Arts and culture in Great Yarmouth will be in the hands of local people for the next four years with the announcement of a new project supported by Arts Council England with £1.1 million of National Lottery funding.
Freshly Greated aims to increase engagement with the arts among groups of people who are currently least likely to get involved as either audiences or creators. Low participation rates can be due to affordability, accessibility, language or cultural barriers or the fact that some people feel arts ‘is not for them’.
In recognition of this, Freshly Greated will involve local people from the start as programmers, creatives and arts leaders and ultimately as audiences.
The project is a partnership between Voluntary Norfolk, SeaChange Arts, Creative Collisions, Jays Uk Ltd and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, who collectively bring a wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience in community arts and neighbourhood projects.
Lucy Hogg, Head of Communities at Voluntary Norfolk, who will be leading the project, explains more. ‘This is going to be a real adventure for all of us, as we don’t yet know where the project will take us. Local people will be at the absolute heart of Freshly Greated, shaping and creating a cutting-edge arts scene that will reflect the lives, experiences and ambitions of people from all backgrounds and circumstances.’
Joe Mackintosh, Chief Executive, SeaChange Arts adds, ‘The work of SeaChange Arts and the Out There Festival has been a national beacon of engaging the widest possible new audiences with a huge range of arts experiences. We are absolutely thrilled that Arts Council England are now investing in Freshly Greated to build on what has been achieved, develop new arts events and opportunities and get local people and groups more and more involved in creating and delivering these.’
Jack Jay, of Jays UK Ltd, says ‘We are thrilled that our application for this vital funding was accepted. It shows just how important the impact of the arts and entertainment in our local area can be. But also how much hard work and investment is going to be needed going forwards. Through our work at The Hippodrome Circus, we have seen first-hand the inspiration and local pride it can create. We hope this will help us to collaborate and create even more opportunities for the people of Great Yarmouth.’
‘Freshly Greated’ project will engage all of our local communities in a fantastic programme of high-quality arts activities and lead to a real culture shift in Great Yarmouth with people from all backgrounds fully engaged as audience members, creators, producers and performers” adds Colin Stott of Creative Collisions.
Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the Economic Development Committee at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: ‘This significant national investment brings exciting opportunities to involve more people in shaping and creating a plethora of artistic and cultural activities, which is a great way to engage a diversity of people, to build stronger, better connected and more dynamic communities, boost civic pride and enhance neighbourhoods.
‘Great Yarmouth has an immensely rich cultural heritage, including a nationally-recognised tradition of world-class artistic performance centred around the Hippodrome Circus and SeaChange Arts. This provides a great platform from which to launch this excellent partnership project and refresh the cultural scene. We’re so pleased to be involved and to have played a role in developing the funding application.’
Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘We’re really excited to invest in a brand-new Creative People and Places Project for Great Yarmouth, building on our existing investment in the town and on our close working partnership with the council. Freshly Greated will ensure that more people from all backgrounds across Great Yarmouth have the opportunity to benefit from arts and culture – not just as audiences, but also as decision makers. It will empower the local community to work with professional artists, programming activities that they want to see and be involved in.’