Every one of the 5
million people in Yorkshire and the Humber should be aware of folk arts and have a chance to take part;
and every child in every school in the region should have the chance to learn
traditional music, song and dance.
Yorkshire Folk Arts exists to raise the profile of the folk arts -
principally, traditional song, music, dance, drama and storytelling. We are
working with the Arts Council of England, Yorkshire Arts, and folk arts
organisations throughout Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire and beyond, to
develop new audiences, venues and performers.
Our aims are to
- Raise the profile of folk arts in the wider
- Develop new audiences, venues and performers.
- Build strategic partnerships at regional level.
- Create more coherence and strength by
encouraging communication between existing folk arts organisations.
- Offer education, training and advice for
current and new performers.
- Offer advice and practical help with issues of
funding and sponsorship.
What's going on in folk arts in Yorkshire?
We have a vibrant and exciting range
of folk arts in Yorkshire. These activities are an important part of our
cultural heritage, and we want to ensure that more people know about them,
enjoy them, and take part in them. As we become more European it's more
important than ever that we cherish our national and regional culture and
traditions. Yorkshire is home to around:
- 80 folk clubs
- 170 dance groups
- 20 community choirs
- 30 annual folk festivals
- 100+ folk bands
- 500+ traditional singers, musicians and
More than a million people
a year attend song, music and dance events in the county - but there's room
for many more.
Yorkshire Folk Arts is not duplicating the work of any current organisations.
We intend to build on the strength of a wide variety of organisations by
encouraging more communication and sharing of information. There are some
strong and well-established organisations flourishing in parts of Yorkshire - including Ryburn 3 Step,
Whitby Folk Festival and Yorkshire Dales Workshops. These are active and
successful in their own areas, but there's no single
organisation which promotes folk throughout the whole of Yorkshire. That's where Yorkshire Folk Arts comes in.
One of the Arts Council's key objectives is to create a national structure of
stimulating and well-run networks/circuits of venues and promoters, which
will meet the needs of both artists and audiences. Through a range of
partnerships and initiatives the aim is to expand, develop and grow the
circuits for the national distribution of work. Yorkshire Folk Arts will work
in partnership with the Arts Council and Yorkshire Arts for long-term
achievement of their objectives.
We work at a strategic level with organisations throughout the county to
ensure they know how folk arts can help them, leading in return to more
opportunities for performers and audiences. There is a wide range of ideas
- We approach local authorities to show how folk
arts can play a key part in attracting tourists and regenerating
communities. We will offer to work with them to develop or refine a
cultural strategy which recognises the importance of folk arts; put them
in touch with performers, tutors and events; and offer comments and help
on any aspect of folk arts.
- We liaise with Yorkshire Tourist Board and
Tourist Information Centres to publicise folk events throughout the
county - not just the big festivals, but any opportunities where
visitors can see and take part in our cultural heritage.
- We speak up for folk arts with any
organisation concerned with regional development. For example, the
Yorkshire Cultural Consortium produced a cultural strategy for Yorkshire's next ten years - and the only folk event
mentioned was the Shipley Day of Dance. At least it was mentioned, but
there's much more than this in Yorkshire, and Yorkshire Folk Arts will set out to wave
the flag for all the folk arts.
One of our key projects is the development
of this website, which has grown into the first stop for anyone wanting
information about folk arts in Yorkshire.
Promoting folk arts throughout Yorkshire is a
huge task, and with the help of Arts Council Yorkshire, who funded our
development worker, Jacey Bedford, to spend a year
pulling all these ideas together, researching what's going on around the
region, and producing a business plan, we are now in a position to apply for
further funding from a solid base.
This is a long-term project which has required considerable time spent in
initial planning and research, and in consolidating an effective management
team. We are now in a strong position to move forward, the next major step
being to secure funding for a Projects Manager to oversee a first series of
initiatives. We are also exploring possibilities for youth audience
development, and are in discussions with various regional organisations with
a view to increased co-operation and resource sharing. In the long-term this
will benefit everyone on the folk scene in Yorkshire.
can we do for local authorities?
Folk arts can play a key part in attracting tourists and regenerating
communities. We can help you achieve your objectives in these areas. We can
work with you at a strategic level to develop or refine a cultural strategy.
We can put you in touch with performers, tutors and events. We can offer
comments on any aspect of folk arts. If you have any queries or comments at
all, please get in touch.