Poetry in Motion: Local Poet heads new Arts Advisory Service in Winchester

A new style of service is being provided for arts organisations and individual practitioners living or working in the Winchester and Havant areas.  Thanks to a joint initiative by the Councils, they will have access to the guidance and support of a dedicated professional advisor.

Winchester City Council, in partnership with Havant Borough Council, has contracted freelance arts and heritage consultant Stephen Boyce to provide this service on a pilot basis until June 2012. Stephen, who has lived in Winchester for the past thirty years, brings a wealth of experience as a practitioner, funding officer and volunteer. He is a former Deputy Chief Executive of Southern Arts, and former Deputy Director at the Heritage Lottery Fund; he has been trustee of several arts organisations, and he currently chairs both the Board of The Nuffield Theatre and The Southampton Cultural Development Trust. He has worked as an actor and theatre director and is a published poet.

Stephen Boyce says, “I’m very excited about helping strengthen the arts across the two districts; there is an impressive amount of enterprise, initiative and skill among the arts community and it makes a major contribution to the vitality of the area. I shall be working two and half days a week, focussing specifically on helping to build capacity, connect people up and enable them to achieve their aspirations for the arts.”

Eloise Appleby, Assistant Director for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council, said, “This new style of service will test a different way of working for both Councils.  Commissioning of this kind is about looking for new solutions to old problems; new ideas, and new ways of getting things done.  Commissioning an arts advisory service should ensure that arts practitioners receive a first class, independent service in a way that ensures value for money for council tax payers.”

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sports, added, “Winchester’s creative community already makes an important contribution to the economic vitality and the quality of life of local people through architecture, design, film production, literature, performing arts and fine arts.  Winchester City Council is keen to nurture local talent and to ensure that the cultural distinctiveness of Winchester continues to be recognised.”

Stephen will be mainly available Monday to Wednesday and can be contacted via Flis Pitman, at Winchester City Council, 01962 848 303 or at fpitman@winchester.gov.uk until further notice.