Introducing Camilla, Our New Creative Projects Administrator!

Hey! My name is Camilla, I have recently started at Creative Arts East as the Creative Projects Administrator. I will be providing administrative support to the Kickstart East Anglia programme and Our Day Out. This will involve working alongside fellow colleagues at Creative Arts East and Festival Bridge, in particular collaborating with the Kickstart Community Administrator at Festival Bridge to develop and maintain the Kickstart training and peer learning network.

I have recently attended my first Our Day Out sessions in Wells-Next-The-Sea and Hunstanton. Our Day Out is a dementia inclusive set of creative workshops for all older people led by professional artists. This month, we’ve been working with artists Felicity and Caroline from Norwich University of the Arts, who have nurtured the artistic interests of the attendees against a backdrop of jazz music, working with fabrics to create a collage – not forgetting the tea and cake too! The fabric collages the participants created were fabulous. Each person I spoke to had their own unique way of interpreting the music and fabric collage composition. The result was a fantastic array of creations. The flow of the session cavorted between chatter and laughter in one corner, to deep concentration in another. Overall, it was an incredibly rich and rewarding experience for all!

Felicity and Caroline have also created video featuring the activities we have been carrying out at the most recent Our Day Out sessions which you can watch below.

I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the creative projects that Creative Arts East provides. In particular, having the opportunity to be more creative myself by learning how to do the technical aspects of videos, learning more about marketing and including some of my photography in my creative writing blogs for Our Day Out. It’s exciting to be able to include some of my creative interests, such as writing and photography on Creative Arts East’s website. I’m also looking forward to working with Jack from Festival Bridge on the Kickstart network and being involved with other young people who have the same interests as I do, especially anything to do with music, which is one of my passions. I believe the arts is an incredibly important part of our lives and enhances each one of us, so I feel very grateful to be a part of this amazing organisation and to see how it impacts and shapes people’s lives. I’m very excited for my time at Creative Arts East!

I’ll be posting regular blogs in the coming months so please keep an eye out for more from me soon!

Take care!

Camilla

CAE MOVES HOUSE!

Cultural Hub Grows at the National Centre for Writing as Award-Winning Rural Arts Company Moves in to Dragon Hall

 

Already partners in a regional and national scheme to bring arts and culture to rural communities, Creative Arts East (CAE) and National Centre for Writing (NCW) announce their plan to share work space at NCW’s home, Dragon Hall, in the heart of Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. Responding to the difficulties brought about by COVID-19 and in the spirit of collaboration between charitable arts organisations providing vital work to communities across the East of England, CAE will be taking up residence alongside the NCW at Dragon Hall later this month.

Originating as a Merchant’s trading hall in the 15th century, Dragon Hall is now home to NCW as an international centre of excellence for creative writing and literary translation. It is delighted to expand its reputation as a cultural hub for the arts by welcoming CAE into the venue and offering office space to an organisation facing challenges due to the pandemic. As well as providing crucial accommodation support to CAE and enabling them to continue their fantastic work in the region, it is hoped the new arrangement will provide opportunities for even closer collaboration between the two organisations, with the aim of developing new creative experiences for communities to enjoy when restrictions lift.

Chris Gribble, chief executive of NCW, said:

‘We’re delighted to offer CAE a home and base at Dragon Hall: the work they do with and for the communities of our region is vital. We saw the chance to help them protect their ability and capacity to improve the lives of those they work with while some of our spaces are underused due to the pandemic and are delighted that they felt the same. At the same time the arrangement gives us the chance to think about how we might collaborate on more projects in the future, offering important access to cultural opportunities to people in our region during and after the current crisis.’

 

CAE is an arts and community development charity committed to bringing the very best arts and cultural activities to rural and/or under-engaged audiences across Norfolk, Suffolk and the wider eastern region.

NCW was established to provide a physical place for Norwich’s status as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. It creates writing, reading and translation opportunities for community groups across the city as well as hosting writers from all over the world through its year-round programme of festivals and events. This work has moved online for much of the last 12 months and the organisation looks forward to opening as soon as possible to bring audiences back to the much-loved venue.

