A blog from our Executive Director

Dear reader,

I hope this finds you safe, well and weathering the storm.

I’d like to reflect on the last few months here at Creative Arts East and discuss the future for our organisation as it stands today.

Since March 20th our team of 12 have been working from home. We have been busy repurposing our social impact projects to make a  contribution to the COVID-19 emergency relief effort locally and rebudgeting to ensure we can cover the costs of event subsidy across the remainder of the year, as and when communities feel safe and able to open their village hall doors to artists and audiences again.

Today our work includes:

– Creative Wellbeing Postal Pack production

– Commission of associated online workshops

– Keeping in touch phone calls for vulnerable people across parts of Norfolk

– Artists in Residence in two rural pubs

– Online training for rural touring promoters across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk

– Virtual Community Screenings

– Cultural education resource creation for children and young people

– Design of an enquiry into Youth Leadership in the arts

– Design of an event management online learning module for libraries

I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to our existing funders, including local authorities, who have stood by the organisation and enabled us to be flexible and innovative with the investment they provide. In particular, I’d like to say a special thank you to Esmee Fairbairn, the National Lottery Fund via BFI Film Audience Network and South Norfolk District Council who have provided additional emergency investment to help us plug the funding gap for the next 6-12 months. With this generous support, internal savings and a period of staggered furlough throughout May-July, I am pleased to say our organisation is secure until April 2021.

However, unfortunately the picture for April onwards is not as complete. With many funding streams currently closed and the Culture Secretary’s incredible Rescue Package seemingly ring-fenced for organisations facing financial difficulties in this year only, we are forecasting a significant drop in essential core funding which underpins the infrastructure of our whole organisation. It really has never been more critical that strategic conversations about, and potential solutions to, the COVID-19 emergency take into account the 2021-22 financial period.  Nevertheless, our team and Board are working hard to change the outlook – fundraising for new projects where opportunities arise and considering new ways of doing what we do with and for rural communities. We are also proud to be working alongside sector colleagues in the design and development of a new 5-point culture recovery and renewal plan for Norfolk and Suffolk. Thank you to our friends and peers across the region for the tireless efforts and energies that they are giving to secure the future of the sector for the years to come.

You can read more about the plan and add your signature in support here:  http://www.cultureunited.org.uk

Finally, I must extend deep thanks and eternal gratitude to the talented and dedicated people who make up the staff and trustees of Creative Arts East; their compassion and creativity is truly inspirational and motivating and I am privileged to work among them. With their passion and determination I feel sure that over the next few months we will find a way to make all the necessary ends meet for the next financial year and if you would like to help us achieve that please do consider making a donation of any size here.

As the country begins to return to something of a new normal, we will be working with communities and sector partners to design and deliver a range of exciting initiatives which can help to build confidence, wellbeing and happiness across the region. Please keep watching this blog space, our social media feed and newsletter for details.

I look forward to seeing you in person again soon.

Best wishes,

Natalie

Natalie Jode, Executive Director

Coronavirus Outbreak – Helpful Resources

As we all await developments about the Coronavirus situation and subsequent lockdown in the UK, we are trying to find new ways of engaging creatively with all of our stakeholders across the Eastern region, including workshop participants, promoters and audience members, whilst we cannot deliver our usual activities and events in person.

Take a look below to find out about what we’re up to at the moment and how you can get involved. We’ve also compiled a list of funding streams for artists and organisations that we’ve come across from the arts and cultural sector, charity sector, and from our home county of Norfolk. There will certainly be lots more than what we’ve gathered, so do keep a look out.

 

The Creative Arts East Offer

Virtual community cinema: We have developed an idea to help continue to connect our promoters and their audiences with film, whilst their regular screenings are on hold for the time being. We will be hosting a virtual cinema screening and inviting audiences to watch from their own homes., and also launching a ‘Community Critics’ network for comments and reviews. More details on this to come soon!

