Rural Touring

Take Art's Rural Touring service brings high quality professional performances to local venues across Somerset through its rural touring scheme. We believe people living outside cities and large towns should also have access to the best live arts experiences.

Take Art started in 1987 as a rural touring scheme. Now the organisation has grown to run a number of different service areas. The Rural Touring service is a very well-established and successful scheme for Somerset with an exemplary track record. It relies on the partnership between local volunteer promoters and Take Art - by working together, memorable social events are organised in rural areas where people live and meet. These events can help play a vital role in keeping villages alive and vibrant, strengthening communities and improving health and wellbeing. The Take Art Rural Touring team have years of expertise to share with promoters. 

If you have been following the Take Art news since Autumn 2010, you will know that the Rural Touring scheme has been constantly under threat from the unprecedented local authority cuts taking place across Somerset. In early 2011, both Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council cut 100% of its funding to Take Art, and both Sedgemoor District Council and Artlife (West Somerset) followed suit in the following years. In 2016, Taunton Deane Borouch Council introduced a new funding application process and currently (as at Feb 2016) we do not know if we will be successful or not.  Therefore, our only guaranteed local authority funding for 2016/17 is from South Somerset District Council village halls.

We have been working hard to find alternative funding sources to help retain this vital service across the county.  Our Rural Touring service now delivers a slimmed down programme of work but we very much hope that new fundraising approaches (both at the very local level by villages themselves and through more regional fundraising initiatives led by Take Art) will mean that the scheme can expand again in the future.

Sarah Peterkin is Director of Take Art's Rural Touring service; click here to contact her.

"Rural touring is about more than just performances .. it plays an important part in the social life of small communities, it involves people of all ages and backgrounds, it can be a catalyst for community development "

Only Connect Report by Francois Matarasso.

Latest News

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Happy 30th Birthday Take Art: A new programme for a new era!

05 Sep 2017

Take celebrates 30 years of jawdropping, doorstepping, footstomping Arts endeavour in Somerset Communities. Find out how we got to this point and what is happening right now on your doorstep.

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Take Art awarded four more years of NPO Arts Council Funding

26 Jun 2017

Take Art is incredibly pleased to announce that the organisation has retained its Arts Council National Portfolio Funding for 2018-2022. This award of £641,700 (£160,425 per annum) will enable us to continue to grow our vital work within the county, bringing quality performances and life changing creative opportunities and experiences to Somerset people and communities.

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The Rural Touring Promoters Menu 2017/18

24 Apr 2017

Looking for the new Rural Touring Menu? Somerset Rural Touring promoters can now access the 2017/18 Take Art Rural Touring Menu and begin the exciting process of choosing the best shows to bring to their village hall or venue over the next year.

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What does Take Art actually do?

31 Jan 2017

Ever wondered what Take Art is, or what they do? We asked some people from Somerset to have a go at explaining... then we made a two minute film with their answers. WATCH IT HERE

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s the new 2017 Programme!

19 Dec 2016

This New Year the Take Art team want to give you a 2017 to look forward to - full of magic, mayhem and creative opportunities. So click and flick through the new Take Art Jan-June programme below and start planning some happy times.

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