In only a few years Lyrici Arts has grown and developed from programming a community festival – Paint The Town – to an organisation that is known for developing bold and innovative work that champions inclusivity and social development. We have made great artistic steps and are an organisation that delivers high quality and diverse works.
We have delivered 158 events in three years, with partnership work in four county and national projects, including Arts Council England flagship projects ‘The Collaborative Touring Network’ (ACE Strategic Touring, 2016-19) and library focussed projects ‘Legacy’ (Medway Council- 2017) and ‘The Classics’ (Kent County Council- 2019). Lyrici brought in circa £250k of external funding for diverse artistic programming for the Medway and North Kent areas.
Legacy was an Arts Council GFTA library project bid for £35,776 which included a programme of 20 African and Caribbean BME theatre and literature events within six Medway community libraries. The project staged a totally free season of community events including adult author talks, poetry, music of black origin, dance and theatre events, storytelling, family workshops and food- all rooted in African and Caribbean culture. The project shared cultural stories with the wider community, and explored and celebrated diverse and rich heritage. The project was pinpointed as ACE pinpointed Legacy as an example of the Creative Case for diversity in the South East, succeeding in community cohesion, engaging BME audiences, creating recognition for library services and successfully exploring effective ways to share and celebrate cultural stories.
In 2019 we were awarded an Arts Council Project Grant to run a short six month pilot project with Kent Libraries which focussed around a community arts engagement programme in North Kent libraries called The Classics. The Classics project ran from February to May 2019, with 15 North Kent libraries exploring and celebrating a famous children’s classic – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. During this project we successfully secured industry CPD sessions for Kent Library management from NPO organisations Farnham Maltings, Battersea Arts Centre and Cambridge County Council (The Library Presents).
Paint The Town was a bi-annual theatre and arts festival produced by Lyrici Arts in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre & The Collaborative Touring network. We are currently one of nine regional partners in the third phase of The Collaborative Touring Network, and in the future this will see one big show touring our associate venues. Over the years our diversity and inclusion projects have demonstrated that we can run local and national projects that engage and connect with audiences and creatives locally and nationally.
We have enjoyed our last few years and are looking forward to the future, as we lead and inspire creative and theatre projects that embrace diversity and inclusion projects for Medway, Kent, and beyond. We enjoy making rich connections with our creatives and community, and want to change the way Black theatre is accessed and perceived.