A £2.5 million project aiming to engage more people in the arts in Doncaster will launch in September.
The South Yorkshire town ranked 274th out of 282 local authorities measured for their engagement in the arts.
© Be Studios
But a new programme, Right Up Our Street, will seek to redress the creative balance after winning Arts Council investment focusing on regions where involvements in the arts is significantly below the national average.
The three-year project is a partnership between darts (Doncaster Community Arts), £22 million new flagship cultural venue Cast, the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and Doncaster Voluntary Arts Network.
Three large-scale performance events, commissions informed by local communities and artists and artist-led grassroots developments in five communities - Balby, Bentley, Mexborough, Rossington and The East - all form part of the plan.
The official launch of the project, on September 6, coincides with the public opening of Cast. It will be celebrated with a ceremony, A Cast of Thousands Opening Ceremony, based around three parables about how art can change lives.
Gigantic graphic novels created by Rachana Jadhav will appear across Doncaster, as well as choirs, anthems and flashmobs, and Open House events will continue across the opening weekend.
“For more than 20 years our artists have been encouraging people in Doncaster to have a go at making great art - music, drama, film, dance, poetry," said Elaine Hirst, a Co-director at darts.
"We’ve seen the difference taking part can make to people’s lives and communities”.
She also predicted a sharp increase in local community arts participation and performances by 2016.