Creative Coffees

In the run up to the launch of the Digital Fringe in July, join us for some online creative action!

Monday July 20th, 9.30am (BST) – Arts Council England Project Grants

After a brief closure of the fund in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis, Arts Council England has announced that National Lottery Project Grants will reopen on 22nd July. Join Terry Adams, ACE Relationship Manager for Diversity, to discuss the grants in the light of updated guidance being produced for the relaunch.

There will be the opportunity for some questions at the end, but in order to maximise the session, we strongly encourage you to submit any questions for Terry in advance to

Reading Borough Council Cultural Development Officer Lara Stavrinou will also be available to discuss how she can support with applications and broker partnerships for people in the local area.

Book your FREE ticket here.

You can also watch via the Reading Fringe Festival event page (register for free access).

Monday July 13th, 9.30am (BST) – Creating a Digital Fringe Festival

Our next Creative Coffee comes days before Reading Fringe goes live with its first-ever digital festival. So we will be looking at the challenges and rewards of putting together online cultural events both now and in the future in Creating a Digital Fringe Festival.

Members of the Reading Fringe Digital team will discuss how they have gone about following last year’s Festival – the most successful yet with 5,000 attendees at venues across the town – with 10 days of online events including cabaret, film, music, photography, theatre and more.

They will also be joined by artists and producers talking about their experiences putting on shows during lockdown.

This event will be live captioned.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday June 29th, 9.30am (BST) – Ensuring Covid-19 culture is accessible for all, with Hannah Burgess of What Box?

Hannah Burgess from social enterprise What Box leads a discussion on accessibility in digital arts.

As COVID-19 changes the way we create and enjoy culture, how do we ensure digital art is accessible for our audiences? And as we return to physical spaces post-lockdown, how can we ensure inclusion is prioritised in recovery?

This session will highlight the incredible work of organisations through the pandemic, and consider what best practice will look like in creating accessible digital arts going forward.

Hannah is a neuro-divergent disabled project manager, from Reading. Hannah was previously the programmer at Slough Cultural Hub The Curve. Hannah began What Box? to create video visual guides for events and organisations in a bid to make more life experiences accessible for autistic and neurodivergent audiences.

This event will be live captioned.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday June 15th, 9.30am (BST) – Dance in a Time of Crisis, with Liz Allum of Dance Reading

Join Liz Allum of Dance Reading and dance professionals from across the region to talk all things dance in a time of crisis.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your dance practice or business? What positives, new ways of working, thinking, connecting have emerged? How can we build resilience in the sector? What tips, support, ideas can you share? how do we get back in the studio? How do we run socially distanced dance classes? What’s coming next for the dance sector?

Help us discuss and answer some of the practical questions we are all facing, and think bigger to how we use dance as a tool to help our communities recover.

Dance Reading is a development organisation, supporting and enhancing the dance landscape in Reading and the surrounding area. We are passionate about creating a thriving and diverse dance landscape in our town. We bring high quality professional performances to wide reaching audiences. We work with young, emerging and professional artists, providing advice, support and developmental opportunities. We deliver a month-long festival of dance every November, celebrating exciting and innovative dance locally and nationally.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday June 1st, 9.30am (BST) – Creativity and Mental Health, with Mary Genis of Culture Mix (Reading)

Credit: West & East Berkshire Camera Club

Entrepreneur and performance artist Mary Genis will lead a discussion on why the arts are so important to our human sanity.

Please note we will be streaming this event to our Facebook page via Facebook Live. If you do not wish to appear on the Facebook Live feed then please join with your camera turned off.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday May 18th, 9.30am (BST) – The Importance of Play, with jelly (Reading)

Now more than ever play in all forms is essential – we need to learn how to play again. Join Kate Powell and Suzanne Stallard of Reading based award-winning arts charity Jelly to discuss the importance of rediscovering the joy of play in these challenging times.

Please note we will be streaming this event to our Facebook page via Facebook Live. If you do not wish to appear on the Facebook Live feed then please join with your camera turned off.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday May 4th, 9.30am (BST) – Rebuilding a New Normal, with Fiona Leonard (Düsseldorf)

In this second Creative Coffee morning, Fiona Leonard (Blue Goat Theatre) will talk about why grass roots collaboration is critical for rebuilding a new normal in a post-pandemic world, the questions we need to be asking about leveraging digital platforms and how to find a vampire hunter in Prague. Fiona started the 24 Hour Festival online as a response to the impact of COVID-19 on global artists and to challenge the notion of social distancing.

Book your FREE ticket here

Monday April 20th, 9.30am (BST) – Empowering Creatives, with Helen Hopcraft (Australia)

Join Creative Coffee concept founder Helen Hopcroft (My Year as a Fairy Tale) as she leads the discussion on the importance of empowering creatives. In 2017, Helen spent the year dressed as Marie Antoinette – 24/7!

Book your FREE ticket here