Big up for Youth Arts Festival

Big up for Youth Arts Festival

The new team meet to start making Youth Festival plans

Arts Taunton Executive team

From left to right: Martyn Owen, Deborah Baddoo MBE, Kathryn Davies, Kit Chapman MBE

 

The first of our annual series of Youth Arts Festivals to take place in Autumn 2019 has taken great leaps forward in staff and funding this week. It will be facilitated by ArtsTaunton but curated by young people for young people.

ArtsTaunton has announced the appointment of Deborah Baddoo as its Youth Arts Festival Director, in charge of bringing together young people to celebrate the whole range of artistic activities they enjoy in and around Taunton. Ms Baddoo is internationally recognised in the field of dance, production and performance, and has organised events and tours nationally and internationally. She received an MBE in 2010 and has lived in Taunton since 1997.

ArtsTaunton has also appointed Kathryn Davies as Director of Development to oversee the development of the charity and raise funds for Taunton and the Arts. As well as being an accomplished pianist and piano teacher for the past 8 years, Ms Davies has an outstanding track record in charity management, fundraising and communications. She returned to her native county of Somerset 10 years ago.

In other good news, we can announce this week that the Festival is also the recipient of generous grants from The Schroder Charity Trust and Taunton Deane Borough Council. This comes on the back of a major £250,000 pledge from The Brownsword Charitable Foundation in September 2018.

This financial support and the arrival of two new members of staff means that ArtsTaunton can look forward to growing the collaborative opportunities for young people and the arts in Somerset’s county town through 2019 and beyond – especially now that Taunton has been designated a Garden Town.

 

Kit Chapman, Founder, Director and Trustee of ArtsTaunton says:

“ArtsTaunton has arrived at a tipping point in its ambition to influence the town’s transformation into a major centre for  arts and culture in South West England. The massive injection of funding we have attracted this year has enabled us to appoint two outstanding professionals in Kathryn Davies and Deborah Baddoo. Together, this dynamic duo will spearhead a very exciting future for Taunton Garden Town.”