AFTER the disappointment in 2017 when Villages in Action ceased to bring arts events to Devon villages, there is good news that rural touring is back, thanks to Cornwall’s Carn to Cove and major funding from Arts Council England.
Early last year, Villages in Action called a halt to its work with volunteer promoters, bringing world-class music, theatre and dance to rural areas, after losing the majority of its funding. A total of 48 communities regularly organised events through ViA and, while some decided to ‘go it alone’, others felt unable to do so without the support of ViA, which contracted the performers, agreed their fees, supplied publicity material and helped publicise performances.
However, Carn to Cove, which runs a similar scheme in Cornwall, offered to administer and co-ordinate the spring 2018 tours by performers in Devon, in order to retain the network of volunteer promoters and arts activity in the South West.
Other performers appearing in Teignbridge, the South Hams and East, Mid and West Devon in the spring programme include Miracle Theatre, City of Light Theatre, Neil Maya Quartet, Theatre Alibi and the Devon based dancer Crystal Zillwood.
Carn to Cove has won a substantial award from Arts Council England’s (ACE) Strategic Touring Fund to develop its work in communities throughout the South West. The ACE award, for more than £140,000 over two and a half years, will enable Carn to Cove, working with the ViA board, to secure and resource the volunteer network in Devon so that rural communities have access to great art; provide advocacy to local authorities around the social and economic impacts of arts activity; develop new partnerships in Devon and Cornwall, and test new models of working between villages and market and coastal towns.
The award will also support an international programme to present more diverse work of different cultures in the South West and enable the development of new online tools and web presence to improve box office income and therefore the sustainability of tours in rural areas.
Check out Devon Villages in Action events at www.villagesinaction.co.uk
Pictured: Acoustic duo Mambo Jambo will be at Clyst Hidon village hall on Saturday 19th May.