Kent County Council kindly awarded Lyrici Arts funding to support our black and diverse digital programme. From October to December 2021, the funding enabled us to present a free online public programme of three Black lyrical digital theatre shows to North Kent communities.
The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) believes in the power and possibility of live performance. Established in 2013, we are a collective of eight organisations Battersea Arts Centre (Wandsworth). Doorstep Arts (Torbay). Heads Up (Hull). Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough). Looping the Loop (Thanet). Lyrici Arts (Medway). The Old Courts (Wigan). Strike a Light (Gloucester). We work with artists and communities to make and tour life-affirming, soul-shaking, perspective-changing shows.
Project led by The Old Courts, over the next 3 years CTN will build resilience & operate as a national, outward-facing network that empowers communities & revolutionises how touring work is developed. CTN works on micro & macro levels: creating cultural change locally; & working together nationally to achieve access to art for all.
Viewed as a valuable national asset, the network and it’s aims for the second phase have been reworked by partners and successfully refunded by Arts Council England. Lyrici Arts have rebranded it as part of their programming strand without the previous festival elements. Lyrici Arts previously ran Paint The Town Festival for Medway from 2016- 2019 as part of The Collaborative Touring Network. In partnership with nine regional partners the project reached audiences of 50,000 people, many of whom were new to the arts.
One: We work with communities and artists to create new ways of being together.
Two: We believe in the power and possibility of live performance.
Three: We challenge dysfunctional working models. We experiment with different ways of making, sharing and touring live performance that can contribute to a fairer, more inclusive society; where access to cultural experiences and opportunities for creative expression are not limited by circumstance, class or identity.
Four: We question, we listen, we try new things, we learn from our mistakes and we try again.
Five: We believe every town deserves to experience life-affirming, soul-shaking, perspective-changing live performance. We are committed to creating the conditions for this work to exist and grow in our locations.
Six: We work as a network. We give what we can and take the support we need, acknowledging the different scales, capacities, and resources accessible to each of us.
Seven: We value people, their experiences, and their stories. We listen to and create platforms for stories that often go unheard.
Eight: We think touring live work is most impactful when it is invited into places where community is already happening. We do not expect people to come to us. We are interested in meeting them where they are.
Nine: We are in this for the long-run.
This Autumn and Winter will see us preparing free digital and accessible projects that promote black theatre, as well as amplifying diverse stories in the arts.
Our digital programme brings free and accessible black artistic work safely to Kent’s communities. Kent audiences will receive increased online access to a number of established black theatre practitioners based in the UK who create a level of high quality artistic work.