Arts set to take over streets

Director Andrew Loretto in LeanerfasterStronger rehearsals
Director Andrew Loretto in LeanerfasterStronger rehearsals
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“It’s a case that Doncaster’s time has come,” says the man who is in charge of creating an explosion of arts in the town.

Andrew Loretto, a former creative producer at Sheffield Theatres, has taken on the same role for Right Up Our Street, a massive three-year project that seeks to involve lots more people in the arts in Doncaster.

It ta rgets five areas of the town and puts artists on the ground to work with communities in innovative ways.

The new Cast arts venue has a key role but the main focus is on ordinary people and community groups and how they can get involved, said Andrew.

The three-year programme is six months in and runs until April 2016. Funding has come from the Arts Council.

Andrew said: “Doncaster hasn’t had the same care and attention as other areas and it’s overdue. The hope is that this project won’t finish in 2016. In an ideal world, this project exists to enable Doncaster artists in partnership with audiences and communities to sustain their own production and be confident about doing so by the end.

“We want to create a more confident voice and sustainable arts scene in Doncaster that people both inside and outside are aware of.

“Not every project will work but that is the whole purpose. We are going to take risks and challenge ourselves and each other.”

Projects that Andrew is excited about include one looking at letters written to and from Balby from World War One to the present.

Another is Music Bomb, where musicians of all ages will be invited to write and develop their work in response to the theme, ‘what’s so good about music?’.

Next May, the DNweekeND aims to animate Doncaster town centre and five surrounding community areas.

While at Sheffield Theatres, Andrew directed the critically-acclaimed premieres of Lives in Art by Richard Hurford, LeanerFasterStronger by Kaite O’Reilly, part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and 20 Tiny Plays about Sheffield.

A lot of his work in the city involved bringing people from the community into the theatres.

Andrew said: “I’m keen to hear from people who wish to discuss bold, brave artistic ideas that will have a lasting impact.

“Now, more than ever, cultural activity needs to work in all sectors of public life to develop health and wellbeing, creativity and quality of our living environment.”

If you have an idea, contact Andrew at aloretto@thepoint.org.uk or call 01302 341662 Website: www.thepoint.org.uk