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Major new arts project announced for Torbay

Major new Torbay arts project to go ahead after Ambition for Excellence grant from Arts Council England

Today, Arts Council England announced the award of one of the first ‘Ambition for Excellence’ grants to arts producer Situations to develop ‘The Tale’, a major new arts project which will take place in Torbay in 2017.

The Tale will be a story told through public artworks, sound and theatre performances across the landscape of Torbay over nine days in 2017. Bringing their distinctive approach to producing arts projects through collaboration to Torbay, Situations will work closely with local partners to develop The Tale over the next eighteen months.

Artists, musicians, theatre-makers and performers will be commissioned by Situations to produce new artworks, events and participatory projects inspired by a new text authored by writer and broadcaster Philip Hoare in response to the landscape, towns, histories, people and unique geological heritage of Torbay.

The Tale has been shaped over the past two years through conversations with partners in Torbay and will the first project of its type to combine the format of an arts festival and site-specific artworks with storytelling. The project will commence development in January 2016 with participating artists and projects announced later in the year.

The Tale will make a significant contribution to the delivery of Torbay’s Cultural Strategy, led by Kate Farmery, Executive Director of the new Culture Board. Kate Farmery said: “Successful creative places always focus on their cultural distinctiveness and this project invites residents and visitors alike to discover and celebrate what is unique about Torbay’s incredible landscape. The Culture Board will work with Situations to ensure The Tale helps put Torbay on the map as a major cultural centre.”

Ambition for Excellence is a new programme aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England. The fund aims to realise significant impact on the growth of an ambitious international-facing UK arts infrastructure especially outside London.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: “We are very pleased that one of the first exciting Ambition for Excellence projects across England is being supported here in the south west. Situations is an innovative and exciting organisation with a unique and pioneering approach to contemporary visual arts. They deliver exceptional projects of scale and ambition engaging new and different audiences and we look forward to seeing how this project develops artists’ skills in working in the public space, at the same time as supporting the regeneration of Torbay.”

Claire Doherty, Director, Situations said: “The Tale represents an opportunity for Situations to take our most significant step yet into cross-artform producing in the public realm. Torbay has been an extraordinary place in which to develop this brave new idea over the past two years and we can’t wait to get started on growing something very special with our partners in Torbay.”



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