Emerging from a conversation between the two organisations’ CEOs during their participation in the Collaboration: Place: Change leadership development programme for Norfolk and Suffolk, the idea of pooling resources in response to COVID-19 then blossomed into a plan that benefited both partners. The CAE team officially take up residency within Dragon Hall this month, although staff continue to work full-time from home while lockdown restrictions apply.

Natalie Jode, executive director of Creative Arts East, said:

‘When the pandemic hit most public and private funding streams were closed and repurposed for emergency aid. This has been, and continues to be, an essential lifeline for the sector but also poses a real long-term threat for project-funded arts organisations like ours.

‘Project funding contributes essential income to cover salaries and overheads at CAE, and it is our staff who form the bricks and mortar or our organisation; we simply cannot achieve our charitable aims without their energy and expertise. In order to reduce operational overheads, secure jobs, and support our organisational future we took the difficult decision to leave our long-term office-based in Wymondham and move to an entirely remote approach. However, thanks to the generosity and friendship shown by the Board and staff at NCW we have a safe haven and some operational continuity during this period of transition, which we are hugely grateful for.

‘This pandemic has demonstrated just how important it is to work together and at CAE we are committed to supporting our partners across the sector to weather this storm; it feels very emotional and reassuring to know that there is an offer of support there for us too. We have a lot to be thankful for and to progress for the future; myself and all the team at CAE look forward to doing so alongside our new roommates and wish to say a public word of thanks to Chris and all the team at National Centre for Writing.’

 

NCW and CAE are already partners on Inn Crowd; a unique national arts project which supports the touring of live literature, performance poetry and new writing to rural pubs, reinforcing the pub as a central, vibrant part of community life. Both organisations are excited at the prospect of ‘hitting the ground running’ when normal practise can resume and for the potential for further creative collaboration on new projects which will benefit the local sector, audiences and communities across the region.

New Touring Arts to Libraries Resources for Artists and Libraries! 

We have come to the end of our Arts Council England enquiry into south east libraries touring, and with the support of artists and libraries from across the south east and beyond, we have gathered a great deal of information about the current shape of libraries touring in the region. We have discovered different approaches to programming arts in library spaces from community polls to creative arts partnerships and adventurous arts selection, each approach providing new experiences for library audiences.

We are very grateful to all library service staff across the south east who engaged with our enquiry, whether that’s through completing our survey, talking us about their experience promoting touring arts events, or taking part in our reference group. This group guided the enquiry and ensured that all learning and sharing considered the unique library perspective. We heard from 21 out of the 26 south east library services and from over 100 different members of library staff, from senior managers to front line assistants and volunteers. We also spoke to many artists practising different art forms.

Using all of the information gathered, the knowledge and experience from our generous collaborators and our own 25 years’ worth of experience as a rural touring organisation, we’ve put together two handy guides to libraries touring: one for libraries looking to host touring work, and one for artists looking to tour to libraries.

Resource Links

If you work in a library then please do download our libraries resource Hosting Touring Arts Events – The Really Useful Guide For People Working In Libraries. Whether you’re a library assistant, manager, community librarian, volunteer, or anyone working with programming touring arts in libraries or hosting shows in your library space, we hope you find it helpful.

If you would like a printed version for yourself or your library service, please drop us a line.  Just let us know how many you’d like and we will get them to you as soon as possible. We want to share these resources as far and wide as we can – and hopefully provide you with some work-related reading material while lots of things are put on hold!

If you are an artist or touring company representative who is considering touring your work to libraries – whether that’s after the current situation has passed or perhaps you have an exciting digital offer to share now – download the artist’s resource The Really Useful Guide For Artists Touring to Libraries. We hope it gives you an insight into what to expect from taking your work to libraries, or if you are already well-versed in it, that it helps you approach it in a new and enriched way.

We have also created two info templates – one for libraries and one for artists and touring companies – to be used when liaising with each other. Each template contains suggested questions to ask each other and information to share, to ensure that both the artist’s touring experience, and the library’s programming and delivery experience run as smoothly as possible. These resources are based on the useful feedback we received from all the collaborators throughout the enquiry and so we hope they cover all the important areas which arise from booking through to evaluation, where libraries’ and artists’ worlds collide!

We would like to thank you all again if you have engaged with our enquiry and helped us to put these resources together. We are reporting back to Arts Council England with our enquiry findings and we hope our recommendations will support the future development of the south east libraries touring offer.

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!