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30 Days and Beyond from Ben Anderson

Today marks 30 days since I landed at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. The last 30 days has flown by in a haze of inspiring conversations, deep listening and thinking. I’ve been galvanised by the care, passion and determination of many of the people I’ve spoken to, who have been affected in many ways by this organisation and its place within the university, city and region. It is clear that the organisation has played a key role in many peoples lives and is fondly thought of, as a result. 

It’s a rollercoaster of feeling when engaging in these kind of conversations. Especially when they are set against the context of what is, in many ways, an extraordinarily difficult time. We have just about survived lockdowns and Brexit, are dealing with staff shortages, low audience confidence and now astronomically rising energy bills, food prices and cost of services and goods – not to mention the climate crisis. It’s a relentless torrent of crises for an industry already creaking from the foundations of insecure work and comparably low public subsidy.

It is for that reason that these conversations feel some-what rebellious. To be hopeful feels like an audacious act. How dare we be so hopeful? Well I say let’s banish cynicism, and be audaciously hopeful. We have such a lot of future ahead of us and we need you to co-create it with us, especially if we are to face up to the many external challenges.

In October we will launch the Future Arts Centre: which is our invitation for a radical re-imagining of what we are here for, a community co-created re-think. We plan to democratise, to clarify and make transparent what is opaque alongside working feverishly to recruit a team, re-look at our internal systems and process, re-vitalise our look and feel, re-generate our spaces and take a fresh look at our artistic and programming policy, and in particular how we might establish ways to de-centralise this. 

So as we look ahead to some of the exciting things that will be coming over the next few months, I ask you to give us a chance. Whether you help us shape our future, come to sit in the cafe, attend an event, see a show, or even share a communal lunch with us, allow yourself to be inspired by new art in our gallery.

We have a very effective ability gift of bringing people together, across communities, across art forms – and the intersection of disciplines all colliding in the same place. It’s this kind of messy unity that makes Arts Centres such an exciting place to be. So we will be adopting this spirit and doing just that over the coming months. Whether that be getting together over food, refreshment and warmth, or bringing people together for discourse and discussion or introducing someone to their first live performance, a new artistic idea or concept or taking their professional debut. I hope the next few months will feature all of the above and look forward to seeing you and saying hi!

Ben Anderson – Creative and Executive Director

  • Published:
    Tue 13th Sep 2022
  • Posted by:
    Ben Anderson