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Big Imaginations

Big Imaginations Big Imaginations is a region-wide group of venues and promoters dedicated to bringing brilliant chil We are a region-wide group of venues and promoters dedicated to bringing brilliant children’s theatre to the North West.

From grand auditoriums to rural village halls and everything in between, our mission is to spark the imagination of children aged 0-12 with the wonder of theatre. Big Imaginations has brought together 15 venues to make the North West’s children’s theatre offer bigger, better and more affordable.

07/10/2022

We are Theatre Porto

At Theatre Porto we don’t believe children are the future. We know they are the now, the present. Their individual ideas and imaginations are relevant today and inspire and inform everything we do. We work with children and young people as creative collaborators, to make professional and aspirational theatre which we share locally, regionally, nationally and internationally from our home in Ellesmere Port.

We have established a unique processes of making new theatre by putting young people at the heart of all our work.

We explore what theatre and new writing can do in the 21st Century and the vital and changing roles young people can play in the making of original and significant theatre for our time.

We create new work at Whitby Hall, our theatre base in Ellesmere Port. We are an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. We develop new professional productions for traditional and non-traditional spaces. We also export plays, processes, skills and ideas to ensure that the voices and creativity of young people contribute to the richness and diversity of our theatre landscape.

Theatre Porto continues to evolve as a learning and sharing organisation, working increasingly in strong partnerships to maximise resources and create new opportunities.

We work with others to platform and promote theatre by and with young people, as well as exceptional theatre that is made for them.

06/10/2022

OUTREACH ARTS PRACTITIONER

Contract type: Fixed term to June 2025

Hours: Full time (36.25 hours per week) Job Share may also be considered for this role.

Salary: £19,798 to £21,634 (FT) depending on experience

Deadline for Applications: Noon Monday 17th October 2022

Interviews: Tuesday 25th October 2022

Apply here - https://burnleyyouththeatre.org/about-us/jobs-and-opportunities/

30/09/2022

Here are some of our FOCUS AREAS
-Sector Resources, focusing on industry news, resources and opportunities. These posts will always be purple and green,
-Artist Opportunities, looking at artist development, performance and training opportunities, including the Artist Imagination Fund. These are orange and yellow.
-See A Show! For all the shows across the network, including tours and commissions. These posts are blue and pink.

Our fourth focus area - MEMBERS can be seen in the 'member's spotlight' posts, in which we shine a light on the organisations that make up this unique network.

28/09/2022

It's finally time!!!! Tomorrow night will be the first ever performance of Grandad Anansi for the public at Z-arts!!!!
It's visiting many many organisations across the network! See our tour post for more details!

26/09/2022

DID YOU KNOW...
Big Imaginations has FOUR FOCUS AREAS
-Audiences
-Artists
-Creative Industry
-Members

On our socials we share updates and opportunities for all these areas so there's something helpful for everyone!

'But how do I tell which area is which???!' I hear you cry....well....colour coordinated aren't they! This week we'll be sharing the focus areas and talking about our aims within each one.

22/09/2022

TOMORROW!!!!
Learn how to make your artistic practice sustainable, with practical hints and tips

About this event
A lot of us are beginning to think more about sustainability and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint in our daily lives.

Join Amie Taylor (Fun Palaces) and Daniel Jackson (Trace Productions) as they discuss sustainability policies in their own practices, ways of being more environmentally friendly and supporting each other in our sustainability journeys.

In this hour and a half workshop, Daniel will be talking through the practical ways you can make your practice as green as possible, as well as sharing ways of inspiring and empowering others to become more climate friendly.

What to expect:

* A short film and presentation introducing Fun Palaces and Trace Productions

* Practical ideas and tips on how to make your artistic practice more sustainable

* A chance to meet and discuss ideas with other artists/makers makers about how you might make your practice more sustainable

* A chance to ask any questions and share your own thoughts and ideas.

How will it run?

This will be run on Zoom. There will be no pressure to have your camera on in the session.

How much does it cost?

We understand that money is tight at the moment as so we're asking for a pay what you can contribution of £5+ based on the following system:

Low-income: £1

Standard contribution: £5

In work and can afford it: £10

You can do this during checkout, all funds raised go back into us making more events like this one.

GET TICKETS HERE - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creating-an-environmentally-friendly-practice-tickets-396588515927

Access Information:

BSL Interpretation: BSL interpretation will be available, however we ask that you contact us to confirm if you need it so that we can send you additional information in advance.

Financial Support: If paying a minumum of £1 is a barrier to you joining, please email [email protected].

Booking support: If you need help booking your place, you can email megan .org.uk and she will book a place for you.

