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Vita Nova – Artistic Statement To set out our artistic statement and vision we think it’s worth highlighting some key words which are at the heart of our vision as an arts organisation: Radical: we want to do things differently. We will create work which purposefully challenges traditional ways of presenting and making art. We want the voices which don’t often get the opportunity to speak to be heard loud and clear. Community: we believe that good work speaks primarily to the community it serves, and excellent work has the capacity to reach even wider audiences. We define our community in two primary ways: 1. Boscombe: this is our home. It is where our community lives and it’s one of the most socially and economically deprived areas of the south west. 2. The Recovery Community: Vita Nova has grown as an organisation committed to working with people in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. This principle remains at the centre of our ethos as an arts organisation, and includes ‘recovery’ in a wider sense, encompassing people who use mental health services and vulnerable adults. Art: We are committed to putting quality at the heart of all our art-making. We understand art as being present in both process and end product. While we believe everyone is capable of creative expression, to turn that creativity into a quality work of art, discipline, craft and critique are required.

How we work We work with both closed groups which are especially for people in recovery and integrated groups. This means we can provide safe and supported settings for people in early recovery, and create spaces for dialogues and sharing to occur across a wider network of artists and the local community. We find artistic strategies to produce interesting, fresh, professional work in which voices are heard and experiences are valued. We believe in collaboration, skills sharing and empowerment through learning artistic disciplines to enable people to tell their own stories successfully. We work across disciplines especially, but not exclusively, music, theatre and creative writing. We have a strong focus on delivering issue-based arts workshops with young people and schools, promoting awareness and supporting young people to make empowered and informed choices. We deliver workshops and showcase new work locally in inclusive and accessible ways. We make distinctions - but not value judgments - between work for the public sphere and work in closed settings. We have high expectations of our work and the people we work with.


What we are interested in: Responding to the people we’re working with, and to develop the artistic language which best suits our needs in that time and place. In this way, we understand our practice as constantly evolving and developing. Working with lived experience and testimony; creating political and socially relevant work. The relationship between who is allowed to speak and who controls who speaks. This means we’re interested in finding creative answers to the question, why are some people’s voices marginalized, when others are privileged? Taking an interest in and being proactive about creating our own history and archive, we will do this by thinking about how we represent our work after the event. Making mistakes, learning from them, trying again.

We aspire to: Develop relationships and working partnerships with valued and respected practicing artists and cultural organizations, supporting us to inspire, train and develop artists of the future. Develop relationships and working partnerships with other arts organizations who share our values and ambitions. Develop an innovative and progressive model for contemporary community arts practice. Be a valued and respected arts organization serving the community of Boscombe and beyond. Tour regionally and nationally, and to receive criticism for our work on its own merit. Have our own welcoming and inclusive venue central to Boscombe. To educate and challenge views relating to recovery and addiction, promoting community cohesion and reducing stigma.


Vita Nova Artistic Statement