18th January 2024
Alice Altounyan: What is the Bath Arts Collective and how did it come to be?
Kate Hall: We’re a community interest company focused on bringing the people of Bath together to create memorable experiences in brilliant places across the city and the surrounding areas. The three of us have worked in Bath for many years and we have a wealth of experience across programming, producing and marketing; having created, developed and delivered over 2,500 events across the city.
Our ethos is centred around four strands – to create our own live festivals and events; to connect people and give the arts and culture scene in Bath a united voice; to consult by giving people access to our expertise in making their festivals and events a success; and to contribute by giving as many people as possible access to the experiences the arts can offer.
AA: What makes Bath right for this initiative?
Jas Barker: Bath is a complex city, but it has such amazing potential for culture outside of its fantastic heritage. It's more than its Georgian townhouse image, with some fantastic venues that are full of character, places like Komedia, Mr B’s Emporium and The Grapes, and we are just as excited to showcase them as we are to showcase the Roman Baths or the Guildhall.
The level of talent and creativity in the city is also incredible, we have writers, filmmakers, artists, actors and so much more. Our goal is to work with them to something different and create really special experiences for Bath.
AA: What are you hoping the Collective could achieve?
Kate Abbey: We felt that we’re in a strong position to amplify what else is going on in the city and launched this new initiative to grow Bath’s varied and vibrant art scene and help it appeal to everyone.
An important focus for us is to ensure that we support creatives of all genres and experience, whether they are based locally, nationally or internationally and find ways to constantly broaden the range of events for children, young people and adults to make sure there is representation, innovation and excellence built in to everything we do.
Our hope is that Bath Arts Collective can bring crowd-pleasers, hidden gems, new voices and local talent to the city that we love living and working in.
AA: What makes a good event?
JB: A lot of thought and work! We talk and plan endlessly with each other, other people and organisations to make sure we have created the magic formula. When you get it right it is really special, there’s no feeling like being in a space where you can feel the whole audience captured in that moment that will stay with them for a long time.
This could be a small talk in a bookshop with a debut author, an immersive film experience in a heritage site, a workshop in a cosy pub with a glass of wine or working with young people who want to pursue a career in the arts industry. It’s about bringing people together to enjoy something special.
AA: What are the challenges in running an organisation like this?
KH: We have a lot of ambition and our biggest challenges will be having enough hours in the day to achieve everything we want to do and ensuring that we sustain ourselves financially.
We’re lucky that we have the team in place already and have the contacts and knowledge from our time working in Bath but if we want to achieve what we have set out to do, and not be purely commercial, we’ll need the right balance of funding, sponsorship and ticket revenue.
AA: What does the future hold for the Bath Arts Collective?
KA: 2024 is going to start with a bang! We are thrilled to partner with Bath BID on a strand for ReBalance Bath - a festival of wellbeing - for three very special events in January.
We’ll then be launching our first original project - Curious Minds: A Festival to Ignite Ideas, which runs across 7-28 March. You can expect a selection of handpicked talks, films, performances and workshops aimed to entertain, educate and challenge.
There’s so much on so check out the programme online and join us in turning March into a month that celebrates the spirit of curiosity!
To find out more about the Bath Arts Collective, visit www.batharts.co.uk