the surrounding area as contractors, suppliers and skilled trades. More recent figures, from 2017 suggest that every pound invested by the local authority is multiplied many times over just by Lighthouse being open. Indeed, each pound of local authority investment enables a further £8 to be invested in the shape of Arts Council funding that is contingent on the local authority grant and in what the community spends at Lighthouse on everything from ticket purchases to room hires and even ice cream tubs.

Arguably, the value of Lighthouse as a cultural leader is of even greater value than its economic worth. The evidence is that children from low income families who take part in arts activities are three times more likely to get a degree; while secondary school pupils engaged in arts and culture are twice as likely to volunteer in the community and 20% more likely to vote as young adults. Participation in the arts can contribute to social cohesion, reduce social exclusion and isolation and make communities feel safer and stronger – almost 60% of people are more likely to report good health if they’ve attended a cultural place or event in the last year.

“Lighthouse is able to make high-quality work accessible to Poole and the surrounding areas that would otherwise be beyond the reach of most visitors in terms of both its cost and geographical location,” ELSPETH MCBAIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE


EAT. SLEEP. WORK. WORRY. WAIT. REPEAT. Behind every event there are months of planning and countless hours of hard work and worry, especially when waiting on funding. Half a year after the spectacular success of the second Light Up Poole festival of digital light art, that brought 40,000 visitors to the town in dark and damp February, we asked Lighthouse partner Libby Battaglia of festival producers Audacious CIC to shed some light on what’s happening behind the scenes… A festival of this scale takes a considerable amount of planning, thought, energy, drive and passion and over the last five months we have been very busy developing ideas and the artistic vision for Light Up Poole 2020. We had lots of useful feedback and lessons learned from this year’s festival that we have reviewed and shared with those involved. I have been on lots of site visits in Poole with the wonderful team of freelance creatives – lighting designer James Smith, Jon Oliver from Wolf Lighting, development manager Helen Hughes and several artists including The Projection Studio and Liam Birtles – some in the pouring rain, others in the glorious heat. We’ve also been speaking to local artists and artists from other parts of the country and the world beyond, some have walked round with us in person and others have joined us on FaceTime. Inevitably there have been lots of meetings to present ideas and numerous conversations with our partners and supporters, from Poole BID, the new local authority BCP Council and Poole Museum Service to Lighthouse Poole and SoundStorm Music Education Agency, as well as St James’s Church, the RNLI, high street shops, the Harbour Master, the universities and many, many more. After all, it's a collaborative affair and Audacious is a communityinterest-company and Light Up Poole is a celebration of Poole, its heritage, architecture and the communities who want to get involved.

There have also been times when we’ve gone quiet and turned off our social media channels to make sure everything we plan is unique and influenced by our learning, our meetings, Poole, its people and our creative minds. We think we have come up with something special that will move Light Up Poole on and we have spent hours, days, weeks and months writing and re-writing applications, creating budgets, cashflows, speaking to potential sponsors, supporters and partners. A lot of planning has already taken place and there is a great deal more ahead of us! Applying for public money takes a vast amount of paperwork and means we have to be accountable, accurate, transparent, objective – and rightly so. What we’re doing has to be of public interest, it has to reach as many people as possible, show impact, be of the highest standards, achieve value for money, teach people something about the world we live in and so much more... In our most recent milestone we have hit SEND on the last big application. To get to the point we had to pour out our vision on paper. It makes you feel, to be honest, physically sick. You know you can’t write any more, there’s no room and time’s up. There are deadlines, timescales, moments to be hit and we’ve met them all. Now all we can do is wait and see. The process takes 12 to 16 weeks so by mid-September we should start to get some news on how we did. Please don't ever think that what we do is easy. It is not for the fainthearted. It is all-consuming and although we have lots of colleagues in the arts that go through this process too, we are grateful it is such a thorough and exacting process because it sharpens the vision, but mainly because when we are successful, it allows us to start delivering from the moment we get a YES! In the meantime, we will continue on our path, work on other projects, visit some new festivals, be inspired and share some of the great things we see with you. We might event set up a blog Sending much light to you all. Libby x


As we went to press Light Up Poole announced its funding application had been successful and next year’s festival will go ahead!


