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13 September

Recent event:
INTERLUDE Fringe
of Sunday 13 September

It was great for Norwich Fringe to collaborate with Norwich Theatre, who presented the event with enthusiasm, passion and commitment to all of us as local creatives and also to the audiences. We heartily thank Norwich Theatre for presenting such a fantastic – much needed and timely – event for our city.

If you missed it, we had Louise and Cameron present all day who had written the review for the EDP here.
Norwich Theatre have produced a great short film compiling parts of the day too (the video is also on that link and all our socials).

Having only just restarted Norwich Fringe, it was a great opportunity for us to work with Norwich Theatre and local artists and companies to have something in-the-flesh for our fine city.

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Report from first open meetings

First Contact: 28 July 2020
Thank you all who attended.
Here’s a short video of Molly and Joseph with a quick summary.
27 people, great ideas and shared ethos. Key words: collective, synergy, connecting, communicating, conversation and encouragement. Idea strands around training and development, skills swap and peer support.
You can view the video with captions here on Facebook.



Industry and news update: 4 August 2020
Thank you to those who came along (17 of us) to our meeting this afternoon for a bit of an industry and Fringe update. Great ideas and contributions looking to the future!

A summary:

• Not much with regard to new news nationally (particularly with the Gov announcement on delaying indoor performance the day before shows were going to open).

• Local activity involves outdoor theatre and theatre in tents!
• Venues and companies have to think differently – is it enough to plonk work on screen or should there be novelty or added experience?
• Various funding streams are available for individuals, like benevolent funds from unions and others (Theatre Community Fund, the Fleabag Fund, Theatre Artists Fund) and some project/community grants are now surfacing.
• We have now got two working groups; one focusing on an online showcase/performance event (including all artforms like music, visual art etc – there is no limitation) with Molly and another focusing on training, development and skill-swap with Sam. Joseph is looking at forward planning and funding bids.
• Norfolk and Suffolk are working together with Culture United, collecting names in support of a 5 point plan, about lobbying plan for support, once we see how the government’s £1.7million is distributed. The website is www.cultureunited.org.uk if you want to sign up and help to build up a body of supporters
• What’s next? We have our next online open meeting next Tuesday (11th, 2-3pm, focusing on wellbeing) and we will write up an update next week, reporting back on our first three sessions and our plans going forward.

Again, we’re always welcoming ideas and feedback. Please do keep on spreading the word about us so we can grow and grow. We’re only as strong as those who are with us.

Keeping on keeping on, focus on Wellbeing: 11 August 2020
• It was a relaxed meeting and it started off with some attendees talking about how they have been feeling recently; as a person in lockdown and as a creative/performer/professional of the arts sector with its many limitations.
• Frustration was common – with the changing of guidelines and lack of clarity from the Government.
• A round-up of support services was presented, as all present agreed that wellbeing and mental health was just as important whilst we were all thinking about the future of the industry and livelihoods. The list included (amongst other suggestions):
Theatre Helpline
Equity’s mental health support
Samaritans
ArtsMinds
Every Mind Matters
• Attendees suggested different things to keep their minds active and creative. A discussion took place around how Norwich Fringe has already helped facilitate discussion and has connected like-minded people which has been veery helpful and positive for some already.
• As a team, we will be getting our heads together to work out a plan going forward for Norwich Fringe.

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Return of Norwich Fringe

Return of Norwich Fringe, new look and new style;
ready to respond to the current climate.

• Norwich Fringe returns
• Call for creatives, performers and artists to join new network
• New series of free online events

Norwich Fringe has relaunched with a new team behind it, with a call-out for all types of creatives, artists, those on and off-stage and change makers to come forward and join in the activity of Norwich Fringe.

Norwich Fringe will be presenting a series of online events in the first instance, building a network of like-minded individuals, groups and venues. The programme will expand and will be shaped by those sharing ideas and getting involved, eventually leading to an actual Fringe Festival when the time is right.

Joseph Ballard, Director and Producer of Norwich Fringe said:
“This is an important time for the arts and cultural sector – things are changing very quickly and no one is sure what to expect or when. Livelihoods, careers and dreams – as well as our national infrastructure and cultural offer is at risk. We have relaunched Norwich Fringe to help facilitate peer support, the sharing of information and encouraging collaboration.”

Norwich Fringe hasn’t taken place for a number of years and the team says it’s the right time to bring it back – with the first stage being focused on building a network and series of online meetings, from consulting with interested people to ensure it is responsive to need, keeping everyone up-to-date with industry news and guidance and providing peer support and considering personal development and wellbeing.

The first three online events take place on Tuesday afternoons, beginning next week on Tuesday 28 July at 2pm, with an open meeting to gather thoughts and ideas, to help shape how Norwich Fringe can be supportive and forward-thinking. Participants must sign up via the Norwich Fringe website to receive the meeting access details.

Joseph continued:
“As a freelancer or artist, it can sometimes feel like a lonely venture, which is heightened even more at the moment when all work and projects have either stopped completely or have moved online. Norwich is a creative city, full of talent and wonderful venues and organisations. We want Norwich Fringe to help connect and reconnect those from the grassroots level up – all the creators, makers and performers – along with those who make the creative side possible.”

The current team, all volunteering their time, includes Joseph Ballard as Director. Joseph brings his experience as a theatre maker, performer and playwright and from past roles as a director of venues and festivals. He is joined by Molly Farley and Sam Webber as Producers, who are both recent graduates from the UEA. Norwich Fringe is supported by Joseph’s theatre company, New Stages.

Norwich Fringe is launching today and this week the Norwich Fringe Team are encouraging engagement via social media (@hinorwichfringe or search Norwich Fringe).

For more information and to sign up to the mailing list or the online events, go to: www.norwichfringe.org.uk.