Plymouth Arts CentreBy Kate Foster, Head of Communications and Development
Since 2008, PAC has also worked closely with Take A Part, a socially engaged contemporary art organisation that was started as a partnership project between Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth City Council and The Heart of Efford Community Partnership. Take A Part has gone on to be formalised as an independent Community Interest Company and work with 35 artists on 16 commissions, engaging 30,000 people directly.
A recent workshop held to mould PAC’s future Creative Learning Strategy identified that the team believes in the value of a life-long journey of discovery with Plymouth Arts Centre. Babes in arms and Under 5s will continue to come for Bringing In Baby cinema screenings and Creative Play art workshops. Relationships with schools and families are also being nurtured and PAC are committed to supporting young people working towards their Arts Award qualifications. At the other end of the age spectrum, PAC has established a series of Dementia Friendly films, aimed at providing a relaxed and understanding environment for couples, or family members, to enjoy a film with a relative affected by Alzheimers. The next in the series is during Plymouth’s Livewell Festival for Mental Health and Wellbeing, a screening of classic musical, Singin’ In The Rain on 22 October. Funding provided by Plymouth Drake Foundation allows PAC to offer free transport and cinema tickets to former RN and RM personnel and their families to enable them to access these cinema events.
Creative Play session
Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Royal William Yard as Part of Cinema in the City
For many people though, their first encounter with Plymouth Arts Centre will be watching a film in the intimate 61-seat cinema, or at an offsite cinema event. The September-October film programme is looking particularly strong with screenings of Macbeth, Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Woody Allen’s Irrational Man programmed. The team are also looking at ways to bring back a more substantial food offer for cinema goers and talks about regular ‘guest slots’ from the Barbican Theatre’s B-Bar and Veggie Perrins are well underway.
In May, £5,300 was raised through Crowdfunder for Cinema In The City, a series of 10 offsite film events which culminated in Open Air Cinema at Royal William Yard, part of the Plymouth’s Ocean City Festival. The events were attended by approximately 2,500 people, watching films in unusual venues like the un-developed industrial Factory Cooperage at Royal William Yard, and the National Marine Aquarium. The film series also brought on board five new sponsors, four of which, including Bond Dickinson and Twofour, were sponsoring PAC for the first time.
As a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England to deliver contemporary art, PAC has its funding secured until 2018, albeit at a significantly reduced level. In anticipation of further funding cuts, PAC is ramping up its fundraising efforts – the crowdfunding campaign was the first in a series of activities to bring more income into the organisation. Bids to Trusts and Foundations have been submitted and more planned and over the coming year, PAC will be aiming to persuade its current donor base to become regular donors in order to ensure long-term sustainability.
With lots of activity going on, space at PAC has been at a premium for some time. After an unsuccessful bid for a new home adjacent to the Civic Centre in 2014, re-purposing areas of the listed building to make more space for visual art is a priority for the team, as the Centre approaches its 70th anniversary. It’s early days yet, but the ambition still remains to create a gallery for making and showing work of the highest standard in Plymouth.