Guardian live chat: New model of touring

17th November 2011

English Touring Opera’s General Director, James Conway will take part in a live chat on the Guardian’s website tomorrow, Friday 18th November at 12:00 noon.

He’ll be chatting live with other touring companies and Guardian readers about touring successes, future challenges and how to reach out to audiences across the country.

To join in the conversation, simply leave your questions, comments and ideas on the Guardian’s website: www.guardian.co.uk/live-chat

Here is a brief introduction about the live chat from the Guardian’s website:

According to the Arts Council England plan for 2012-15, the main aims of the touring investment are not only to provide “better access to high quality work for people in places in England which rely on touring” but also to ensure that more high quality work can reach areas and audiences with the least engagement.

It’s a step in the right direction and one that will go some way to safeguarding a decent amount of touring shows, performances and exhibitions up and down the country. But with cuts so widely felt over the past year, local venues – both under funded and under attended – will also be relying on visiting companies to fill their schedules. Ensuring touring outfits are properly supported is vital.

The ACE investment is still a scaled-back figure on a scaled-back overall budget. To tap into the programme pot, not to mention plug any gaps that are left over, organisations will have to prove they can do more with less. But touring companies are used to creating magic, Mary Poppins style, from the bottom of a bag. Some of the most innovative and engaging art of recent years has taken place on the road.

With that in mind, join us and our panel of experts on Friday 18 November at noon to explore the new touring frontier. We’ll be looking at what is and isn’t working in the current system, what touring means in a digital age and which tools and theories of outreach might ensure the arts still deliver high quality work to the least-engaged areas and audiences in the UK.

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