Now in its second year, our rural touring programme Now Showing presents high quality live performances in community venues across Swale & Medway – from clowning inspired by Chekhov to children’s contemporary dance. At the core of the programme are partnerships: with Applause and South East Dance and – most importantly – the amazing network of people who have become Now Showing volunteer promoters for their community.
Recently, we brought that group of people together to find out about their motivations for being involved, and to see how we can best support them to expand the Now Showing programme. Whilst their approach is very much tailored to community need, a common thread is the fact that all of the promoters feel passionately about providing an important source of culture for their local community that isn’t available on a commercial basis. In this way, Now Showing volunteer promoters are establishing Friday night cinema night on Sheppey, family-friendly performances in Faversham, and a thriving thrash metal scene in Rochester!
The aim now is to expand Now Showing’s core promoter group to support young people in the area to become more involved in making decisions about what sort of live performance they would like to see happening in their community.
To pilot this activity we’re supporting Allhallows Youth Club members to work with Richard Navarro, Kent-based Musician and youth arts educator, to build skills and confidence in making, performing and presenting music. The local group came to Ideas Test to suggest a two-part process where the group aged 8-19 would learn about the way Richard approaches his work and then put their music into an event together for local audiences in the Autumn. Watch this space for more news on that.
In the meantime, if you’d like to see a Now Showing gig in action, head to Selling Village Hall on 7 May for Stones in his Pockets.
If you are a community group interested in hosting a performance or an artist offering work do get in contact with Now Showing Coordinator Bethan Tomlinson.