Creative Producing: Making Places and Cultural Enterprises
Presentation with Rachel Feuchtwang (Creative Consultant & Producer) and
Gwenoële Trapman (Artistic Director, Production Department, Theaterschool Amsterdam - Netherlands).
Rachel Feuchtwang is a creative consultant & producer in performing arts working with a range of artists and organisations. Based in Amsterdam her work includes advising the Netherlands Performing Arts Fund, Kennisland think-tank, and other Dutch policy & cultural organisations on innovation projects and strategies, international co-production, and at the creative intersections with digital media. She recently produced new interactive and installation work with the London based motiroti for festivals and museums/heritage organisations. From 2001 – 2007 she was Head of Arts for the British Council in Netherlands. Earlier work has included producing with Michael Morris at Cultural Industry in London, bringing international artists and their work to the UK, and creating the internationally acclaimed and award-winning production Shockheaded Peter. She is currently producing touring and location-based work with artists in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Canada, involving theatre, installation, film, music and digital media projects.
Gwenoële Trapman is Artistic Director of the Production Department at the Amsterdam Theatreschool (part of the Amsterdam School of the Arts). The bachelors degree course was one of the first in Europe to recognise the need for highly trained production managers, dramaturgs, assistant directors as part of the creative team in contemporary performing arts practice. Prior to setting up the department she was the co-founding Business Director and Head of Production at the Grachtenfestival, the international chamber music festival in Amsterdam hosting the acclaimed Prinsengracht Concert and chamber concerts by virtuoso ensembles and soloists in and around the canals of Amsterdam. In her previous role as Production Manager she worked with a number of projects and organisations in the performing arts and broadcast media including Theatergroep Hollandia and the Holland Festival.
In the current climate of fundamental rethinking of our economies, social values, power and decision-making processes, cultural expression is more relevant than ever. It is one of the ways that complex public issues can be catalysed within the context of how global and local issues affect individual and collective personal lives. The performing arts offer a live cultural interaction between people and ideas, not only as a backdrop to social issues but as an expressive agent of enlightenment, entertainment, reflection and interaction. Theatre above all operates within a social contract in which the physical staging brings about the encounter with content (ideas) and the audience (people), in public spaces & locations taking place around a collective cultural experience. The places where these experiences are staged and the producing organisations making them happen have an often undervalued contribution to make to wellbeing and the social fabric of the civic environment.
Creative Producing has become used as a term within the performing arts to describe the function of the producer (or producing organisation) as being equally involved with the artistic seeding of a concept as with the production process necessary for executing and delivering a project, and holding together the three-way relationship between the artistic idea (content), the money and production process needed to realise it (resources), and the audience to engage with it (public). Although this is not a new process, the different functions are often split between jobs, responsibilities and accountabilities and not all points of the triangular relationship are held in balance. Where a creative producing approach is evident this more commonly leads to the most dynamic, risk‐taking and innovative cultural experiences.
What makes a cultural organisation into a creative producing place? How can these places survive as sustainable social and cultural enterprises? What makes them into magnets for audiences, social participation and innovation, as well as for shareholders, stakeholders and investors?
This session will present for discussion the findings from recent research explorations commissioned by the Production Department of the Theatreschool Amsterdam (part of the Amsterdam School of the Arts) into Creative Producing. It involved interviews with some leading proponents.