ArtyParti – Dance City’s New Classes in Sunderland
Written by Jay Sykes on 15th January 2018
Patricia Stead – Executive Producer, Dance City
“My main role is to look after professional artists – to support them to be able to create work, to train, and become all that they can in the region.”
Patricia’s career has seen her working all around the country & beyond – on both sides of arts commission & funding applications; from working with the Arts Council England as “National Director, Planning and Performance”, to the “Head of Culture” with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fullham at the turn of the century.
Currently, as well as working at Dance City, Patricia lectures on the BA Dance Practice degree at Northumbria University & Gateshead College.
“When I’m teaching, people ask me how I learned to do stuff. And I remember one of my first jobs [when, at the age of 21, Patricia ran a community arts centre in Perth, Australia] was applying to the Australia Council for funding – and I sat there, looked at someone and said “I don’t know how to do that.” They pointed to a filing cabinet and said “if you go through there you’ll find all the previous applications. Read them and write one.”
“That’s something I’ll say to anyone in [the arts industry] – yes, you can do all the courses and degrees you like but you’re surrounded by a community who are very generous. There’s always somebody out there who will help you. The cultural sector is a phenomenal sector to make friends – yes, it’s got its egos and its difficulties but it’s a community that are largely doing what they love, and they really care about each other.”
On Dance City’s new classes in Sunderland, at the Fire Station, Sunderland:
Starting today, a new range of dance classes are on offer at the new Fire Station development in Sunderland. Ran by Dance City, over 30 classes are on offer – from tap, ballet & salsa to specialised classes for younger & older participants – and you can get your first session for free.
“We’re offering a range of classes – for a range of ages & abilities, in a range of styles. They’re pay to play and open to the public, but your first class is free. You don’t have to wear special clothes, there’s nothing to pass – you come along, you dance, and you take out of it what you want to take out of it.”
Listen to this episode of ArtyParti to hear more about what to expect from Dance City’s classes in Sunderland.
On advice for writing arts funding applications:
“The million pound question – how do you get funding? To be really honest, you have to have a good idea. One thing the Arts Council say is “give it to somebody to read who doesn’t know the arts”. I sit and read a lot of grants, and there are moments that don’t make sense.”
“Make sure you’ve read what the priorities of the organisation are, and what they’re looking for. If there’s someone in that funding organisation you can have a conversation with, have a conversation with them.”
“People reading funding applications in any organisation anywhere are reading hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of funding applications. They don’t want waffle. They want to know what the idea is, crystal clear.” – Patricia Stead, Dance City
It’s an episode absolutely full to the brim with advice for emerging creatives, from Patricia’s extensive experience with the Arts Council and beyond – click here to hear the full episode of ArtyParti.
ArtyParti is a weekly radio show celebrating participatory arts in the North East – live on Spark every Monday at 11am.