Changing Lives through the Arts
We're passionate about bringing people of all ages and backgrounds to the arts, especially those who face barriers to participation for different reasons. In 2022, we launched a new project working with PKAVS Walled Garden and Wisecraft project, which supports local adults experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing. Read our story here.
If you've grown up attending concerts and plays regularly, you most likely take the prospect of attending a show in your stride. But for many young people and adults, attending a live event can feel like a big step.
As part our community education and outreach work, we nurtured a new partnership with the fantastic local charity PKAVS. We spent time with adults attending their mental wellbeing projects to find out about their engagement in, and experience of, the arts in Perth. We heard that people faced very real barriers to attending concerts and events. For some, it was an unfamiliar experience - the venues were unknown and they weren't sure what to expect from different types of events. Feeling safe was also very important - attending with friends and knowing there was a safe space to move to when feeling anxous. Little details like having a seat near an exit could make a big difference. Cost was also a barrier for unemployed or individuals on low income. Although we offer free tickets for carers to accompany the cared-for, often these weren't known about or taken up.
We delivered information sessions to help people learn about the Festival and the range of arts on offer. We then worked with staff to coordinate free tickets to a variety of shows that interested the group. Individuals chose to attend plays, musicals and a Scottish folk music concert. We organised group tickets and made sure seating was near an exit and the opportunities welcoming and informal. The group had a fantastic time with a real highlight being meeting singer-songwriter Siobhan Miller after her set.
We were delighted with the outcome of this first project and share feedback and photos below. We're very grateful to Caitlin at PKAVS and her colleagues for their help and support of the project.
"I've never seen a drama performance before. It was amazing to see."
"It was very moving, emotive because i[t] was one actor but she was amazing how she captured all the different characters."
"I felt all the feelings! Like a rollercoaster."