2017 has been a HUGE YEAR for Hull, and in particular for the artists living and making work here.

We've seen Middle Child raise the roof on their biggest production to date All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and gain NPO status, Silent Uproar win the Kevin Spacey Award before joining Bellow Theatre, Pub Corner Poets and curious directive (with their Hull 2017 commission) Take Over the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They absolutely smashed it. There are so many success stories of individual artists, including the brilliant choreographer Jon Beney who is now back in his home town making dance and collaborating cross art forms; Marc Graham winning the Stage Award for Best Performer; Tom Wells smashing the new-writing scene. We've also welcomed a range of theatre makers coming into the city from further afield - inspiring and also employing local talent. Hullensian artists have returned to their roots with the likes of Richard Bean and Lucy Beaumont waving the Hull flag in the media and bringing people 'back to ours’. Artistically and in terms of reach and engagement with our communities and our emerging practitioners, I feel like we’ve never had it so good.

But perhaps you’ve felt differently? Maybe this year hasn’t reached you and you haven't seen any changes. Maybe the promise of Hull 2017 didn't really live up to the reality? And of course, the big question on everyone's lips is: what will happen next. What happens to the Hull performing arts scene in 2018/19 and beyond?

So this is an invitation to join us to work together and to shape what's next for the theatre and dance sector in Hull. Beyond 2017, what will we make happen? How will we all keep Hull's performing arts scene alive and kicking after the bunting comes down? What are the new challenges we face, emerging from a year of plentiful support and positive attention into an environment that has never been more challenging for the arts?

I urge you to join us for a real conversation where your voice gets heard and you set the agenda. Devoted & Disgruntled is an Open Space event facilitated by Improbable for the artists of Hull to gather, talk, solve problems and share our dreams, ideas and issues as we look ahead to what’s next.

See you there

Martin Green

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