STRONGER TOGETHER The role of Lighthouse as a cultural leader extends far beyond the confines of the iconic building in which it is based. And this year a range of regional arts organisations have benefitted from the skills and expertise of its team to deliver arts projects in the wider community – from Light Up Poole (Audacious) and Dorset Moon (Activate Performing Arts, b-side, Bournemouth Arts By the Sea and Arts Development Company) to Roundabout (Bournemouth Arts by the Sea) and Pollution Pods (Activate Performing Arts). “The team at Lighthouse has a wealth of knowledge and experience it can bring to bear, but we’re also learning from the smaller organisations we partner with,” explains Head of Sales and Marketing Sara St George. “For instance, Lighthouse doesn’t have a lot of experience in running events outdoors, but we do have a very skilled marketing team that has been able to work on projects. To that extent I see Lighthouse as an organisation with a permeable skin so know-how flows in and out of it.” It’s another example of the collaborative working that has become a trademark of the way Lighthouse goes about its business. “It is a necessity because of the way the arts are funded,” says Sara. “We tend to talk about prospective collaborators rather than competitors because inevitably the whole we create is greater than the sum of its parts. By working with other organisations we’re engaged in building a greater appetite for the arts so that we can all enjoy a slice of the pie.” Dorset Moon St Peters

Pollution Pods by Water - Michael Pinksy



By Perdie Bargh, Creative Engagement Officer

This year, Lighthouse has launched a brand-new Creative Engagement strategy; one that builds on our existing work with the local community and will reach out to new audiences, artists and participants in bold, dynamic and exciting ways. Included in this strategy is a new Artist Development programme to nurture the best and brightest local talent, offering support, space and time to flourish. We are excited to be working with a diverse mix of artists from a huge range of backgrounds, from singer songwriters, visual artists and lighting designers to improvisational theatre developers and integrated circus companies. All these artists are producing (or are on their way to producing) ground-breaking work in local, national and international arts arena. Another significant aspect of the work we are delivering is that of our projects with children and young people – Young Writers, a scheme for 11-18 year olds with a flair for creative writing, and Young Technicians, a programme for 16-24 year olds with a passion for all things backstage. These schemes have proved particularly popular and, notably, both groups of Young Writers are now full with waiting lists. We are also pleased to be offering both cohorts of young people the chance to earn their Bronze Arts Award this year, as well as access to Lighthouse shows, workshops with industry leaders and other exciting opportunities. In addition to these informal learning schemes, we are continuing our work with schools in the community. Alongside our pantomime, we have launched two competitions for local schools where the chance to meet the cast, as well as earning £250 of art materials are up for grabs. Moreover, we are in the third year of our Partner School Scheme, with ten schools signed up for the 2019/20 academic year. Over the next year, these schools will receive backstage tours, careers talks, workshops and much more. To find out more about the projects, workshops and opportunities we have on offer, please email

Young Technicians at work

Artist Development: Black Cherry Improv Theatre


WHY I LOVE LIGHTHOUSE Tony Beales Beales Gourmet Catering As Dorset’s leading event catering company, we are extremely proud of our successful partnership with Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts. This landmark venue is a real gem in Dorset’s crown and we have had the pleasure of catering at some fabulously high-profile events there over the years. The team shares our passion for excellence and great customer service, so our partnership is a wonderful and natural fit. One of the recent highlights and a real privilege for us was catering an event in honour of the career of Sir Ian McKellen – we thoroughly enjoyed creating a theatrical menu for this VIP dinner at Lighthouse. Twice nominated for an Oscar, and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Sir Ian McKellen is widely regarded as one of

the world's finest actors. We were proud to sponsor this event with the proceeds going directly to support Bright Sparks, Lighthouse’s programme of activity aimed at developing the next generation of arts practitioners. Other prestigious events we have had the honour of catering at Lighthouse, are for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Diverse Abilities Annual Gala Ball, Dorset Business Awards, Liverpool Victoria events, to name just a few. Here’s to many years of memorable events at Lighthouse! Tony Beales Beales Gourmet, flagship caterer at LIghthouse

