In response to the
review of New Music by the Arts Council of England,
Northern Arts and Yorkshire Arts, the two RABs (Regional
Arts Boards), strongly supported by ACE, have established
the "Breaking Borders" scheme, to foster the
delivery and touring of new music.
In 1999 North
West Arts joined the scheme to support performers, venues
and audiences in the Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside
An initial round of seven concerts
tours was initially committed, touring to three or more
venues each within the combined RAB's regions, and have
represented a wide range of new music including fusions
of jazz and international and British traditional music
with contemporary, computer generated and dance music,
and also developing links with film, theatre and multi-media
presentation. The initial rounds of Breaking Borders
confirmed the potential for developing the scheme further,
to establish audiences by informed marketing strategies
and to develop the confidence of promoters and venues
in these new genres.
It has become clear that there
is an immense creative potential in the regions working
at the forefront of new music, but that both audiences
are under served and that promoters are lacking in confidence
and experience in new music forms.
Borders 1998 - 1999
The 1998-1999 round of Breaking Borders was aimed to
run through to early Summer 1999. This round supported
at least a further seven tours across the combined regions
consisting of works which are new to the targeted audiences.
The project is aligned closely
with the objectives of the Arts Council of England's
New Audiences fund. It continues the success of the
pilot round of concert tours, taking works to communities
under served by new music and, by virtue of the musical
genres performed and promoted, it addresses young audiences.
Due to the selection process (having an eclectic brief),
the project challenges musical traditions in terms of
content and presentation. Additionally, it is believed
to be pragmatically effective to build the confidence
of existing venues and promoters by offering support
to them, rather than to attempt to create a new layer
of promoter inexperienced in programming, marketing
and managing productions.
Borders 1999 - 2000
Two further rounds of tours were supported in 1999/2000,
with application deadlines of 31st July 1999 and mid
New opportunities were be found
to forge links and partnerships with promoters within
and beyond the region and to promote innovative participatory
work with young people in novel ways.
The scheme's structure of supporting
the rehearsal, marketing and touring of new music in
the regions, creates a springboard which aimed to make
tours viable which otherwise simply would not have been
staged. Some performances were able to continue touring
beyond the lifespan of this scheme and beyond the region,
thanks to the confidence which Breaking Borders funding
has given to promoters and venues.
Borders 2001 - 2003
North West Arts joined the scheme during 2000 and thereby
enhanced the scope of the scheme to include the major
conurbations of Liverpool and Manchester, as well as
many venues not normally well supported across Cheshire
and Lancashire. The Arts Council of England's support
in 2001-03 came from the Music Department and National
Touring Programme, which does require the funded tours
to cover three of the UK's Arts regions.
Application packs are available
now from Generator by post.
New opportunities to develop confidence among venues
in the North West will be a feature of the scheme during