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Issue 338 – New creative arts strategy gathers pace

A SECOND arts forum has gathered ideas from local people, which will now be put forward to help create a new arts strategy for Frome. The event, which was held on Saturday 15th October, generated popular support.

The aim of the project is to bring together artists, administrators, and audiences and combine their ideas into a strategy to boost the town’s unique artistic character, particularly in the face of drastic funding cuts which have affected the town’s arts organisations this year.
The discussions started at the Frome Festival debate in July, and more ideas were gathered at the second meeting, which was hosted by the Merlin Theatre. The discussions have been organised by creativeFrome, who hope to develop the strategy in collaboration with the town council.
Alex Webb, chair of creativeFrome, said, “The purpose of the forum was to generate ideas and suggestions and proposals that will go into a comprehensive arts strategy for Frome. We had some very good ideas come through. We had about 50 attendees and that was a very mixed audience in terms of arts practitioners, arts administrators, arts supporters – a good cross section which was very encouraging.
“We organised the event in terms of what we called five hub conversations, that people could dip in and out of with their ideas.”
The five key areas addressed a celebration of the arts and creative offer of the town; how to encourage collaboration between venues and practitioners; how to increase engagement of the town’s arts (with particular but not exclusive regard to young people), how to promote the arts; and funding.
Alex said, “The discussions are in the process of being collated now, and they will go out to everybody on our distribution list, Facebook and twitter, and the Frome Creative Network. The next major development is the formation of a strategy group, the people who are going to sit down and put this strategy together. For that we’re looking for a core group of half a dozen people or so, and then others who dip in and out when there are particular things they can contribute to. We hope to have a draft strategy ready by March next year.”

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