Keeping connected with Our Day Out participants: We are continuing to speak to our participants on the phone regularly to check in on their wellbeing during this time, and are working on innovative ways to continue to engage them in creative activity and strengthen social connections between them.

Sharing live performance digitally: Our Rural Touring team and Communications team are investigating how we might support our promoters and audiences to continue to engage in fantastic professional performance from their homes. We also want to support artists to produce and deliver content for this, and will release more details soon.

 

Funding Support for the Arts & Charity Sectors

Arts Council England’s Emergency Measures and Funding: Details of emergency funding available for freelancers, NPOs and other arts and cultural organisations.

Norfolk Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Community Response Fund: To help Norfolk-based charities and community projects take steps to adapt or expand their services during this time.

Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund: The British Film Institute and The Film and TV Charity have established a new relief fund supported by a £1m donation from Netflix.

Norwich and Norfolk Artists’ Hardship Fund: A crowdfunder set up by Norwich-based theatre company Curious Directive, where people can donate to support local artists.

Disability Arts Online Announces Commissions for Disabled Artists: New commission pot for disabled artists working across any art form.

There are also funding channels and support lines available through local county and district councils, so remember to visit their websites as well.

 

Resources from the Arts & Cultural Sector

Below are just a few resources our team have seen online that we’re using whilst working from home. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many organisations out there compiling thorough lists of creative resources, networks and ideas you can get involved in whilst isolating, social distancing and/or working from home.

Voluntary Arts have launched the Creative Network – a daily online meeting on Zoom from 9.30-10.30 in which anyone working in arts, culture and creativity can use to speak to one another, share tips about working from home, and generally feel connected. Find out more here.

64 Million Artists have also created the Create to Connect initiative – two weeks of daily creative, accessible challenges to get people connecting and creating. Some of our friends at other organisations are taking part in this with their colleagues and comparing creations! Find out more here.

Arts Professional have a new section on their website called CovidCulture, where they are compiling current news on how the arts and cultural sector are responding to the crisis under topics such as Health and Wellbeing, Campaigns and Advocacy, and Money Matters. Take a look here.

Arts Council England and BBC Arts have launched the Culture In Quarantine initiative as a way to continue to get people with arts and culture from home. Content will include new plays by award-winning playwrights, virtual festivals, and exhibition access. More details are still to be announced, but you can read an early article here.

Chatterpack have created a fantastic resource page filled with free online resources that people can get involved in whilst isolating and social distancing. These include virtual tours of museums and art galleries around the world, free online courses and much more. View them here.

 

Health & Wellbeing Resources

With the majority of the population now working from home wherever possible, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has produced a guide with advice and tips as to how we can all safeguard our mental health whilst working from home. Read the guidance here.

Arts Professional have also published a brilliant article on why self-care is so important during a crisis like this one, and it includes some really useful strategies for taking care of your wellbeing. Take a look here.

 

From all of us here at Creative Arts East, we hope everyone is keeping as safe and well as possible. We’ll still be here when normality returns, and we look forward to getting back up and running with ‘business as usual’. In the meantime, connect with our digital offers if you’re able to, and find little ways to keep connecting with arts, culture and creativity however and whenever you can.

Developing our Inclusive Credentials

Here at Creative Arts East, we have always been concerned with combating barriers to participation in the arts, and though the majority of our work tends to focus around rural communities and the associated barriers that those community members might have to arts engagement, an inclusive ethos overall is an important value for CAE. However, there is always more that can be done.

Over the last few months, we’ve started to think more about how we can ensure that all of our rural touring events and community cinema screenings are open and accessible to all those who might want to attend them, regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, health or disability. Our audience demographic may not alter through doing this, but we are committed to helping our promoters open the doors of their village halls as wide as possible.

We started off by making some mini inclusivity pledges within our team – small actions we could either do within our roles or the team to try and be more inclusive. Here are some we came up with:

Our Mini Inclusivity Pledges

Natalie: I pledge to consider accessibility of my PowerPoint Presentations – can the primary points be communicated if you can’t hear clearly? Just having images on the Powerpoint look lovely but are not that accessible if you can’t hear?

