In April 2016, Medway based organisation, Lyrici Arts were awarded a regional place within the Collaborative Touring Network, enabling them to be a National festival partner until 2019, and help to address diversity and arts inclusion aims within the Medway Towns.
Paint The Town is an exciting theatre and arts festival taking place twice a year in Medway, produced by Keely Augustus and Natalie Clarke. In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, London and eight other regional hubs across the UK as part of the Collaborative Touring Network, the festival aims to bring the some of the best new creative works to venues in Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham and beyond.
Alongside ‘spine shows’ Paint The Town works to create opportunities for local audiences and creatives to engage with the arts, through workshops and discussions, commissions and collaborations, surprising pop-up activity and of course performance opportunities.
Paint The Town is a call to action for all of Medway- to be inspired by the arts and by their neighbours, to showcase local creativeness, collaborate on a wider scale, and to take over the town, painting it in a fun, crazy and exciting new light.
‘Paint the Town’ is passionate about creating a festival for Medway and about Medway. We hope the touring theatre shows will inspire local audiences, that local performance opportunities will showcase the creativity of the region, that training and volunteer options will help local people develop new skills, and that all the activity will encourage the community to unite and celebrate where they live.
The Collaborative Touring Network is a partnership between Battersea Arts Centre and 8 producing teams based in Darlington, Gloucester, Hull, Medway, Peterborough, Thanet, Torbay and Wigan. Coming together with the joint aim of inspiring an entirely new generation of theatre-goers, the Collaborative Touring Network will navigate its way across the country to bring inspiring performance to audiences.
The network will work collaboratively to support artists locally and deliver bi-annual festivals of high-quality touring work, homegrown talent, music, workshops, feasts, and develop a model of year round creative activity.
From Autumn 2016 until Spring 2019, each producing team will deliver bi-annual festivals of high quality touring work, alongside homegrown talent, workshops, feasts, music and discussion. The CTN festivals challenge traditional touring models that often exclude areas without an existing infrastructure for theatre and performance. Over the past three years of the CTN project, festivals have seen shows such as The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Ballad of the Burning Star and Tourettes Hero’s Backstage In Biscuitland being performed in community centres, schools, libraries, barns and a range of other spaces embedded in the community. Over the next three years, each festival will feature three touring shows selected by the network. With touring artists staying in residence for a week in each touring location and delivering a wide programme of performances, workshops, artist-artist exchange, open rehearsals and scratch performances.
The Collaborative Touring Network is supported by Arts Council England , Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and Unlimited Impact.
About the festival partners
Battersea Arts Centre offers opportunities for people of all generations to develop their creativity. Brand new shows are invented and performed here, sometimes taking over the whole building. Young people come to Battersea Arts Centre to develop their creativity, confidence and enterprising Ideas, children and adults can play together and we host monthly tea dances, welcoming in local people of all ages. Open all year round, we make great food every day in the Scratch Bar and prepare huge banquets for all the weddings, parties and conferences we host. For those who can’t make it to Battersea, we take out our shows and projects to Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
“Britain’s most influential theatre” The Guardian
The Collaborative Touring Network is part of Battersea Arts Centre’s Touring project. Co-productions that develop through Battersea Arts Centre’s Scratch process can go on to become part of the touring programme. BAC touring enables audiences far beyond Battersea to share in a discovery of tomorrow’s theatre. The programme launched in August 2011 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, since then Battersea Arts Centre has toured work all over the world; from Latitude Festival and The Southbank Centre in the UK, to China, New Zealand and New York City Internationally.
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £630 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. We make grants of £30 – £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. We also operate a £21 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.
Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making trust which has been supporting charities across the UK for over 50 years. From small community groups to large national institutions, our aim is to support organisations that have effective solutions to helping those most in need. The Foundation supports a broad range of organisations and activities that share a commitment to making a positive impact to the lives of the communities in which they work, and that are driven by a desire to achieve excellence.