New Super Culture identity for award-winning arts flagships
Two North Somerset based arts flagships are to merge – bringing together award winning organisation Theatre Orchard and Culture Weston to create Super Culture.
The merger heralds a period of exciting change as the two come together with the shared vision to grow an ambitious, playful and inclusive creative culture in North Somerset.
This will be represented through world class festivals, events and live performance, creative talent development and a year-round participation programme that enables local communities to connect, get creative and take a lead in shaping their local cultural provision.
The new name – Super Culture – recognises the organisation’s wider remit to promote and support all that is best in creativity and culture across North Somerset, while remaining rooted in Weston-super-Mare.
Theatre Orchard was established as a charity in 2007 as a short term project to support performing arts in North Somerset, and following 11 years building cultural and creative provision with multiple communities became North Somerset’s first Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation in 2018. Since becoming a NPO, Theatre Orchard’s programme has reached 125,000 people, created paid opportunities for over 400 artists, presented more than 160 productions, 8 festivals, 28 new work commissions and worked with 6,000 people through creative engagement.
In November 2022, the organisation secured a significant uplift in investment as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio for 2023-2026, enabling the scale, reach and impact of the work to further develop.
Super Culture will specialise in creative placemaking and community participation – producing ambitious, diverse work with, for and by the people of North Somerset. A renewed focus on wider North Somerset will also help to supercharge existing creative provision in rural areas and neighbouring coastal towns.
Fiona Matthews, Creative Director at Super Culture, said: “It has been amazing to be part of the Theatre Orchard journey, since it was founded sixteen years ago. Through both Theatre Orchard and Culture Weston we have helped to shift perceptions about what culture can mean to a place as somewhere to live, work, visit and play! We hold firm to our central commitments around inclusion and excellence as we move forward under one Super Culture banner which joyfully encapsulates the creative energy that is flourishing in Weston and North Somerset right now.”
Super Culture is all about inclusion and working collaboratively with a wide range of partners including artists, community groups, local councils, schools, colleges and universities, the health sector, businesses and more, enabling culture and creativity to become part of everyday life for everyone.
Angela Hicks, Chair of Board of Trustees for Super Culture said: “North Somerset is fast becoming known for its distinctive and uplifting cultural life and the new brand name encapsulates this energy. Super Culture combines people powered creativity with outstanding international programming to produce a cultural offer with something to surprise and involve everyone – from sublime street art and world class contemporary dance on the beach to climate carnivals, synchronised swimming, poetry slams, feral gardening, community cooking and more.”
Super Culture launches with a packed programme for September and October kicking off with Whirligig international festival of outdoor arts on 9 & 10 September in Weston-super-Mare featuring Luke Jerram, Paraorchestra and Belgian Collectif Malunés amongst a stellar line-up.
See the full season programme at superculture.org.uk and follow @superculturewsm for the latest news.