Past Projects (2021-22)
Crossing Borders: A European Rural Touring Project
Crossing Borders: A European Rural Touring Project brings diverse, high quality work to rural communities with the support of local volunteers. The project enhances community cohesion and gives rural audiences access to performances through a sustainable touring model. Research on rural touring shows that the carbon footprint of rural touring is at least 30% less than that of a show in a town-based theatre with more than 60% of audiences living less than 5 km from a village venue.
This Perform Europe project is being delivered by 11 partners from 8 European countries – Crying Out Loud (UK), Take Art Limited (UK), Art Fraction Foundation (Poland), Creative Association Fish Eye (Lithuania), SINUM Theatre Laboratory Association (Hungary), Nova sit z.s. (Czech Republic), Creative Kernow (UK), Festival Sismograf – OlotCultura (Spain), SA Eesti Tantsuagentuur (Estonia), Pro progressione (Hungary), Teatro 4Garoupas (Germany).
The majority of the partners are part of SPARSE Network (Supporting and Promoting the Arts in Rural Settlements of Europe) and for some this is their first experience of organising rural touring. By building on the experience and research findings of SPARSE, the partnership is developing cross-border touring and presenting performing arts works by utilising the resources of hyperlocal networks and communities. The collaboration and connectedness of the partnership is apparent in the geographic spread of partners and the range of producers and presenters represented therein.
Sustainability weaves through the partnership. The partnership’s digital element is a first for the presenting partners. By making the live work available online, Rural Touring maximises the combined features of social media and digital distribution to extend the geographical reach of a live work, deepen community engagement, and raise awareness of contemporary circus. Rural Touring is also exploring how to balance environmental sustainability prioritising overland, slow travel of their small scale artist companies with the well-being of the artists themselves.
Stefano Baioni, Zakaria El Attaoui, M. Zakrzewski