‘The opportunity to intern at Lighthouse was great, I learned loads and it really helped me build skills and confidence’ PERDIE BARGH

Tony Beales with Lighthouse events manager Tom Holmes


NOW OPENING… NEW DOORS IMPROVE ACCESS Getting in and out of Lighthouse is now much easier for wheelchair users and less mobile patrons. Thanks to generous new funding from the Theatres Trust a new entrance with automatic swing doors has been built next to the lifts to ensure smoother access and alleviate congestion around the building. “This is a vital improvement for which Lighthouse is extremely grateful to the Theatres Trust,” says Chief Executive Elspeth McBain. “People who need to use the lift will be able to more easily navigate the foyer at busy times and the new entrance will also provide better access from the car park.” Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres and champions the future of live performance by protecting and supporting theatre buildings that meet the needs of their communities. Launched in 2012, its UK Small Theatres Grants Scheme awards grants of up to £5,000 to theatres to address urgent building works and improvements. It receives support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Charles Michael Holloway Charitable Trust. “I am thrilled to see Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation funding targeted in the support of these regional theatres under the direction of Theatres Trust expertise,” says Sarah Miller, director at Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. “Theatres are so often the hubs of their communities and they should be cherished.” Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust added: “I’m proud that our UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme can help theatres make significant improvements to secure and improve their buildings’ fabric and provide a more accessible and welcoming customer experience for their audiences.” And there’s more to come… Following the £4,000 Theatres Trust grant, a customer approached Lighthouse to discuss further work that was needed and offered to donate £12,000 to help us continue making accessibility improvements. “This is a remarkably generous donation and we hope it will make the experience of visiting Lighthouse even better for everyone for years to come,” adds Elspeth. This was a very personal gift as the donor, who prefers to remain anonymous, had often attended concerts at Lighthouse with their disabled father before he had passed away.

A SPECIAL KNIGHT INDEED In July we were very lucky to welcome Sir Ian McKellen to Lighthouse for a very special evening as he celebrated his 80th birthday by touring the country and raising money for with his one-man show, Ian McKellen On Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU. Lighthouse utilised the show to raise funds to support Bright Sparks, our creative discovery programme to nurture, empower and enable talented young people to develop their interest in all aspects of the arts, something that is particularly close to Sir Ian’s heart. So much so that he took a collection bucket out into the foyer to gather donations made by the departing audience. The event was a huge success and we raised over £28,000.

01202 280000

COMING SOON LIGHTHOUSE FRIENDS We will be launching a new Friends scheme to engage with our most loyal audiences and supporters by offering them the chance to support us and get closer to our work. Friends will enjoy great benefits such as priority booking and ticket discounts, whilst the income from the scheme will help us to continue enriching the lives of our community through shared cultural experiences.

CHRISTMAS APPEAL Following the success of the 2018 Christmas Appeal when we raised more than £21,000, we will again be raising money this Christmas to help pay for free and discounted tickets for disadvantaged children and families from across our community. Last year’s success was largely thanks to the generosity of Lyn Glass who offered to match-fund the donations made by our pantomime audiences. This year, we are again looking for match-funding support as it really does encourage our audiences to donate when they know that their £1 will be worth £2 to us. To find out more about how you could support this year’s appeal, and enable thousands of children and families to enjoy the memories that are made in live theatre, please contact Tom Shallaker, Fundraising Manager at or call 01202 781320.

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