As we tentatively emerge from lockdown, Rural Touring schemes have been working closely with their promoters and communities to plan for what comes next.

East Meets West would like to welcome you to a Midlands-wide Zoom for everyone who’s invested in, working in or curious about the regional Rural Touring sector.

It’s important to remember that, alongside the theatres and arts centres we may be most familiar with, there’s a whole non-venue-based arts landscape which is just as vital to audiences and to the creative economy. The people who promote, programme and perform in village halls, libraries, outdoor sites and community spaces across the region are facing tough challenges, too — and this Zoom is all about exploring how we can tackle those challenges together.

It will provide a supportive opportunity for touring schemes in the Midlands to set out what their current thinking is around the next 12-18 months of activity, followed by a facilitated conversation with regional artists and organisations who tour rurally (or who would like to…!)

We’ll have guest speakers from three of the Midlands’ four touring schemes:

  • Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive (Herefordshire and Shropshire);
  • Chris Davis, Development & Projects Manager at Live & Local (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire);
  • Frances Land, co-Artistic Director of Black Country Touring (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton)

We’ll also hear from two special guests who each have their finger on the rural touring pulse!

  • Jill Brown, Relationship Manager for Touring, Arts Council England
  • Tilly Branson, director, dramaturg, producer and theatre-maker — and the only person in the UK with a PhD in rural touring!

The Zoom will be facilitated by East Meets West / Little Earthquake’s Philip Holyman, who is a co-opted Artist on the board of NRTF (National Rural Touring Forum.) It will be a chance for us all, schemes, artists and stakeholders alike, to support one another as we begin to emerge from lockdown and take practical steps to reactivate this invaluable field of the arts sector.

Date and time: THURSDAY 16th JULY 2020, 11AM – 12.30PM

To take part, you need to register for the Zoom so we can send you the meeting link and password. Register here:

We’ll send you the Meeting ID and password for the Zoom on Wednesday 15th July — so keep an eye out for it in your Inbox (and maybe check those pesky spam folders in case we get redirected!)