Storytelling Commission

Culturapedia in partnership with Darwen Library Theatre
Storytelling commission (#1) managed by Darwen Community Programmers Group
Culturapedia is an independent arts management company based in Blackburn. Our work includes developing and delivering Spot On Lancashire (a 45 venue rural touring network and part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio), Spot On libraries (working with the county’s library service- a strategic touring initiative supporting the libraries as venues) and community promoter development work for Darwen Library Theatre, and Burnley Mechanics Front Room. In total we enable over 80 communities and venues across the county to curate and host professional touring arts.
Budget : £3000 +VAT (inclusive of all costs) However, venue and marketing costs are covered by the commissioners.
Deadline for submissions: Monday 14th August, 5pm
Interview/pitching day : week commencing 11th September 2017
Activity timescale: Final timetable to be agreed with partners but all activity must be completed by 31st March 2018.

Aims: We seek to commission a professional storyteller/spoken word performer to work in partnership with our community promoters group in Darwen, Lancashire. You will research, create and perform new stories to be performed in Darwen Library and Theatre and the local town. This work then has the potential to be developed to tour to other library and rural community settings.
You will work with our community promoters and their audiences, and take this opportunity to research, develop and perform new stories to a public (scratch) performance level. We could then support you to develop and tour the completed work via our library/rural touring networks in Spring 2018 and onwards. We do not expect a tour-ready production for this commission but do expect you to provide one high quality public performance/interaction.
Brief: We offer this opportunity to an individual/ensemble or company who work professionally as storytellers/spoken word performers. We seek new ideas and proposals to make a piece of professional live performance which could be performed in any library/community venue setting. You will have a proven track record as a professional, can demonstrate an understanding of the creative challenge offered and have the ability to work to a brief developed by volunteer community promoters.

This brief will involve the successful artist working with the Darwen Library Theatre Community Promoters group. They have identified the following criteria for selection:
● The artist must be a professional with a track record, whose artistic focus is on storytelling/spoken word who is comfortable working in community-led spaces and small venues. Preferably local and has a knowledge of Lancashire.
● The work must be suitable for all ages 8+. Final piece should appeal to families with multiple generations watching together. They do not want a performance or stories for children – but one that can equally be enjoyed by adults attending without kids
● You will use community workshops to source material. The finished stories must show a strong sense of the local area. Work could possibly be based on local myths and legends eg. Tockholes treacle mines or inspired by local places and their history Eg. Whitehall Old House, Old aggies, Darwen Moor, the Donkey Drop.
Priorities: Preference will be given to small-scale performers based in the North West of England who are not in receipt of ACE NPO funding, and for whom this opportunity will enable them to realise a clearly articulated goal or ambition to tour engage closely with audiences. We really encourage applications which reflect the diversity of our communities.
Please email your CV/company profile, a draft budget outlining how you would spend the commission,
and a 1 side max. A4 letter outlining:
● Your idea
● How would this commission support your development?
● Timescales required
● What else you may need from us?
● What else can you bring to the project? (resources, expertise etc)
● Confirmation you can attend the pitching/interview day in person or via skype. Additional support available from the partners include free use of workshop space, performance space, marketing for events/workshops, local knowledge and community support. Access to and use of basic touring lights/sound/stage and backdrops. We can also provide a small caravan for creative use.