20/09/2022

Want to develop your understanding in creating work for children and families?

Want the time and space to develop your artistic process and producing ability?

Apply for The Spark Arts for Children Vital Spark Artist Relationship Programme
funded training opportunity.

'We are looking for extraordinary artists to spend time learning, growing and most importantly developing a relationship with us.

The programme will include a 4-day artist residency in Leicester featuring a series of masterclasses led by the industry’s leading practitioners and fantastic ‘go and see’ opportunities between November to February 2023'

All the details, including how to apply here -
www.thesparkarts.co.uk/artistrelationships

16/09/2022

Grandad Anansi, a Big Imaginations member co-commission is touring our network this autumn.
Catch it at Z-arts , The Montgomery, The Met, Wonder Arts, Tameside Libraries, The Grand Venue
All details on our website!

Photos from Horse + Bamboo's post
14/09/2022

Photos from Horse + Bamboo's post

We're soooooooooo excited!!!! Anansi so quick, Anansi so cool has arrived for rehearsal at Z-arts! 'Grandad Anansi' is a...
13/09/2022

We're soooooooooo excited!!!! Anansi so quick, Anansi so cool has arrived for rehearsal at Z-arts!
'Grandad Anansi' is a co-comission with Half Moon Young People's Theatre and will be touring across maaaaaaany of the Big Imaginations venues so keep an eye out!!! All tour dates will be posted here soon!

12/09/2022

🪴An uplifting tale of love, courage & letting go 🪴

Abi and her Grandad tell each other Anansi folktales. They play games as they work together in the garden among the beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables. As they plant memories, they share secrets and develop a bond that nothing can break. Grandad is as smart and mischievous as the wily Anansi legend. Can he find a way to tell his granddaughter about his plans to return to Jamaica, his beloved homeland?

🗓 Saturday 15th October

📍Chester Lane Library

🎟 £3.10 single ticket

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 £9.25 family ticket (group of 4)

⏰ 11am - www.wonderarts.co.uk/upcoming-events/grandad

⏰ 2pm - www.wonderarts.co.uk/upcoming-events/grandadpm

St Helens Libraries Big Imaginations What's On In St.Helens Fantastic for Families St Helens Borough Council

09/09/2022

Calling all artists wanting to start a company! HOME Mcr and Clarissa Widya of Papergang Theatre can show you how!
-----
Do you want to start your own theatre company? Have you got ideas that you need to get to the stage? Are you not quite sure where to start? Wondering whether you should set up as a Ltd company or CIC? What does CIC even mean….?

Join us for this online workshop with Clarissa Widya of Papergang Theatre Company to get an insight into the process of self-producing. Bring your ideas, bring all your questions and be prepared to join in the discussion.

This workshop will last approx. 90 mins.

Get your tickets at https://homemcr.org/event/how-to-start-a-theatre-company-online-workshop/

Photos from Cheshire Rural Touring Arts's post
08/09/2022

Photos from Cheshire Rural Touring Arts's post

08/09/2022

🪴An uplifting tale of love, courage & letting go 🪴

Abi and her Grandad tell each other Anansi folktales. They play games as they work together in the garden among the beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables. As they plant memories, they share secrets and develop a bond that nothing can break. Grandad is as smart and mischievous as the wily Anansi legend. Can he find a way to tell his granddaughter about his plans to return to Jamaica, his beloved homeland?

🗓 Saturday 15th October

📍Chester Lane Library

🎟 £3.10 single ticket

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 £9.25 family ticket (group of 4)

⏰ 11am - www.wonderarts.co.uk/upcoming-events/grandad

⏰ 2pm - www.wonderarts.co.uk/upcoming-events/grandadpm

St Helens Libraries Big Imaginations What's On In St.Helens Fantastic for Families St Helens Borough Council

08/09/2022

Encounter are seeking to meet local people of all ages for an intergenerational film project about living and playing in Hulme, Manchester and Lancaster/Morecambe Bay.
Supported by Lancaster Arts and Z arts.

