Monday 29 April 2013

Highlights again

A while back, I ran an Awayday for Highlights Rural Touring.  I was pleased when they asked me back to run another - repeat business being the sincerest form of flattery, in my experience!

Highlights are in the business of bringing art to people who wouldn't otherwise have access to it.  So they have a programme of theatrical productions, music, a craft tour, workshops and so on produced in village halls and similar venues in Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria.

In these difficult times, with arts funding being cut, the Board was keen to look at alternative ways of working.

As in 2012, we held the awayday in a Village Hall, which seems wholly appropriate for the organisation; and as last time, we were very well looked after, and very well fed.

The day itself was both stimulating and enjoyable.  We spent a large part of the day in small groups discussing priority issues, and then reconvening in plenary to share insights and ideas for action.

The level of commitment, both of the staff, and of the volunteers who sit on the Board, always impresses me, as did the quality and quantity of creative ideas they were able to come up with.  Even more important was their willingness to commit to action at the end of the day.

So I, for one, was reassured that they will not only survive, but continue to thrive, despite the very real challenges they face.  If you are in the North, have a look at their programme, and go along to support their events: they are always worth it!

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