Julie: I pledge to tailor my language when making Our Day Out phonecalls to reflect the fact that often they’re not feeling 100% – try a different variation of “How are you?”

 Abbie: I pledge to better prepare for when Julie makes the Our Day Out calls (Abbie’s phone is second in the call queue) and answer in an appropriate manner when the participants call back through.

Sophie: I pledge to look into what we would need to do/where we would go to if anyone contacted us and needed marketing information in a different format (e.g. large print, text-to-speech)

Karen: I pledge to make sure we are always asking artists both on forms and in person if we can do anything to make their visit easier.

Alice: I pledge to develop accessibility awareness within CAE Screen by including an accessibility statement in the Promoter Handbook.

Zoe: I pledge to make my social media posts as accessible as possible – flyers can’t be read by screen readers so any images I attach should always be supporting rather than necessary.

Jo: I pledge to think more about people coming for meetings in our office – are they okay with stairs? Let’s ask if people have any accessibility requirements before they visit.

At our last Live Performance Promoters Day, we asked our #RuralTouring promoters to think about making their own inclusivity pledges, and they came up with some brilliant ideas ranging from checking their village hall hearing loop still functions and re-painting their disabled parking bay, to making sure all volunteers were dementia-trained and looking into the concept of relaxed performances.

We’ll be doing lots more when it comes to developing our inclusivity, accessibility and diversity over the coming months, including potentially partnering with some influential organisations in this field. So watch this space, and in the meantime why not think about making your own inclusivity pledge?

Village Halls Week: A Rural Touring Legacy Story

From 22nd to 28th January, we’re celebrating Village Halls Week! This is an initiative run by ACRE (Action for Communities in Rural England) to acknowledge village halls and other community buildings which exist at the heart of England’s rural communities. The whole of the NRTF (National Rural Touring Forum, of which we are a member) have been getting involved.

For us here at Creative Arts East, village halls are particularly important as they make up such a large part of our rural touring network and community cinema scheme. We work with over 100 different voluntary promoting groups each year, many of whom sit on village hall committees and host fantastic arts and cultural events in village halls and community centres. These events are such a vital part of the community, and facilitating rural access to some truly wonderful film screenings and live performances is something we’re incredibly passionate about.

Earlier this month, we were contacted by one of our lovely voluntary promoters, Jane Leitch from Freckenham Village Hall. She sent us an article written by her 16 year old nephew Rowan, all about his experience watching Farnham Maltings’ show Brilliance in Freckenham last November. We absolutely loved reading it, and the whole family was happy for it to be shared. We think it really emphasises the impact of rural touring, and how the legacy of going to a local village hall to see a fantastic professional theatre show really is a family affair.

My name is Rowan Black I’ve been attending performances at Freckenham village hall for more than a decade now. And from a young age have been spell bound by the unique art of the theatre especially the impact of performances in such an intimate performance space. This interest has blossomed into a passion for drama and I am now studying A level drama.

Brilliance was nothing short of brilliant. With well thought out minimalistic staging brought alive by seeing it in its intended setting (a village hall).The live music which was played in transitions through out the performance was incredibly effective in creating and heightening the emotions presented with in the performance and being able to see the musicians made myself as an audience member feel like I was part of the story.  Other notable techniques used was the outstanding setting of the seen involved a sack of soil and some toy buildings which though simplistic was extremely efficient at engagingly setting the story. The use of lighting was also very useful for presenting the day and night cycle. The highly charged final scenes had a the audience on the edge of their seats

In short an outstanding performance and I loved every second of it.

(Rowan Black, aged 16)

 

Freckenham Village Hall has been a member of our scheme since 2001, and over this time Jane has programmed a wide variety of performances for her local community, both through CAE and independently. Her nephew Rowan has been going to these events from a young age, and some of his first experiences of live theatre have been Creative Arts East-support rural touring shows. Jane works so hard to give back to her community, and Rowan’s review of Brilliance is a testament to her incredible efforts, as well as to the power of great theatre.

