This is an update on CircuitWest’s activities and plans during the existing changing crisis and beyond.
I want to start by saying I hope you are well and coping in these strange and testing times.
With the closure of venues and the cancellation of tours, research, marketing and the postponement of WA Showcase, CircuitWest has been evolving how we operate, connect and listen better so we can discover what we can contribute to the changing landscape.
Now as we look to open we are looking to what our role will be to help the industry recover
Here’s the highlights of where we are now and what we hope to get to in the short to medium term.
- WA Showcase – we are looking at when to schedule the postponed event and what shape it will take. We’ll keep you posted.
- Tours – have been postponed for now and we are working with presenters and producers to reschedule everything we can and be ready when the world can reopen safely.
- Professional development has been moved online and we have been running sessions in everything from human resources to funding across the state since March
- An Ecosystem For Arts and Ideas – Producers event was delivered by Annette Carmichael face-to-face-on-line with great success in April seeing several new works come to fruition for future development.
- Tour Coordinator Mentorship programme ran face-to-face-on-line led by Rebecca Nelson and Natalie Di Risio meaning WA now has an extended pool of people who understand the complexities of bringing a quality WA Performance to communities across the state.
- The Connection Project was a new initiative by CircuitWest and Perth Festival designed to connect and help those whose mental health was impacted by the COVID shutdown. WE contracted 3 psychologists to connect and develop skills for coping, sharing key psychological concepts and strategies to help bring awareness to our current state and open options for skill development and growth. The sessions saw more than 50 attendees in both big and small on-line groups and have played a significant role in supporting performing arts during the crisis.
- Start Your Day With Bob – Audience Development Webinars with Dr Bob Harlow have been running since April with the USA’s most well know audience development researcher sharing skills and experiences with up to 70 people at a time in 1 hour weekly sessions.
- Good To Go – the CircuitWest team have been working to understand the availability and range of tour ready WA based and produced performances available when the marketplace reopens in one of a range of social distancing scenarios. You will hear more very soon, so please look out for the launch.
- Support – the CircuitWest team have morphed their roles into being a support service for those in our industry needing help, and that has been in any area from assistance with funding and grants, providing information to local government, artist advice on future pitching, and being a ‘critical friend’ as is seen in our strategic plan in any form that needs to take.
- We are changing modes of delivery on training in areas like pitching and marketing to digital formats to create a more universal resources with greater reach and flexibility.
CircuitWest has been asked what will it be doing in the future and we need to be honest and say that we are taking one day, week and month at a time like everyone else. We are planning and collaborating with sufficient flexibility to allow for a changing landscape that will likely see the industry evolving and opening in one of a range of scenarios. We also\ take into account the need to manage the realistic possibility and implications of a second wave.
These are the areas we consider to be our priorities going forward.
- Work with the Government of Western Australia on what CircuitWest can deliver in recovery and industry evolution strategy.
- Provide a focal point for performing arts support and professional development going forward, asking the industry the shape that support needs to take.
- Model the different scenarios for getting quality WA work to WA communities from metropolitan to remote based on different predictions for demand, funding and restrictions so presenters and producers can prepare for a range of futures.
- Connect the WA Performing Arts community digitally to collaborate on futures, priorities, perceptions, trends and sentiment.
- Prepare a treasure chest of all of the great WA tour ready work that could be shared with WA communities in the different profiles of the varying predictions and knowledge on reopening.
- Look to digital delivery of CircuitWest services going forward, whilst being mindful of the need for face-to-face collaboration for specific projects.
I apologise to those of you who are already aware of some part of this overview, but I thought it was important that I record for all of our stakeholders where we are, what we are doing and where we hope to go in the hope of getting your input and ideas.
If anyone wishes to discuss this with me personally please give me a call on and I’ll answer any questions and gratefully take on any suggestions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this