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Arts groups: stand up and be counted

[Thursday 13 April 2006]

AMATEUR ARTS groups across North Yorkshire are being urged to stand up and be counted as part of a countywide survey.

Local authorities, including the County Council, City of York Council and all North Yorkshire's district councils, are working on a study to find out more about amateur and voluntary arts groups in the county.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe and arts officer Gillian Wall urge arts groups to stand up and be counted
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe and arts officer
Gillian Wall urge arts groups to stand up and be counted

The aim is to compile a comprehensive database of groups and find out what types of help and support they need.

Fifty three per cent of the population in the UK takes part in voluntary arts activities and they play a vital role in enriching local communities with an endless list of artforms, including amateur dramatics and operatics groups, choral societies, amateur dance groups, folk groups, orchestras, art clubs, photograhy and film clubs, and brass bands.

John Fort, North Yorkshire's executive member for culture, said: "We have probably got around 600 voluntary arts organisations in North Yorkshire, however, we're conscious that because of the nature of the groups, we don't have a comprehensive, countywide database.

"This makes it difficult for local authorities and other organisations to provide these groups with the sort of help and support they need.

"If anyone belongs to an amateur and voluntary arts group and would like to know how they could access funding support, make use of specialist training provision, recruit new members and engage with new audiences, they should make sure they're involved in the study."

Anyone wanting to ensure their group is included on the database or wanting more information on the study should contact Gillian Howells on 01748 825362.

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