If this has inspired you to support your local village hall or community hub, check out our website to see what’s happening near you!

CAE Secures First Corporate Partnership with AvantiGas

As you know, Creative Arts East turns 25 this August, and for the last few months our team have been in full anniversary-fundraising-campaign mode! For the countdown to our 25th birthday, we’ve launched a ‘£25k for 25 Years’ fundraising appeal, with the aim to raise £25,000 through public donations and corporate giving. Every penny raised by August 2019 will help us continue to bring the very best arts and cultural activities to rural and/or under-engaged communities in Norfolk, Suffolk and the wider East, in order to increase the health, vitality, skills and aspirations of the rural residents within them.

Every year, we are less able to rely on investment from public funding bodies, and local authorities are squeezed tighter and tighter all the time. We are committed to making sure that the rural communities we serve have equal access to life-changing, high-quality arts experiences, and we have been campaigning hard to raise awareness of our work and encourage charitable donations that will ensure we can continue to thrive, not just survive, for another 25 years and more.

At the East of England finals of the Rural Business Awards back in October 2018, we formed a connection with one of the event sponsors, LPG supplier AvantiGas, who presented us with our award for ‘Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project of the Year’. After discussions with their fantastic and clued-in marketing team, we are delighted to announce that AvantiGas have become our first ever Corporate Partner!

The LPG provider, who supply off-grid homes and businesses, has a strong presence in the East of England and shares our community ethos – aiming to give back to the communities in which they operate. They have described Creative Arts East as “the perfect fit” for their sponsorship support and we were blown away by the commitment their team showed to our cause.

Phoebe Munday, Marketing Executive at AvantiGas, said:

“We’re committed to investing in our community areas and working with organisations that make a big difference to the people that live there. Rural living can be lonely for some people so we’re looking forward to investing in an initiative that brings people together.”

Speaking about the partnership, Natalie Jode, Executive Director at Creative Arts East, commented:

“We are delighted to announce AvantiGas as our first Corporate Partner and welcome them into the Creative Arts East family. Their energy and enthusiasm for our work really shone through and we’re excited to get this partnership started so we can learn from one another over the next year and beyond.”

The partnership comes at the end of another successful year for AvantiGas. Having continued to grow its LPG business – particularly within the domestic sector – it has also seen its cylinder and mains gas offerings flourish in the competitive market. For us here at Creative Arts East, Corporate Investment is a new venture for us but a vital one to ensure that the charity can continue to make a difference, and we’re excited to see this relationship grow over the next year. We’ll be shouting more about our partnership as it develops, so look out for this!

What A Year! Our Highlights of 2018

2018 was a huge year for us here at CAE. We’ve been shouting much louder about the significant and transformative impact the arts can have on rural communities, particularly in terms of health, wellbeing and aspirations, and have been committed as always to demonstrating this throughout all of our work. This culminated in us being crowned ‘Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project of the Year’ at the East of England Regional Finals of the Rural Business Awards, and we’ll be heading to the National Finals in February 2019 to compete against the winners of the other regions. The team have so many other highlights of 2018, and we’ve picked out a few of them to share below!

Our Day Out Celebration Events: One of our favourite parts of running the Spirit of 2012-funded Our Day Out project (participatory music and dance workshops for isolated older people in Norfolk), is when we bring all the groups together to meet up, sing and dance as one. In 2018 we had two fantastic events with our 6 groups: The Big Sing in March with musicians Mary and Kim, and the Sharing Day at Cley Wildlife Centre in October with Glass House Dance and Les Chappell. It’s such a joy to see our participants share in creativity and see just how much they get out of attending the sessions.

