An opportunity for those working in the performing arts sector in Skye and Lochalsh to prepare for the future
These have been difficult times for everyone and, as we struggle to positively respond to a global pandemic, it is hard for many to find a way forward towards a “new normal.”
Since the Coronavirus pandemic broke, opportunities for paid performance and professional development have all but disappeared for many artists, leaving them with a dramatic loss in income, isolation from their peers and little personal support.
Even the Government appeared to turn its back on the cultural sector when Rishi Sunak announced in October that artists should retrain and find employment elsewhere.
We know, however, that art is essential to the social and cultural survival of our communities, and, to a wider extent, to a country. Participation in cultural activities, whether as an artist or member of an audience, brings personal joy; is a significant contributing factor to our wellbeing; defies boundaries; and unites us under one unique cultural identity.
As a responsible cultural organisation in Scotland, SEALL will not advocate that performing artists should retrain for another career. We recognise the value of performance to our communities and visitors and the immense talents of our performers, which have been honed through years of hard practice and experience, should not be so readily dismissed.
We wish to help our performance artists in Skye and Lochalsh, or those with connections to the area, prepare for a healthy future in performing arts, whatever form that may take.
To this end, we have teamed up with the Social Enterprise Academy to deliver a free, fully-funded programme of peer support sessions to performers and freelancers: musicians; dancers; actors; storytellers; theatre makers; technicians and anyone else who works in the performing arts sector. The idea is to meet, share and exchange ideas with leaders and managers within rural performing arts.
This four-day online programme, which is delivered via Zoom and begins on Monday 25 January and takes place every second Monday thereafter, is an opportunity to connect with peers who are dealing with similar issues and to learn, share and collaborate to identify practical ways of assessing how to adapt to, and thrive in, that “new normal.”
With a focus on leadership, enterprise and personal development, the Social Enterprise Company delivers learning and development programmes for people and organisations to enable social change.