Vision & Aims

Our vision


To create a rich culture of performing arts in our region for our audiences and to be recognised nationally for creating a centre for excellence in producing and commissioning land-based outdoor arts.



Our mission is to be a national leader in presenting outdoor land based arts and work with international partners in the development of this art form.  We are guided by social justice and engage socially diverse audiences in this work and our associated work with indoor venues, promoters and also community partners in our participatory programme. 


We produce and help develop a diverse contemporary practice in performance. This includes dance, theatre, outdoor arts and all the extraordinary ways they are presented; from live art, physical theatre, digital arts, puppetry to contemporary circus.   This is our definition of artwork – i.e. ‘work’ we support.  


We are particularly interested in work that crosses art form boundaries – often it is here, where we bring disciplines together, that something memorable happens.  We are passionate about work that touches the heart, has meaning and integrity and with artists who will communicate with an audience and we will work with our colleagues to create a more diverse artistic offer and audience for the work


We will:

  • work with artists who want to make work that is contemporary in its practice;
  • work with a diversity of artists reflecting our communities locally and across the UK, as well as inviting a diversity of artists and collaborators from overseas where possible;
  • work with artists who understand, or who want to develop their understanding of what makes working in the outdoor realm so special;
  • work with the understanding that performance cannot happen without an audience and the value of the relationship between the audience and the art;
  • work with artists who are engaged in socially engaged practice and help us deliver on our social justice aims;
  • work with artists focussed on participatory work to share their practice with communities;
  • work with artists who want to challenge and interrogate with their work for themselves and audiences
  • work with artists who also want to delight, welcome, and inspire their audience;
  • work with artists who are passionate about what they have to communicate and think about how they do this with an audience;
  • work with colleagues and partners to realise artistic projects that can benefit children and young people, diverse communities, our elders/older people and the audiences across our communities who we want to grow and develop;
  • be based locally, benefiting our local community and work internationally in order to fulfill our vision in producing, promoting and developing the highest standards of work for audiences and artists;
  • encourage artists to try something new, to develop their practice and to help others to develop their potential.


Our aims

  • To make meaningful links between our ‘flagship’ project, Inside Out Dorset festival, and our socially engaged outreach programmes that run throughout the year including our artists’ development and venue support.


  • To produce work with artists who reflect the diversity of our contemporary society and in line with our artistic vision.


  • To produce work with our international partners in developing artistic practice, particularly outdoor and land-based arts.


  • To develop audiences as participants/‘active spectators’ to reach a socially diverse audience.


  • To inspire all in our community to take part in performing arts: to be inclusive in our audience development and deliver on social justice.  To facilitate a lifelong connection with the arts and experience the impact that can bring by the input they give as well as their presence there.


  • To support those wanting to pursue a career in the arts, and offer progression routes into the industry.


  • To demonstrate that artists can both affect and provide positive change in our communities and that they positively contribute toward our social justice vision.


  • To work in partnership locally, nationally and internationally so that we can work on production, development and promotion of the arts in other sectors (such as education, health, environment, community development, voluntary, social enterprise, business and the wider creative industries).


  • To create a contemporary organisation that values its people and the people it works with: artists, collaborators, audience/participants, investors and all its stakeholders and to create the conditions for a sustainable model of practice to resource its work.




  • Promote and present a wide range of high quality international (where possible) performance and outdoor arts in Inside Out Dorset festival, as well as festivals and venues run by arts and tourism partners.  We will bring high quality, higher risk small-scale (indoor) theatre and dance to Dorset venues.  This will help create a distinctive sense of place: a county with the reputation as a strong cultural destination and build on the unique attributes of the geographic location. We will work within European partnerships including Oerol, Sura Medura and Green Carpet to achieve this and work with venues run by arts and tourism partners.


  • We will produce and support the production of new high-quality innovative work, especially by artists based in the county and sub region, working with the Dorset Theatre Promoters Consortium (DTPC).


  • We will support performance artists, producers and practitioners at all stages of their career to fulfil their potential, especially those working in dance, theatre and outdoor arts, from emerging, to mature artist. This includes the provision of information, advice, signposting, networking, publicity and advocacy services to the performance and outdoor arts sector as well as our partners and the general public.


  • We will increase the range and depth of participation and engagement in theatre, dance and outdoor arts, specifically working with diverse communities, young people and our elders/older people, which make up a growing population in the county.  We will create a robust audience development plan and digital policy to support this and our social justice aims.


  • We will strengthen our organisation’s operational/business model and strategy for the delivery of our ambitions, utilising our partnership model of working, recognising our reliance on public subsidy and exploring how we manage the cuts in public finance.


Audience feedback

 It was an extraordinary day.,..I volunteered and met some great people.....and the air of friendship from everyone who attended was amazing! Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a memorable occasion and to Activate for bringing it all together in Dorset.

Volunteer, Pages of the Sea, 2018