Barnsley based community arts organisation, Action Space Mobile, is to close down at the end of the month after 31 years of delivering arts projects in the South Yorkshire region and beyond.
The Company, Action Space, originated in London in 1968, and the touring branch – Action Space Mobile – moved north in 1984 under the artistic direction of Mary Turner one of its founding artists. The Company’s ethos has always been that participation in arts activity can change lives positively, specialising in those who are disadvantaged.
During its long history Action Space Mobile’s team of professional artists have created some amazing work and influenced many people. Using a wide array of arts practice, the artists have creatively engaged children and adults with learning disabilities, people recovering from addictions, those with mental health problems, the elderly with dementia, children in mainstream schools, refugees and local community groups.
Since the Company lost its status as a regularly funded client of the Arts Council in 2011, it has proved increasingly difficult to get funding for its core operations. The Company has continued to deliver many and varied arts projects but has run out of money to support the overhead costs of the organisation which are necessary to deliver these activities and support the future development of the Company.
Remaining true to the ethos of the Company to the end, it has recently completed a pioneering three year project with the elderly with dementia, culminating in a very successful event at the Civic just two weeks ago.
QUOTE: Jeremy Shine, founding Director and Trustee:
“It’s very sad that the increasing cuts imposed on Arts Council England and Local Authorities have made it increasingly difficult for arts organisations working with the most disadvantaged sectors of the community to survive let alone thrive.
I’d like to pay tribute to the many artists who have worked for Action Space Mobile over the years who will continue to drive the work forward under their own steam and wish them every success in the future.”
The good news is that most of our current projects will continue. Cross the Sky Theatre Company for adults with learning disabilities and the Visibility project for children with learning disabilities will both continue under the auspices of the Civic in Barnsley. In the Boat Theatre Company for adults with learning disabilities, based in Sheffield, now operates as The Professors. The mental health projects continue under the management of Creative Recovery, based at the Core, Barnsley.