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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 areas.

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.

Breaking 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.

Breaking Borders 1999 - 2000
Two further rounds of tours were supported in 1999/2000, with application deadlines of 31st July 1999 and mid November 1999.

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.

Breaking 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 2002.

Who's Performing - read about the music
What's on offer to musicians
What's on offer to venues & promoters
Target Audiences
Guidelines to Applicants


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