Challenges and Changes…

John, Sally, Frances, Kirsty, Rosalind and Sarah
John, Sally, Frances, Kirsty, Rosalind and Sarah

It’s been all change recently at Live & Local HQ with new jobs and new faces in the office!

Over the past few years we have been very successful at developing new areas of work such as the EU funded Arts On Our Doorstep (in partnership with Warwickshire County Arts Service) and Big Picture Show (rural cinema) initiatives in Warwickshire, with Big Picture Show now expanding into Staffordshire thanks to Staffordshire County Council and the British Film Institute. These successes and the continuation of our Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation funding for the next three years are great achievements but we know that in the current financial climate we have to be even more able to spot and take advantage of new and different opportunities going forward.

To that end we have created a new Development Manager post whose role is being an ambassador for the organisation, shaping and delivery a fundraising strategy and driving forward new initiatives to ensure long term growth and sustainability. This role is being taken on by Sally Rew, who was previously our Company Administrator and has extensive experience in this area of work. Her immediate areas of focus are growing Big Picture Show, extending our DART – Developing Artists in Rural Touring – initiative (originally funded by Worcestershire County Council), developing partnerships within the children and young people sector, building links with and awareness of the role we can play within the commissioning sector and developing arts-led initiatives that support economic development in rural communities.

Sally, Frances, John, Kirsty, Rosalind and Sarah
Sally, Frances, John, Kirsty, Rosalind and Sarah

The Company Administrator role has been filled by a new face to the company, Kirsty Thomas, who joins us from Cardiff based dance company, Earthfall, and Arts Active based at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. We have also extended the Marketing & Communications Assistant role to full time to provide the additional support needed for our expanded activities and have been joined by Rosalind Highet from Creative Arts East who run a rural touring and cinema network in the east of England. Frances Newbury remains our Derbyshire based Fieldworker, but with an wider area to cover including most of Staffordshire as well as including promoter recruitment and support for the Big Picture Show in those areas. We will soon recruit a new part time Warwick based Fieldworker to cover Warwickshire and Worcestershire. That leaves our existing Marketing & Communications Officer, Sarah Benn, and Executive Director, John Laidlaw, who are still here with job roles that are broadly the same… but more of it!

Our working ethos remains very much about a partnership between the knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm of local people in community-led organisations combined with professional expertise that is sensitive to their local needs and aspirations. As a result, the Live & Local network of 180+ organisations across four counties supports a lot more than top class entertainment; it also plays an important part in the social and economic life of rural and other small communities, involving people of all ages, skills and social backgrounds, and crossing boundaries between them.

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