Films With Friends: We teamed up with South Norfolk Council and East of England Co-op to deliver the Films With Friends Project – an initiative aimed at making village cinema more accessible for people living with dementia and to raise awareness about the condition. Seven of our South Norfolk cinema groups took part – they received Dementia Friends sessions at their screenings; a ‘how to’ guide and training from academic specialists; and bespoke marketing to increase awareness amongst the wider community that these groups are taking steps to become more dementia friendly.

Take On Me: This was definitely one of the most exciting projects we got involved with last year! We teamed up with award-winning theatre company Dante or Die as they toured their 80s themed show ‘Take On Me’ to leisure centres across the country. We helped them bring it to Alive Oasis in Hunstanton, West Norfolk, and worked with an amazing Local Coordinator Debbie and an outstanding community cast to make the show happen. Our favourite outcome was the life-changing impact the experience had on the community cast, with many telling us how taking part had improved their confidence enormously.

Writers’ Residencies and Commissions with Inn Crowd: Last year, we’ve worked with the National Centre for Writing to commission two writers’ residencies in rural Norfolk pubs, as part of the Inn Crowd project. Inn Crowd supports rural pubs to host live spoken-word inspired performances and to engage different audiences that perhaps wouldn’t normally attend arts events, and reinforces the pub as an important community hub. Acclaimed spoken-word artists Byron Vincent and Luke Wright both spent time in different rural communities in Norfolk in 2018, observing rural life and how the pub functions as part of this. Their observations have formed part of new work, which will be touring pubs in 2019.

Our First Fundraiser: In December, we held our first ever fundraising quiz! We’re aiming to raise £25,000 during our anniversary year to ensure we can continue to make a difference to rural communities for another 25 years, and our Christmas Quiz was the first big event we’ve done to help us reach this target. It was a fantastic night, with friends, family, staff and board members joining in on the fun. Keep an eye on our social media and newsletter for the total amount raised!

So that’s some of our highlights of 2018… what are yours? Were you involved with or did you attend any Creative Arts East-supported projects last year? What were your favourites?

We’re looking forward to an exciting 2019 ahead, so do keep up to date with all of our news, content and upcoming events via our blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and monthly e-newsletter.

It’s Easy Being Green! CAE’S Top Tips for Environmental Sustainability

Earlier this month, we were contacted by Julie’s Bicycle, a leading charity that supports creative organisations to focus on improving their environmental sustainability, to deliver a talk to their staff and members of Arts Council England on the achievements that we’ve made over the last few years. Julie’s Bicycle was established in 2006, and they partner with Arts Council England to deliver their Environmental Programme to ACE’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), of which we are one.

Apparently, we are one of their ‘exemplary’ organisations in terms of the strides we had made in reducing our environmental impact from 2015 to 201. Initially, we were surprised about this – even though we have a huge reach across Norfolk and the wider Eastern region in terms of the events and communities we support, we perhaps underestimated the impact our small team could have!

Our Office Manager Julie (of no relation to Julie’s Bicycle, but a happy coincidence!) is the one that takes care of our environmental reporting and has taken up the mantle to make sure we are adhering to ACE’s NPO reporting criteria and hitting our targets. Because of her hard work, being environmentally friendly has become of huge importance to us at CAE, so we thought we’d pass on some of the top tips that we’ve learnt, which might help other organisations be more environmentally friendly. Some of these are bigger changes, but most are completely free and take almost no time at all!

• Change your lighting to energy-efficient bulbs. When our office was refurbished, we changed to energy-efficient overhead tubing, and also did a big audit of unnecessary electrical appliances in the office. This led to a 20% decrease in electricity consumption.

Set yourself a bin bag target! We’ve managed to reduce our black bin bag waste to less than 1 bag a week between our staff of 10, and this has helped us increase recycling by 24%.

Are your radiators as efficient as they can be? To help feel the full impact when we do have the heating on, we’ve bled our radiators and moved cabinets to clear the space around them. This has helped us achieve a 10% decrease in gas consumption.

