New Philanthropy for Arts & Culture
DELIVERY Making Time: this evolved over the three years to ensure it was targeting the most isolated communities. The ﬁnal model delivered weekly workshops with minibus transport and a hot meal provided. The participants worked together to create their own puppet show which they performed to local schoolchildren. It was delivered by acta’s Production Manager with another facilitator, supported by a team of volunteers. acta Company: this weekly Monday evening activity focused on developing performance skills with participants creating and performing in community shows often focusing on local history and stories. Phoenix Theatre: these weekly Thursday evening sessions were delivered by acta’s Associate Director alongside a second facilitator. Each year the activities culminated in a community show. Bedminster Youth Theatre: performed an annual production and ran taster workshops across the summer to engage new participants. From the last year of activity this strand was delivered outside of the Get Together programme due to new funding for a youth theatre network from the Youth Investment Fund. Community Choir: led by a freelance acta facilitator, the choir met weekly and performed in events at acta centre. They also performed in the 2017 community play exploring Bedminster’s local mining heritage. The Thursdays: met weekly to create and perform in community shows, including the 2017 play performing alongside the Community Choir.
Key ﬁndings from each strand of activity: Making Time: feedback made clear that participants felt less isolated with many valuing the opportunity to make new friends and build conﬁdence. And facilitators observed the impact on participant wellbeing. Phoenix: in evaluation, this diverse group cited their love of acting, feeling welcome, improved conﬁdence and self-esteem, and appreciated the social aspect. Youth Theatre: over two thirds of the audience to their ﬁrst year performance did not regularly attend theatre. Community Choir: 2017 participant questionnaires gave overwhelmingly positive feedback; participants’ clear emphasis was on working together and a sense of community.
During this study, acta: • Presented 500 free workshops • Created 17 new productions • Delivered 47 performances
The Thursdays: 24 new beneﬁciaries joined the group to create a community play with 3 capacity performances. 81% of the audience were not regular theatre goers. Participants gained community and friendship and increased conﬁdence from their involvement.
Impact reported by participants
LEGACY Following the programme, funding to continue was received from: Quartet Community Foundation (Making Time), Paul Hamlyn Foundation (The Thursdays) and Nisbet Trust (Phoenix Theatre). The community choir continues as an independent organisation.