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Hope for the future of performing arts group
THE director of a performing arts group that looked set to fold earlier this year amid funding difficulties has said there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Community interest company Darlington Arts Academy was forced to stop its weekly sessions for young people earlier this year.
The heart-breaking decision, made by co-directors Rebecca McGarvie and Geoff Oldham, followed a drop in numbers and failure to secure further financial report.
But Ms McGarvie has announced plans for a one-off weekend of activities under the Darlington Arts Academy banner later this month.
About 50 places are available for the weekend, which will be based on the musical Wicked and include rehearsals and a performance.
The academy operates in a similar way to a charity, meaning it can be left ‘dormant’ while not fully functional and revived when possible.
Ms McGarvie said: “Our main staff and directors have had to move on to other projects, but our volunteers are so committed.
“This one-off workshop has grown out of their passion, they did not want to just do nothing.”
It is hoped that, if the one-off project goes well, a more long-term future for the academy could be secured.
Ms McGarvie added: “We are still not out of the woods, but there is a bit of encouragement there and some hope for the future.”
Meanwhile, the academy was also commissioned to supply young actors for a Halloween event at Hardwick Park, near Sedgefield, on Wednesday (October 31).
About 20 young people played scary characters for the Halloween at Hardwick event, which attracted hundreds of thrill-seekers.
The academy won a Best of Darlington award in 2010, for its work with young people.
Ms McGarvie was particularly proud of the Halloween commission.
She said: “The young actors enjoyed preparing for the event and getting into character as ghosts and zombies.
“We have done this event for the last few years and this year the organizers did not ask any other actors to take part, just us.”
If the academy can secure more work like the Halloween event, as well as making a success of one-off workshops, it may have a brighter future than first feared.