Key figures from the arts came together on Monday to discuss the future direction of the arts during the annual general meeting of the Independent Theatre Council (ITC).
The Reaching Out Conference, held at The Albany theatre and community arts hub in Deptford, featured an eclectic range of guests involved in drama, opera, dance, mime, puppetry, circus and street arts.
The conference included talks from Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council, Neil Webb from the British Council and Topher Campbell, theatre director of Red Room.
Charlotte Jones, chief executive of the ITC said: “The day was a great success and The Albany was buzzing all day. Representatives from 110 of our groups came together to discuss how we can ensure the sector reaches out to underrepresented groups and has a greater impact on society.”
Established in 1974, the ITC is an independent, non-profit organisation, which is in charge of over 450 professional performing arts bodies, many of which are located in the EastLondonLines boroughs.
The council also works with underrepresented groups, such as prisoners, the disabled, those in care and the elderly. Jones said: “The ITC is a leading political voice which is vision-driven rather than commercially orientated. It showcases unique art which has an edge to it and celebrates a diversity of non-traditional art forms which challenge people and conventions.”
Since its relocation to The Albany two years ago, the ITC has become increasingly integrated in the wider community of Deptford.
Jones said: “We have strong links with the local Deptford community and lots of our members live in the area. What’s more, Deptford is increasingly becoming known as a cultural quarter and our move has helped put Deptford on the map.”
Tom Seeney, from Half Moon, a theatre company which engages disabled people and ethnic minorities based in Tower Hamlets said: “It was a great day with lots of opportunities for amazing discussion about how people are dealing with cuts from both the Arts Council and local authorities.”