This month marks 10 years since I joined the team at The Touring Network. Sadly, it will also be my last, as I’ve made the decision to step down from my post as Co-Director and focus on raising my wonderful twins for a while.
It has been an absolute privilege to have been part of this fantastic organisation for such a long time. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to attend so many wonderful performances, crossing all art-forms and genres, in such a variety of intimate venues, and to have called it work! My outlook on life has truly been expanded by the shows and performances I’ve experienced, and I am proud to have worked for an organisation that does so much to make sure everyone has a chance to have that experience, no matter where they live.
My decision to leave wasn’t an easy one, but what made it easier is knowing that Claire, Teri and Fee work so well together, and have the back up of a really supportive board. The work Claire has been doing to refresh The Touring Network’s strategy provides clarity for the team going forward, and her coaching style of leadership is perfect for nurturing not only the team, but the wider membership. Teri has been working her magic too, with a new website due to launch in the near future that better showcases all of our members and their events; and Fee’s work on developing a new ‘micro-network’ model of Supported Programme is coming together and looks set to revitalise the programme development side of things. All in all, the year ahead looks like it will be an exciting one for The Touring Network!
As I tie up my final few loose ends and hand over the reins fully to Claire, I couldn’t help but spend some time reflecting on our achievements over the past decade, and if you know me, you’ll know I love a statistic or two!
We’ve hosted 86 networking events for our members in the past 10 years, and I have many fond memories of the various Gatherings, network meet ups, and residential weekends I’ve been involved with over the years. Welcoming members in to our event space, watching them build connections over shared experiences, and then seeing them head home with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm for what they do, has always been really satisfying.
Alongside those events, our programming initiatives such as Supported Touring, Celebrate Commonwealth, GET IN, Supported Programme, and BRAW, have helped…
- 91 different promoters access programming funds and receive support to programme live performances in their communities;
- 92 tours to take place, with 366 additional performances happening across our region;
- 13,276 audience members to experience high-quality cultural events in their communities.
Of course, the above stats don’t reflect the many and varied achievements of Touring Network members themselves, of which there are far too many to mention. I’ve always been so inspired by the amazing things our members make happen in their communities, regardless of our tangible support. The fact all of our promoter members operate and programme independently, only makes for a more vibrant and varied cultural landscape – with The Touring Network’s programming initiatives adding value and providing support where there are gaps.
So, as I log off one last time, I would like to thank my colleagues and all of our members – past and present – for making the last decade one I’ll never forget!