What is it all about?
Meet Eat Make is about local people of different generations coming together to explore what 'play' means, sharing their talents and interests, and trying out different ways of being creative together.
You'll meet someone or a group of people from a different generation, in a local cafe along with the artists Jen and Chris.
We'll all have a cup of tea and some cake (on us!) and chat about what you think of the area you live in and how you like to spend your time. And then, with the artist's support, you'll meet up again and make a short film.
Further details and how to apply can be found on the news section of the Big Imaginations website - https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/call-out-for-locals-to-take-part-in-eat-meet-make-project/

07/09/2022

Artists: Are you looking for free space?? Check out a couple of incredible venues in our network offering free space for RnD. You can find links to all of their websites on the Big Imaginations ‘Our Members’ page, https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/about/our-members/

The Dukes, Lancaster – Open Space
Square Chapel Arts Centre , Halifax – Dead Space Scheme

Check out Horse + Bamboo Autumn programme full of treats for families
06/09/2022

Check out Horse + Bamboo Autumn programme full of treats for families

05/09/2022

We are Wild Rumpus

Wild Rumpus CIC is a social enterprise producing large scale outdoor arts events, most often in wild natural landscapes. We believe that when audiences engage together in the highest quality arts in the great outdoors, something quite amazing can happen.

Working from Ashbank Farm, as well as the Whirligig – 4 acres of woodland in Cheshire, we create experiences which inspire curiosity and design events that immerse audiences in incredible stories and moments of wonder.

What do we do?
- Just So Festival, a weekend-long family adventure at Rode Hall, Cheshire
-Timber Festival, an extraordinary 3-day camping festival – combining music, forests, art, ideas. Set in between the trees of Feanedock, in the National Forest
-Hinterlands Film Festival, celebrating rural film in dramatic ways across the landscapes of the Lakes and Dales
-The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, bringing families from across the north west to a dazzling spectacle of light and performance

Spaces we have:
-The Whirligig, 4 acres of woodland in Cheshire. A creative outdoor space available for artists, arts organisations, networking groups and other like-minded organisations to hire year round. The Whirligig provides flexibility for a range of workshops, some time in the woods to network, develop new material, for creative making purposes, or simply for some time to reflect.

Find out more at https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/organisation/wild-rumpus/

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is a national project which supports dance artists & rural promoters to make g...
26/08/2022

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is a national project which supports dance artists & rural promoters to make great dance performance events happen in rural spaces.

The project is run by The Place in partnership with Highlights, National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), Sonia Sabri Co. and Take Art. In 2022 the project was awarded grants from Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to continue to support dance touring from 2022 to 2026.

We are seeking artists to take part in this project. This is an opportunity for you to tour existing work to rural locations during autumn 2023 and spring 2024.
A fee per performance of £1,000 - £1,500 (including VAT) depending on scale and cost

The opportunity to apply for a bursary to support the costs of adapting the show for rural touring (the average bursary awarded will be £2,000)

The opportunity to adapt your show during a residency in a village hall or similar space

A space on the Practical Introduction to Rural Touring Lab

Marketing and producing support

Support to develop the accessibility of your touring show

Support to minimise the environmental footprint of your show

Apply here - https://theplace.org.uk/opportunities/rural-touring-dance-initiative-call-out-for-artists

We're still so buzzing after Just So Festival this year! here are some of old and new friends of Big Imaginations doing ...
25/08/2022

We're still so buzzing after Just So Festival this year! here are some of old and new friends of Big Imaginations doing what they do best at this year's best family festival!
Stay tuned on our website for more news from Just So.
David Gibb

23/08/2022

We can’t believe it’s been 6 months since we changed our name and relaunched as Wonder Arts ?

It’s certainly true what they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, it’s been a super busy time for us and we’ve loved every second.



Since relaunching we have engaged 3,400 children and families from St Helens and beyond with fun and creative events and workshops.

We’ve brought a touch of wonder to both Earlestown and St Helens Town Centres, partnered with St Helens Libraries to lose ourselves in fabulous stories at a Wondrous Storytelling Festival and teamed up with Artist Led in St Helens to oversee an invasion of Aliens, Zombies and Monsters.

We’ve met so many wonderful families over the past 6 months, with people describing our activities and events as; “Extraordinary”, “hilarious”, “amazing”, “fabulous”, “incredible”, “brilliant”, “unexpected”, “beautiful”, “creative”, “vibrant” and of course “WONDERFUL”

Check out our blog at https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/celebrating-6-months-of-wonder/

22/08/2022

We are Wonder Arts

We create amazing arts experiences for children, young people, and families. Inspiring wonder and delight, transforming lives and communities. You’ll find us everywhere you would never expect.

What do we do?

