Touring arts to continue as Dorset charity Artsreach receives £41,000 funding

artsreachTHE touring arts charity Artsreach will receive £41,947 from Dorset Council over the next three years, securing the future of rural touring for local communities for the next three years.

The charity’s bid to the council’s new Organisational Revenue Support Fund was successful. This replaces all historic funding agreements to cultural organisations, originally awarded by former district councils.

Artsreach co-director Yvonne Gallimore said: “The continued support of Dorset Council is invaluable in enabling us continue to programme our much loved variety of quality live performances, reaching out to the heart of rural communities across the county.

“Our volunteer promoters work tirelessly to make these events happen all year round, and this funding recognises both the work they do, and the quality of the work Artsreach tours, and has toured over the last thirty years.”

Since 1990 Artsreach has been dedicated to providing people living in rural Dorset with access to professional live performances and creative arts projects in rural venues and communities, at affordable and accessible prices.

Its performance programme runs through a network of roughly 50 volunteer promoting groups and together the scheme coordinates about 150 high quality professional events every year, usually in village halls and often in rurally isolated communities right across rural Dorset.

The confirmation of this grant funding will ensure that the scheme is able to continue to bring professional live performances and creative arts projects to rural venues right across Dorset, in turn helping to nurture strong, healthy communities.

The Artsreach programme also plays a key role in generating much needed income for vital community assets such a village halls, with over £33,000 retained by rural communities through Artsreach activity in 2019/20.

Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Customer Services and Communities said: “I’m delighted Dorset Council will continue to support Artsreach – I know the work of the organisation is greatly appreciated and helps bring many great performances and events into our rural communities.

 “As a council we’re committed to supporting Dorset’s cultural and community organisations, despite increasing pressures on our budgets, as we know they play such a key part in the health, wellbeing and learning of so many people.”

When asked what Artsreach means to them, audience members said “Artsreach brings entertainment to places that would otherwise have little or nothing of the arts and is especially valuable for those without transport”… “Artsreach provides a vital lift to community life”.

To find out more about Artsreach and its past and present programme, visit www.artsreach.co.uk

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