Arts Taunton Website

New Website to Inspire, Influence and Include!

Launching a new website is no mean undertaking. There has to be a real need for a charity to divert funds from charitable activities. We hope that when you visit the site you will see how it will help drive the charity and our many shared aspirations forward.

The projects we are currently working on are beginning to gain great momentum and it feels as if all the hard work of the past few years is beginning to come together in a really positive way. Our new website gives us the platform to share news with you, and more importantly, gives you somewhere to view possibilities as they arise, share your involvement and promote your association: a space where we can come together to build on the vision.

Exciting projects such as the newly branded Tyca Youth Festival offer collaborative opportunities and by joining forces we can create something very special for the people of our town.


The Youth Festival came about as a result of the research we undertook to inform the Cultural Strategy. The young people in our society told us loud and clear that they felt they had no platform of their own, something they could influence and take ownership of. This is a big message to take on board. Please visit the Tyca tab on the website and see how our community has responded to that wish.

We have a young Tyca Taskforce, made up of people of Taunton beneath the age of 26, who have been working with us since late 2018. And we have themed the new festival for 2019 ‘BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS’ – a fantastic aspiration and a nod to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.If you are 25 or under a nd would like a say in what happens and how we get the word out, please email us at or message us through our Facebook page. We will get right back to you!

Arts Map of Taunton

There is a new section on the site which has a map of creative activities and the contact details of the organisers. We have a lot of them listed now but I would wager that there are even more we are yet to discover. If you know of any not mentioned, please let us know and we will add them.

The site will continue to grow and develop as Arts Taunton does, and we hope to provide a vibrant platform to showcase progress on our shared aspiration, that of making Somerset’s County Town a vibrant, more attractive place in which to live, work and visit.

Pam Knight, 

Taunton Deane Business Awards

Creative Industries Award Winner 2019

Arts Taunton once again sponsored the Taunton Deane Business Awards Creative Industry Award this year. Our shortlist gave us three finalists: Rocket and Bird, Centre for Young Musicians Taunton and John Packer Musical Instruments.

Rachel Parvin of Centre for Young Musicians Taunton receiving the award from Jonathan Langdon, Trustee and Secretary of Arts Taunton

Rachel Parvin of Centre for Young Musicians Taunton receiving the award from Jonathan Langdon, Trustee and Secretary of Arts Taunton

These very different applications all had great merit, each bringing something unique to the Creative Industries. The winner of this award was chosen as they brought something very exceptional to our county town, making Taunton the only location in the UK which is not a city to boast such an inclusive and world-class arts facility.

Arts Taunton Trustee Jonathan Langdon handed the award to our worthy winner  – the  Centre for Young Musicians Taunton (CYMT).

Rachel Parvin, receiving the award on behalf of the Centre told us: “I am delighted CYMT won the Creative Industries category because it is such good news for the Centre and Guildhall School. I was so surprised but very grateful for the Centre to have the recognition it deserves and the award will go a long way to helping our development.”

CYMT is a division of Guildhall School of Music & Drama. It is open to all committed young musicians aged 5–18. Students can perform regularly in any musical style, and the centre supports all students with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. There is a wide variety of ensembles and lessons available, and all classes are taught by a high-quality team of dedicated and enthusiastic tutors. The website is:

Rachel added: “We are also pleased to announce that CYMT is partnering with Arts Taunton for the Tyca Festival. We think collaboration is exciting and is vital for the arts to blossom and thrive in our community.”

You can read more about the Tyca Festival here:

Tyca Taunton Youth Culture & Arts Logo

We reveal our branding for the festival!

We are over the moon to be able to let you all know that our work with young people, starting with our annual Youth Arts Festival this autumn, is to be called Tyca. It stands for Taunton Youth Culture and Arts.

Click here to view the newsletter in your web browser.


Newsletter Edition 8

Just in advance of our public meeting on 12th February at the Somerset County Cricket Club, we released the PDF version of our February Newsletter.

Click the link below to view the newsletter in your web browser.

February 2019 Public Meeting

The Next Pu2blic Meeting of ArtsTaunton Will Be Held On
Tuesday 12th February at 6.30pm

The County Room, Ground Floor of the Colin Atkinson Pavilion, Somerset County Cricket Club, TA1 1JT

Register now –

Please join us for this important meeting, both to bring you up-to-date with the latest developments and to hear your views on the way forward in 2019:

* Meet Kathryn Davies, our new Director of Development, and hear her plans for ArtsTaunton’s future

* Meet Deborah Baddoo MBE, our new Youth Arts Festival Director, and hear her plans for the launch of our first Youth Festival in the autumn

* Hear Ann Jones on the progress towards a Cultural Plan for Taunton following the hugely successful Taunton Transformed conference at Hestercombe last November

* Learn about the Creative Industry Award ArtsTaunton is sponsoring, and get ahead of the competition by reading the post from Pam Knight here on our website:

* PLUS Put your name and arts organisation in THE HAT if you’d like to be included in our speakers’ Lucky Dip. On the 12th, one or two people will be drawn out of the hat to speak about their latest project or a theme of their own choosing! With an enthusiastic audience of at least 100 delegates, this will be a great opportunity to promote your work! MESSAGE US ON EVENTS@ARTSTAUNTON.CO.UK TO PUT YOUR NAME IN THE HAT

Like all our open meetings, attendance is FREE! But please register so that we can alert the Cricket Club who will also be supplying the refreshments. You can register by simply sending us your name and the organisation you represent (if applicable) to:

Julie O’Donnell, Chair of ArtsTaunton, my fellow Trustees and I look forward to welcoming you on 12th February.

Best wishes, Kit Chapman MBE

Creative Industries Award

Creative Industries Award is now open for entries

Application entries for Taunton Deane Business Awards Creative Industry Award are now live!

For the third year running ArtsTaunton have sponsored this prestigious award and encourage all creative industries in Taunton Deane to considering entering.

ArtsTaunton commit to this award annually because we firmly believe that the creative industries deserve to be recognised as huge contributors to the local economy.

This sector, more than any other has the opportunity to impact on the residents of this area in a meaningful and rich way, as well as holding their own as businesses which bring wealth and culture into the area.

The award is open to applicants from commercial, educational, and voluntary organisations that have creative arts at their core. This means that you either promote creative arts or feature creative arts as an intrinsic part of the vision or business model.

Last year we celebrated Fuse Performance winning the award, with both Go Create and Busy Lizzie Arts and Literacy being solid finalists.

All entries to the award clearly demonstrated what a difference it makes having commitment and drive; the impact they collectively bring to the area is quite phenomenal.

Applications for entering the awards close on 29 March at 5 pm.

We wish all entrants the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating your success with you.

For more details visit

Arts Taunton Team

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.

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.”