Programme theatre for children and families in non-traditional spaces
Youth Theatre and Community Projects for children and young people
Artist Development
Spaces we have:

Libraries – various capacities
Outdoor/Town Centre
Church Hall
Empty shop units

Check us out at https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/organisation/wonderarts/

Photos from Wonder Arts's post
22/08/2022

Photos from Wonder Arts's post

19/08/2022

Look at all our partners! (not accurate locations 🙃)🥹
We have partners bringing high-quality children and families theatre all the way from Lancaster to Stoke and beyond!
Find out more at https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/
Wonder Arts Theatre Porto Burnley Youth Theatre Horse + Bamboo CreativeScene Cheshire Rural Touring Arts Tameside Libraries and Culture Just So Festival Kirkgate Arts & Heritage Touchstones Rochdale Manchester Libraries The Dukes, Lancaster Oldham Libraries Square Chapel Arts Centre The Montgomery The Old Courts Theatre Deli Sheffield The Met Spot On Lancashire unity theatre Wild Rumpus Waterside Arts Z-arts The Dukes, Lancaster

18/08/2022

Did you know.....Big Imaginations supports 23 venues across the North West to programme high quality, diverse children and families theatre!?
Our members include venues, rural touring networks and festivals. We seek to drive and strengthen a consortium and touring circuit in the North West enabling quality children’s shows to come to the region more readily, making it more cost-effective and sustainable.
Find out more at https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/

02/08/2022

Tameside Libraries and Culture are kicking up a storm with an incredible programme of outdoor family theatre this August!
Find all the shows and book your tickets here - https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/show/
From top left -
-Circus Serious, 31st August
-There Be Monsters from The Fabularium, 24th August
-Alice In Wonderland from Folksy Theatre, 17th August
-Reynard the Fox from The Fabularium, 10th August

02/08/2022

Hold Your Own is piece created by in partnership with .nw following acrobatic and drama workshops with families from St Helens.
This piece has been funded by Big Imaginations, as part of our Artist Imagination Fund.
Get tickets here - https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/show/hold-your-own-sharing/

We have even more incredible opportunities to share with you! Wild Rumpus are looking for volunteers for Just So Festiva...
14/07/2022

We have even more incredible opportunities to share with you! Wild Rumpus are looking for volunteers for Just So Festival this year! With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So Festival enables families to step out of their day to day lives and into a wonderland of world class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits together.
You can volunteer by filling out the form at wildrumpus.org.uk/join-the-wild-rumpus-community

Address

335 Stretford Road, Hulme
Manchester
M15 5ZA

Telephone

+441612261912

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👋With Fairy Tales well underway, we've had lots of lovely new followers recently, but did you know, Z-arts is not just all about our magical world of play and storytelling, oh no, there is SO MUCH more to discover at Z-arts! 😍

Here's a little introductory blog on who we are and what we do.

🔗 Visit: https://www.z-arts.org/nice-to-meet-you-we-are-z-arts/

Z-arts is a place to express yourself, to celebrate your imagination, to have fun, be entertained and dream big! 🥳☁️So, whatever your age and whether you’re coming to see a show or make some amazing mini-masterpieces in one of our arts workshops, we hope you enjoy your visit to Z-arts and are inspired by your own creativity.

We are the UK’s only arts centre dedicated to offering best practice in children and young people’s provision. Our mission: to inspire and enable generations of young people from and the to use creativity to maximise their potential.

We engage with hundreds of thousands of people annually in - Outreach programmes with local communities, schools, and colleges, international touring theatre shows and we've got superb on-site facilities including:

🎭230-seat Theatre
✨Studio Theatre,
🖌Gallery Workspace
☕️Cafe Bar (Z-Cafe),
🎙Recording Studio
🎶Music Space
🩰Dance Studio
👀Plus so much more in various other activity rooms. AND there's even more to come this year, so stay with us!

...We are so proud to host weekly classes for all the , home to our Bright Sparks Membership, 🪐which not only includes classes from yoga, dance, and drama to visual art, music, and even podcasting but also allows you a discount on our theatre shows throughout the year! 🎫🎫

Creative learning and are at the heart of what we do. 🧡We work closely with schools and education practitioners to bring learning to life with the .

We're also the lead organisation for Big Imaginations, a network of 23 arts organisations across and the North West. As well as taking leadership roles in various other networks, such as, MADE and Family Arts Campaign, Fantastic for Families.

We believe that theatre and the arts are for everyone! 🤩🌟

They are inspiring, immersive, and magical, and we want to share the joy of creativity, imagination, and storytelling with children and families in Greater Manchester and beyond.

Thanks for tuning in! 🥰 If you want to find out more about Z-arts, head to the link in our bio.

Alternatively, our friendly Box Office team are on the other end of the phone on 0161 226 1912 / Or grab one of the team when you next come to see us!

Curious Investigators
📆 Sat 23 Apr
🕐 11am & 2pm
🎟️ http://ow.ly/FiZt50ItFCF

A cracking new adventure for 3–7-year-olds and their grown-ups comes to The Met in April! 🐣

Curious Investigators is a brand new adventure created in collaboration with engineering experts from Lancaster University: a delightfully surprising, highly visual show not to be missed! ⭐

This brand-new family show has been hatched by One Tenth Human, commissioned by Big Imaginations and is supported by Backstage Trust.

