Climate leadership not climate denial

January 28, 2020 by

As a tediously conscientious Artistic Director of a theatre company, who receives the lion’s share of its income via Arts Council England’s Project Grants, I subscribed to ACE’s new podcast series “Creative Matters: The Art of Leadership” and gave them a listen. (What do you mean you haven’t heard them yet??!)

Episode 1 was nicely produced and provided some insight about relationships between CEOs and Board Chairs, and they’ve got that Kirsty Lang from the BBC presenting it. So far so good.

Episode 2 was where the problems started (listen from 24:30). It advertised itself as discussing “how organisations can demonstrate good leadership and governance in times of conflict and crisis.”

It featured a guy called Tim Crarer, Chair of Wiltshire Creative, who put forward his concept of good governance which involved taking sponsorship money from fossil fuel companies like BP. He also chucked in a factually incorrect statement about the effect of the RSC ending their BP sponsorship agreement on their cheap tickets for young people. His climate denying opinions went unchallenged in the discussion, and were agreed with by some. This is not my idea of good leadership in 2020.

To provide some context: this is a podcast released by the culture sector’s major funder, the distributor of state funding for art. It styles itself as providing best practice examples of cultural leadership. It is essentially an informal training aid endorsed by the state funder.

In ACE’s new ten year Strategy announced yesterday, Environmental Responsibility is one of their ‘Four Investment Principles’. Their desire is that “cultural organisations to act as leaders within their communities in terms of taking an environmentally responsible approach to running businesses and buildings”.

Tim Crarer’s comments couldn’t be further from ACE’s stated principles. So why are they endorsing his opinions by providing a platform for them?

Maybe you could argue that he’s just a bit out of step, its hard to raise money for the arts, issues that the public get wound up about are always changing – where do you draw the line about what is good money and what is bad money, and can’t you just take the bad money but do something good with it? He makes many of these points himself, check out the transcript.

What these positions ignore is the gravity of climate and ecological breakdown, its not just ‘another issue’, as ACE itself states in their new Strategy “The climate crisis and environmental degradation will be the most significant challenge facing all of us over the next decade and beyond.”

Fossil fuel companies like BP are not neutral players in this arena, far from it. Lobbying group BP or not BP highlights that BP has made the third biggest contribution to climate change of any company in history.

Art not Oil explains why fossil fuel companies pursue such sponsorship arrangements, and why these are so problematic:
“Oil companies cultivate arts and culture sponsorship relationships to help create a ‘social licence to operate’. This contributes to the veneer of legitimacy that enables them to keep expanding operations at a time of climate crisis and to stifle the demands for justice of those communities who live on the frontline of their destructive, polluting operations.”

In the light of the climate emergency the culture sector needs to stop using their social capital to launder the fossil fuel companies’ filthy reputations. And those who endorse the taking of this dirty money are engaging in a form of climate denial.

Its going to be a tough process to turn cultural organisations’ thinking around to dovetail with ACE’s new environmental principles, but the least you could expect is that they would lead from the front.

If you’d like to get involved with getting fossil fuel money out of culture, check out BP or not BP’s planned action at the British Museum on Saturday 8th February 2020.

(Image published under Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quarriephotography/11443527473/)

A Moment of Madness at Frequency Festival Lincoln

October 10, 2019 by

Our final tour dates of 2019 are nearly upon us. We’ll be appearing as part of Frequency Festival in Lincoln this October. Booking is now open.

Friday 25 – Saturday 26 October 2019
Frequency Festival
Lincoln Drill Hall

Tickets £40 per car (up to 4 people)
Tickets Available – Book here

Talking about The Other Way Works on podcasts

July 10, 2019 by

I’ve been interviewed for two excellent podcasts recently. I talk about the origins of the company, our working style, and go into detail about some of our projects.
Have a listen, and subscribe!

Hack Circus Podcast

TAIT (Talking about immersive theatre) Podcast

A Moment of Madness: Workshop

April 3, 2019 by

A two-day workshop for artists and makers interested in fusing theatre with collaborative gaming and new technologies.

Artists Katie Day and John Sear will share learning from the process of making A Moment of Madness, a new immersive and playful theatre experience which sees audiences thrust into the heart of a political spy thriller.
Open to artists and makers at any stage in their career – be it student, emerging or established, this practical workshop will provide hands-on opportunities to create your own mini experience.

Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th May 2019
10am – 4.30pm

BOM
(Birmingham Open Media)
1 Dudley Street
Birmingham
B5 4EG

£ 30
More information & booking via Eventbrite
http://tinyurl.com/amomworkshop

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with BOM, Sir Barry Jackson Trust, John Feeney Charitable Trust & Unity Theatre Trust

A Moment of Madness in development

January 10, 2019 by

Here’s a few photos of the project in development.

A Moment of Madness 2019 Tour Dates

November 30, 2018 by

Touring in 2019

Birmingham 3-6 May 2019
World Premiere in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Flatpack Festival.
SOLD OUT Flatpack Festival.

London
Friday 17 – Saturday 18 May

Watermans Arts Centre, Brentford
Tickets: £40 per car

watermans.org.uk

Stockton-on-Tees
Friday 2 – Sunday 4 August
Stockton International Riverside Festival, Stockton-on-Tees
Tickets to be released later in 2019
sirf.co.uk

Lincoln
Friday 25 – Saturday 26 October
Frequency Festival
Drill Hall
Tickets £40 per car (up to 4 people)
Frequency Festival Tickets Available

Welcoming Tricia to the team

July 6, 2018 by

We are very pleased to welcome Tricia Coleman to the team, as Producer of A Moment of Madness.

Tricia Coleman is an arts and event producer with a special interest in interactive performance, digital arts practice and new commissions. She is producer for Manchester International Festival (MIF) a biennial arts festival of new commissions; and previously for Abandon Normal Devices (AND), a programme of new approaches to art-making, new cinema and digital culture. Recent projects include: the international tour of virtual reality exhibition Björk Digital by Björk (MIF); Joshua Sofaer’s Workshops in People’s Homes, featuring performative workshops in domestic spaces (AND); and Missing, a game-based interactive theatre experience for young people (with youth charity 42nd Street).

The Other Way Works is seeking a freelance Producer

February 26, 2018 by

The Other Way Works is seeking a Freelance Producer to join our team to deliver the development and 2019 tour of ‘A Moment of Madness’ – a brand new immersive theatre meets real-world-gaming experience from The Other Way Works in collaboration with game designer John Sear.

This is a key management role, working alongside the Artistic Director Katie Day to ensure that the project is delivered in a high-quality and timely manner.

For further information and application process, please download the full Job Pack PDF here.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Saturday 10th March at 5pm.

Playtesters Wanted! Help us playtest our new immersive theatre experience

January 24, 2018 by

Date: Saturday 3rd February 2018, 2-3pm / 4-5pm
Location: BOM (Birmingham Open Media), 1 Dudley St, Birmingham B5 4EG
Free but advance booking essential via this link: https://goo.gl/forms/BTIB9RVMGYIalp7I3

As we continue to develop and refine ‘A Moment of Madness’ our immersive theatre meets urban gaming experience, we are looking for a group of willing volunteers to help us test some of our new material.

So if you’re happy to look beyond some very rough edges, and you’re excited about trying out a new interactive real-world game really early in its creative development, you’re exactly who we need right now!

This playtest will focus on getting to grips with the narrative, and we will be seeking playtesters’ input into what aspects of the story are making an impact, and where we need to work harder to make things clear.

Each playtest session will last 1 hour, and testers will work as a group. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback at the end with Katie Day, Artistic Director, The Other Way Works and John Sear, Technologist and Experimental Game Designer.

No experience is necessary to take part, only a willingness to engage. (16+)

Please sign up here to book your place – thank you!

Katie Day & John Sear
www.theotherwayworks.co.uk

(If you have any further questions please email them to info@theotherwayworks.co.uk)

A Moment of Madness is supported by BOM and Arts Council England.

Project funding success for A Moment of Madness!!

by

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been awarded funding from Arts Council England to make A Moment of Madness a reality.

An immersive theatre meets urban gaming experience, A Moment of Madness explores the morality of surveillance and our expectations of the private lives of public figures.

The project pioneers exciting new ground in the areas of digital technologies and interactive performance, bringing these together with puzzle-based gaming in a way that we have never seen done before.

We’ll be developing the production with support from our partners BOM this year, with the premiere scheduled for Spring 2019. We know that’s quite a long time to wait, but we promise it will be worth it!

In the meantime watch out for opportunities to test some of the elements in development over the next few months.