Kent Community Foundation has been supporting community theatre groups for the last twenty years and now more than ever, this help has been essential in ensuring their survival
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Community groups offer a lifeline for many, as they provide a channel to express themselves creatively while also being a fun and reassuring space where individuals can gather with others in similar, often challenging, situations.
“There has been much talk of ‘Culture in Crisis’ and the plight of theatres and the arts during the pandemic. Kent Community Foundation has been supporting community theatre groups for the last twenty years and in the last 12 months alone has distributed £155,000 in grants to support these important organisations. The Government Road Map has now given theatres a possible reopening date but there is still much to be done if these groups are to recover fully.”
Naked Frank Theatre specialise in mental health recovery through arts engagement. They host free outreach events, engage communities in arts, culture and heritage projects, produce and tour original theatre, host participatory workshops and educational sessions, run campaign projects, and collaborate with charitable organisations to provide engagement opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged people with limited or no access to the arts.
Claire Portelli, Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Naked Frank Theatre said, “In December 2020 Naked Frank Theatre received £5000 to help fund Noël Festival, an engagement festival for mental health patients at the Bracton Centre in Dartford. Kent Community Foundation helped the project to reach a wider audience and provide the local community with future opportunities. As part of the festival, Gyrus & The Forest was produced. This is their newest theatre piece captured on film during lockdown for service-users of mental health.
“Naked Frank Theatre are now planning to release this to the public via social media and this simply wouldn’t have been possible without the essential grant from Kent Community Foundation. Through this festival Naked Frank Theatre have since created future opportunities for 14 different venues as a direct result of the grant offered to them. Their next project is a VR Experience called ‘High Tide Festival’ coming to the Kent area between 13th September – 3rd October this year.
“Naked Frank Theatre recognise the importance of Kent Community Foundation’s work and are extremely grateful to have provided a high-quality arts festival to the Dartford area. The grant provided vulnerable adults with a holistic care plan that ran alongside their NHS recovery, this guided them through the harshest Christmas during the current pandemic.”
To find out more about Kent Community Foundation visit www.kentcf.org.uk