Did you know? Z-arts is the lead organisation of Big Imaginations. A network of 23 arts venues and organisations dedicated to providing high-quality, imaginative, and affordable theatre to children and their grown-ups across the and ! ✨

🎫Find out what's happening across the network. From parties to projections, have lots coming up for all ages and budgets! 👉https://www.bigimaginations.co.uk/show/page/2/
Today we're saying bon voyage to the amazing Tiff! We're sending you best of luck in your new role, you will be truly missed by everyone at Z-arts and Big Imaginations! ☺ Thank you for everything over the past three years! WE'LL MISS YOU!💜
First day of our Curious Investigators tour AND seeing our production photos for the first time - a lovely Sunday! 🎭

We're already having so much fun creating, exploring & making discoveries with our . Looking forward to more adventures!

📸 Grant Archer

Tour Info: https://onetenthhuman.com/project/curious-investigators/

Big Imaginations
Building sets and shows = buckets of fun and bubbles of joy!

We’ve had a cracking couple of weeks at Z-arts for the final rehearsals of family adventure Curious Investigators before it heads off on tour. And as we’re all about making and getting creative, we couldn’t resist sharing with you a quick peek at the world of our Curious Investigators in progress 🎭

Join us for more out on tour and become Curious Investigators from this Sunday! Tickets, dates and venues found here 👇
https://onetenthhuman.com/project/curious-investigators/

📸 Sam Wilde

Big Imaginations
🔍Last year, Investigator Toni enrolled the help of some mini sleuths to discover something amazing on Zoom! 💻 Now she's back - but this time, she is conducting her special search at Z-arts!

So, thinking caps on and problem-solving skills at the ready!😁 Join us for a cracking adventure, created in collaboration with engineering experts from Lancaster University: a delightfully surprising, highly visual show for 3-7-year-olds and their grown-ups.😎

This show has some rather funky seating! Choose your spot for you and your family/friends. We have a variety of seating available!

Book now: https://www.z-arts.org/events/curious-investigators-3/



One Tenth Human
Big Imaginations
*Last few tickets left!* 🎫

Stomping its way into our hearts NEXT WEEK is Stan, an exciting new play for children that celebrates the power of play, the joy of communication, and the positive force of friendship. 🥰 Join Sam and Alex on an unforgettable adventure to meet Stan, the almighty T-rex 🦖 at Manchester Museum!

🎫https://www.z-arts.org/events/stan/

Art with Heart
Manchester Deaf Centre
Big Imaginations
Arts Council England

🤩It’s competition time! 🤩

For your chance to win 4 tickets to a performance of STAN of your choice at The Met, all you need to do is post a picture of your young one (or yourself) striking your best dino pose! 🦖
Best dino pose wins!
Tag yourself with and enter before Friday 11th Feb, 5pm to be in with a chance of winning.

More info on the show 👉 https://themet.org.uk/event/stan/

Art with Heart Mcrdefencecentre Manchester Museum Big Imaginations Arts Council England Greater Manchester Combined Authority
. Art with Heart present Stan, an exciting new play for children, written and performed in English and BSL. Stan explores communication, friendship, play, the family unit... and dinosaurs. Think Pixar’s Inside Out meets Night at the Museum 🦖

Stan is followed by a free workshop for children and families to help explore the play’s themes. Stan is well worth a visit!

📆17/18 Feb
👉https://themet.org.uk/event/stan/

Stan is written by Sarah Emmott, and directed by John McGrath. Presented in partnership with Z-arts and Manchester Museum


Mcrdefencecentre Big Imaginations Arts Council England Greater Manchester Combined Authority
🦖 Stomping its way into our hearts this season is Stan, an exciting new play for children that celebrates the power of play, the joy of communication and the positive force of friendship. Join Sam and Alex on an unforgettable adventure to meet Stan, the almighty T-rex at Manchester Museum 🦖

📆 THU 17 FEB 7:00 PM, FRI 18 FEB 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM
BOOK 👉https://themet.org.uk/event/stan/
OR give our box office a call during opening hours 0161 761 2216

Art with Heart Z-arts Manchester Deaf Centre Manchester Museum Big Imaginations Arts Council England Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Thank you so much to all of our audiences and to the wonderful Topsy Turvy Theatre for joining us for two sell out shows today.

We’ve had an amazing day getting in the festive spirit with ‘The Lost Present’

Big Imaginations
x

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