An invitation from Stephen Wrentmore, Artistic Producer of the Lighthouse
In 2018 Lighthouse celebrates its 40th Birthday.
40 years of making, supporting and sharing art, music, and performance.
6 Months ago I joined Lighthouse as Artistic Producer, the largest arts centre outside of London, as part of a strategy to physically and intellectually develop the way we operate. Conceived to nurture culture in Dorset and provide a home for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, 40 years on we still offer extraordinary cultural experiences, providing access to world class talent, affordably, and in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. But, while we are good at showing the work, hanging the art, hosting the artists, we have, perhaps, been less consistent in the developing, making and nurturing of talent closer to our doors and reflecting the quality, depth and diversity of work coming from Dorset to the nation.
I believe that, in continuing times of financial difficulty and political uncertainty the role of the arts; “to hold, as t’were, the mirror up to nature” has never been more important.
We are not a funding body and Lighthouse is a big building run by a small team.
80% of our income is generated at the Box Office, which means our programming is necessarily broad. Over the last 3 years our local authority grant has been cut by nearly 50% with more cuts on the horizon. And yet we want to boldly step forward and lead with the art, demonstrate by doing the value of Lighthouse, and, with your help, become the beacon we aspire to be.
I want our future to be vibrant, important, and collaborative and so I am reaching out to you as artists and creative thinkers to join us in helping to shape that future. We have invited Improbable’s Devoted and Disgruntled to host an Open Space at Lighthouse to help us ask some questions and, with your help, find some answers…
We want to develop and advance our relationship with artists
We want to make more work, we want to support the making of work
We want to be a meeting point in our community
We want to be a contribution
We want to diversify the art we present and the audience we reach
What can we do to make Lighthouse’s future as exciting as its past?
What do you want Lighthouse to be, and how can you help us build it?
What are we not doing (and should)?
How do you engage with us, and how would you like to?
How can we support you more?
When we present all things to all (wo)men how can we speak with artistic clarity as we
develop our own artistic voice?
Whether you’re an artist, arts organisation, partner, producer, creative practitioner, educator, or arts professional in our creative community we welcome you to the Lighthouse to engage, share ideas, connect and help our Lighthouse grow with strength and purpose in these challenging times.
This event is fully wheelchair-accessible. For further information about Access provision at Lighthouse, please click HERE
You might have other questions, or ideas, proposals, issues or some really big dreams. I would love you to join us as Improbable’s Devoted and Disgruntled comes to Lighthouse on February 2nd to help us all tackle the burning questions of life after 40.
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo