Rise Dance

It’s all happening with TYCA!

We believe our Tyca Festival projects are imperative for the resilience and sustainability of the arts sector and the mental health and well-being of all involved.

Monton Heathfield

Call for Council to stick to its Garden Town promises

Arts Taunton & West Monkton Parish Council call for Somerset West & Taunton to stick to its Garden Town promises.

Cheque from Arts Society Taunton

£250 from The Art Society Taunton

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £250 from The Art Society Taunton.

Art at the Heart grants 2021

Local Arts Communities benefit from Grants

Last year (2020), Arts Taunton, launched a new grant fund scheme called Art at the Heart.

In 2020 two community arts organisations benefitted, Go Create with their Pride in Art initiative and the Bluebird Theatre with the Popera House.

“Both proved to be excellent investments, returning great benefit to the communities they were engaging with, and we couldn’t be more delighted with the continuing results,” said the Charity’s Chair, Tony Laurance.

This year the charity was able to build on the initiative with five lucky groups receiving grants to the total value of £12,000.

The successful community groups all fulfilled the requirements of the grant to bring something new to their communities, which successfully filled a gap in provision.

They were:

  1. The Milverton Trust for their Cultural and Heritage project
  2. Wassail Theatre for the Somerset People’s Theatre, Taunton
  3. Regal Theatre Minehead for diversifying their Forthcoming Attractions Project
  4. Southern Sinfonia for Call the Musician Project
  5. Moorvale Creative CIC for Hear Me Roar project

All projects had to be match funded and be deliverable within a year of receiving the funding.

“The projects are all extremely diverse and we are pleased that this year, with the help of Somerset West and Taunton Council, we were able to increase the value of the grants available,” added Mr Laurance.

Both of last year’s recipients of the Art at the Heart Grants continue to build on their achievements, with Liz Hutchin from Go Create saying:

“We are indebted to Arts Taunton’s Art at the Heart programme, which gave us half of the necessary funds.

“A really positive aspect of this ‘Pride in Art’ project being over time, was how the group’s sense of community strengthened as we have welcomed contacts and input from other LGBTQI+ arts projects.”

Sasha Herriman, representing the Bluebird Theatre told us:

“Arts Taunton part funded this project to bring you The Reduced Ring Cycle and The Musicians of Bremen. The shows are for socially distanced performance, with workshops, and we have been visiting schools and community spaces in Somerset in the beautiful and versatile Popera House theatre.

“We were extremely grateful and very happy to be able to work on this artistic project in these very uncertain times. It’s great to be able to keep live theatre going and create exciting new work for everyone to enjoy safely.”

Tyca festival postponed

Tyca Festival Postponed

Statement from Tony Laurance, Chair of Arts Taunton

We have made the regrettable decision to postpone the Tyca Festival.

This has been extremely difficult, and the decision was not taken lightly. We have been discussing the increasing numbers of pupils who are unable to perform due to rising Covid cases, and the schools have rightly made the decision to give pupils a 10-day break during half term to reduce the rising figures.

In this light we have made the very tough decision to look for new dates in the new year, so our young people do not lose the opportunity to perform and share their talents.

The two exhibitions, will carry on as planned as the work has already been completed in one case, and is forming part of the curriculum in the other.

Since making this announcement we have been sent many messages of sympathy and support for this decision and we are grateful for the sentiment and understanding.

For more details going forward, please visit our dedicated Tyca website at https://tycafestival.co.uk

Tyca Festival 2021

Tyca 2021 Festival Empowers Young People

“2020 was quite a year for the charity Arts Taunton and their TYCA (Taunton Youth Culture & Arts) festival. Thanks to the pandemic the whole festival was switched online, and whilst record numbers attended, the buzz of that live performance is hard to emulate!” said Julie O’Donnell, Trustee of Arts Taunton.

This year the festival is dipping into the experience of last year and has announced 2021’s theme as EMPOWERMENT.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to encourage young people to be bold, embrace life and share their stories through the arts,” said Festival Director, Deborah Baddoo.

The charity is not only asking the young performers to interpret this in their own way, but they have also fed the theme right through the festival organisation, bringing some incredible talent to the local theatre stages and venues. These talented performers include graduates who have left the area to train and returned to share their skills and experience; performers having made it nationally and internationally are now returning to mentor Taunton Deane’s young talent today.

The festival organisers will be offering a platform for a celebration of all things empowering and give our young people an important voice and avenue in which to perform.

Tickets for all performances are now on sale, and all under 18’s can attend free.

Performances encompass spoken word cabarets, a music festival, film festival, dance festival, drama festival and a fashion and art exhibition. A special family show of the Musicians of Bremen will also be performed by the Bluebird Theatre Company in their Popera House. Workshops are also available to attend on stop-frame animation and making music.

All details of how to book are available on the festival website : https://tycafestival.co.uk

Tony Laurance

A word from our new Chair

Firstly, let me say, I am not a Tauntonian!

I visited Taunton frequently about 25 years ago to meet with colleagues across the south west region. I thought, what an attractive town: not too big or too small, flowery, brilliant for access and communications, surrounded by wonderful countryside.

These memories stayed with me when my wife and I were pondering where we might retire.

We came to Taunton and are delighted that we did. But Taunton has not entirely prospered in the intervening period. Like so many towns and cities, the high streets are struggling and the centre hollowing out. Anodyne new developments have sprung up around the town. And not much is going on – no buzz in the evenings of cinema and theatre goers and people eating out. All this has been accentuated by Covid of course.

I joined Arts Taunton because I wanted to help do something about it, to bring life and community back into the town. That’s what the arts can do – draw people in and together, create a sense of place and purpose, give a town a heart. That’s what we want to do through Arts Taunton: give Taunton back its heart.

We will need all your help and support to do it…

Tony  Laurance

Appointed Chair, April 2021

Ian McNeice behind the camera being filmed for Tyca Festival

Arts Taunton get celebrity endorsement

Ian McNeice is the latest celebrity to become a patron of Arts Taunton. Distinguished actor, Ian, tied up with us to support our youth festival, Tyca in 2020.

Arts Taunton Open meeting

Register now for Arts Taunton’s next open meeting

Join us for this LIVE online event via Zoom where we’ll share important and exciting updates with you and reveal the TYCA Festival outcomes and the theme for 2021.

Proposed building is “Overbearing and vastly out of scale”

Arts Taunton has been following the consultation process for the possible demolition and replacement of Debenham’s. The final designs have now been made public and in our opinion they are not acceptable.