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South West programmes add to Arts Council England’s £5million commitment to WW1 commemorations

  • Date: 1 April 2014
  • Area: South West

The recently launched 14-18 NOW is the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary that will see cultural and artistic events taking place across the country throughout 2014 and beyond.                                                                          

The programme is supported with £5million of lottery funding from Arts Council England. An independent programme hosted within Imperial War Museums 14-18 NOW also receives funding from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Alongside the 14-18 NOW programme, Arts Council South West is also supporting various First World War arts and culture projects and events through Grants for the Arts and Strategic support funding.

Home to many important First World War heritage sites - from Wiltshire's Wylye Valley, transformed in 1914 with six miles of army training camps, to Avonmouth, vital dockyard and home to Mustard Gas factories - the South West area has much to remember.

Amongst the extensive programme some highlights include:

Battle Lines: a trilogy of short plays, inspired by real local stories, exploring the way three wars have shaped the lives of generations. Supported with a £176,000 award from Arts Council England's Strategic touring fund, Forest Forge will work with arts centres, schools, museums and community groups to create these productions which will tour Hampshire in March and April.

Landmark Trees: a collaboration of youth organisations, professional artists and young composers. A deconsecrated church will be transformed into a grove of trees, representing the young volunteers from the area at the outbreak of the First World War, with musical accompaniment. Supported with an Arts Council England's National lottery funded Grants for the arts award of £15,000, Ryde Art Works will run the show during Ryde Arts Festival 27 June - 7 July.

Gone but not Forgotten: an exciting dance and heritage project, researching local stories to create performance pieces. Dance Up were awarded £14,205 from Grants for the arts for this collaboration which will see Joli Vyann performing alongside community dance groups at an outdoor event in Petersfield, Hampshire on 20 July.

Cornwall Remembers: a series of arts- and education-centred events including music, art, poetry, film, lectures and seminars. Truro Cathedral will use their Grants for the arts award of £26,455 to work with schools and organisations around the county with the programme culminating in performances of Britten's War Requiem at the Cathedral on 8 and 9 November.

Will Harvey's War: world premiere of a brand new adaptation of famous war poet Harvey's unpublished novel Will Harvey's War. Arts Council England's National portfolio organisation The Cheltenham Everyman Theatre's professional company of actors will appear alongside local performers and musicians to create this epic tale of Gloucestershire, the battle of the Somme and a final attempt at escape through the countryside of Westphalia. The show will run at the theatre from 30 July to 2 August.

Cicatrix: a visual arts project incorporating installation, drawing and film. Starting in Trowbridge and touring to Salisbury, this exhibition offers insight into the WW1 legacy surrounding the unique rural, military and historical landscape of Salisbury Plain. The three artists involved are concerned with the concepts of mapping, scarring and the creation of shrines. An integral workshop programme, exploring responses to the exhibition and free to participants will be run at two venues and with a local charity for the homeless. The programme, supported with an award of £14,100 from Grants for the arts,  has begun and will culminate in November 2014.

Bristol 2014: the city's programme of commemoration including a major exhibition at MShed; a mass-read; a digital family history project and Bristol Festival of Ideas. Supported with a £55,000 award from Grants for the arts Bristol 2014 will see activity taking place in the summer and autumn months.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, says: 'Bristol 2014 is one of many projects across the South West we are supporting through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts programme that commemorate the centenary of World War I. The city is planning an extensive and extremely important programme of commemoration that will bring together people from every community in Bristol. We are delighted that our £55,000 award will support the exciting arts programme, which will see 20 artists commissioned to look back at the war and create new work that speaks to today's audiences.'

More information on 14-18 NOW and full programme here