Encourage your staff to use public transport more! Think – that meeting in the next major town/city along, could you take the train instead of driving? We have reduced our car mileage and increased our train travel by around 35% by encouraging staff to use the train as much as possible for external meetings. We’re really pleased with this achievement, particularly as our promoters are based in rural, often remote locations.

Reuse, reduce, recycle! We use old coffee grinds as compost, recycle packaging that comes in to the office, and try to use electronic communications instead of paper where we can.

Eco-friendly can mean ethical too. We send old electrical equipment to a free service which recycles and refurbishes it to donate to companies, charities, and families without the budget to buy new equipment, and have also switched to ethical and animal cruelty-free hygiene and cleaning products.

As well as all of this, the ethos of our rural touring programmes is by nature environmentally friendly. By delivering arts events in the heart of rural communities, our promoters are also endorsing environmental sustainability because their audiences are not as reliant on car travel to cities and towns further away to access to these experiences. They can walk often as little as yards down the road to witness some truly great live performances, cinema screenings, and creative workshops, and this is something we’re really proud of.

A Warm Welcome to Our New Team Member!

We’ve got some exciting news! Last week, we welcomed a new team member to the organisation – the wonderful Abbie Line! Abbie has come on board in the new role of Touring Scheme Administrator, and will be helping scheme managers Alice and Karen with both CAE Screen, our community cinema scheme, and Live!, our rural touring live performance scheme.

The whole team here at Creative Arts East are thrilled to have Abbie join us, so it’s time for you to find out a bit more about her!

Firstly, welcome to the team, Abbie! Could you tell us a bit about what you were doing before you started working at Creative Arts East?

Thank you, I’m very excited to be part of the team! I studied in Nottingham where I developed an interest in the museum and heritage sector, and more recently in the arts on a wider scale. While I lived in Nottingham I worked as a Freelance Heritage Assistant, and got involved with lots of great projects in local museums. I also started a networking group called East of England Emerging Museum Professionals when I moved over to Norwich which I really enjoy.

What’s your role here at CAE, and what will it involve?

My role is the Touring Scheme Administrator, which means that I will mainly be supporting the exciting community cinema and live performance schemes Screen, LIVE! and Inn Crowd. I will also have the opportunity to get involved with lots of great events, and build relationships with the wonderful promoters and artists who work with CAE.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role with us?

I am really looking forward to getting to know more about the rural communities in and around Norfolk and Suffolk who work with CAE, and those who get involved with lots of the various projects and schemes. It’s great to see how the events being put on are so beneficial to so many people, and I can’t wait to get involved with helping to make it all happen.

If you had to plan a fun day out for the CAE team, where would you take us and why?

I’m a really foody person, so I would plan a trip to somewhere like Cadbury World or find a baking workshop. Judging by the fact that some of the CAE team bring in things they have made I think that would go down well!

And lastly, tell us a fun or perhaps unexpected fact/hobby about yourself!

I have quite a few hobbies really but I love all things creative. I enjoy experimenting with different art forms so I do a lot of painting, sewing and printmaking at home. I also love history (having studied it at uni) and have a slight obsession with the Tudors!

Thanks Abbie! We hope you enjoyed meeting our newest team member, stay tuned for more blog posts coming up over the next few months!

Take a Peek into the CAE Office!

The sun has been shining all over the Eastern region this week, and here at Creative Arts East we’ve been busy prepping for a busy summer ahead! Lost In Translation Circus will be performing in King’s Lynn this August to celebrate 250 Years of Circus; Glass House Dance and musician Les Chappell will be working with the ‘Our Day Out’ participants to create a movement and sound piece inspired by the Norfolk landscape; and we’ll be holding our first Screen Promoters Day since we relaunched and rebranded our community cinema scheme!

We’ll be talking more about all these exciting projects and events soon, but for now, we’d like to give you a glimpse into what goes on during a normal day at the CAE office!

