A new year, some new ideas, January 2014

This time last year I wrote about how much the company had developed and all the things we were hoping to achieve in 2013.  It was an action-packed, phenomenal year and we’re now looking ahead at another 12 months of exciting projects with wonderful artists.


New for 2014 is our Associate Artists programme.  We have realised, through working with our fab board and advisors, that supporting artists to develop into new ‘markets’ and ways of working isn’t just a means to an end, but for us, it really is an end in itself.  It’s been the case for ages, but sometimes it takes an expert looking in to point out the obvious.  Therefore, we have decided to articulate this specialism more clearly.  Those artists might be what is often termed ‘new and emerging’ or they might be very established, trying something new and honing a different aspect of their artistic portfolio.  This type of work is really exciting as it can definitely amplify the voices of unheard artists and their communities, and it can help to refine methods of working by bringing in norms from different sectors – cross-pollenating, if you will.  Supporting brilliant people to realise their ambitions is a key driver for the Luxi community.


Additionally, we have been working informally with a wonderful business mentor, and 2014 sees a plan to really develop the company, in order to create a water-tight, sustainable business model.  Right now we are small and flexible and that is how we would like to stay so we can be responsive and provide the right support for each artist and project we work on; at the same time, the core business needs strengthening to ensure that we can weather any adverse conditions and to do this, we have found the perfect person to complement our ambitions.  Fingers crossed.  Details will be shared as soon as possible.


All the artists we are working closely with are doing fantastic things right now.  Peter Groom has developed the Moon Dreams project in a really exciting way, which will see a series of performances in forests in Northumberland this coming summer.  Surface Area Dance Theatre will be touring their 2013 sell-out hit, Auricular, to galleries and deaf communities across the country and beyond from autumn, and in the short term, right now The D Project are rehearsing the site-responsive development of their show (currently titled) Celtic Christmas, and we’re sharing it with invited audiences tomorrow.  If all goes well, the new and improved show will be presented to families in a theatrical event next winter.


Jabberwocky Market will happen again in Darlington in both May and October.  The spring event will sit alongside the Darlington Arts Festival, happening in their 3rd weekend, 15th-18th May, featuring 4 key shows, a wonderful launch event, and a series of workshops and talks.  There is a dog, a show in a park, some audience interaction, stories of dementia and teenagers dealing with feeling ashamed, and a beauty queen!  After the summer is over, Jabberwocky Market will again take place over the first weekend of October, and you won’t believe me if I tell you who we have managed to entice to Darlington for that one!  It’s out of this world.


Finally, save the dates 3rd-5th May for the Dales Festival of Art in Leyburn, which we are working on with Richmondshire Council.  The famous Food Festival attracts 10,000 people to the town and we are bringing music and internationally renowned performances to complement artists from around the Dales.