Our Community Touring Manager Karen and Community Touring Assistant Becky were in Worcester this week for the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) Conference – New Directions 2018. The NRTF is an organisation that works with rural touring schemes to help them develop their work in delivering high-quality arts experiences to rural communities, and the annual conference is a great opportunity for other touring schemes to network with one another, and see some brilliant excerpts of new work that they may want to programme in future. We can’t wait to hear from Karen and Becky about how it all went!

Back in our Wymondham office, the rest of us have been getting on with the day-to-day activities that comprise our roles. Our Marketing Design Officer Sophie has been working on a huge 5-metre long banner to promote Lost In Translation’s circus performances in King’s Lynn this August; Project Assistant Lea has been out and about visiting community groups in Dereham to promote our creative workshops for older people; and our Communications and Content Assistant Zoe has been busy tweeting away as usual, and developing a corporate sponsorship strategy! Businesses who want to support a local charity – come on down!

Since we relaunched our cinema scheme as CAE Screen, our Community Cinema Manager Alice has been preparing a new film menu to be launched at the Screen Promoters Day on 11th July, which will include an exciting selection of suggested film titles for our promoting groups. We don’t shout enough about all the hard work our brilliant Office Manager Julie and Finance Manager Sheila do to keep all things admin, logistics, office management and finance ticking over – this week they’ve been reviewing the Risk Register and working on a new internal appraisal process. Oh, and starting to plan our Christmas celebration for December – that’s how organised they are!

Part of our Executive Director Natalie’s role is to safeguard the future of Creative Arts East through funding and development, and it’s these areas she’s been squirreled away in her office working on lately, fuelled by coffee and cake! We’re also one team member down this week, with our Deputy Director Elly currently enjoying the delights of the South of France (although with the weather we’re having this week, we’re hoping to compare tans!).

We do hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into the goings-on inside the CAE team – and do stay tuned for more blogs this Summer about all of the fantastic arts events we’re delivering in rural communities near you!

Our Pick of This Year’s Oscar Nominations

We’re huge cinema fans here at Creative Arts East, which means we’ve been keeping an eye on the big films of the moment nominated for the most prestigious awards in Hollywood – the 90th Academy Awards. The ceremony, otherwise known as ‘The Oscars’, takes places this Sunday 4th March, so let’s take a look at the some of the nominated films our team have been raving about. You never know, they could be hitting a community cinema screen near you next season!

SophieBest Picture: ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Stunning visuals of rural Italy, a fantastic soundtrack and a real tale of true romance! I found this film mesmerising and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it at the cinema. Your heart will ache and break for these characters, you can’t not see this film!

 

ZoeBest Director: Paul Thomas Anderson for ‘Phantom Thread’

Part gothic romance, part crime and part period drama, this is a film that resists categorisation. It’s an exquisitely crafted, Hitchcockian character study, in which director Paul Thomas Anderson transports us into the decadent and glamorous world of 1950s haute couture. Allow yourself to be taken in by the fairy-tale enchantment, but watch out for something darker lurking beneath the service.

 

Sheila

Best Animated Feature: ‘Ferdinand’

Ferdinand is a gripping, big-hearted adventure that my children loved, and yet has jokes for the parents too. It’s easy watching fun with a simple storyline, and my girls liked it so much that they came out wanting a pet bull!

 

Karen

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins in ‘The Shape of Water’

The film has stunning visuals and cinematography throughout, but I was most struck by Sally Hawkins’ portrayal of Elisa. Her character is mute and as a result is often over-looked.  The emotion portrayed without dialogue, through not only expression and manner, but also physicality stayed with me and captured my interest. I was instantly captivated by her. 

 

LeaBest Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner was a visual treat! You will be submerged in an expansive cyberpunk cityscape of neon colour and amazing special effects of the future, including massive holographic projections and virtual reality. It perfectly reflects when a new world meets the old – from gritty scenes of a ruined past in the desert to an excitingly new but ominous new technological world lit up in the dark.

 

Check out the full list of nominations here. Let us know which films you’ve been enjoying lately!