Message from Artistic Director
Community is at the heart of all three of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s arts centres: here at the Westy, at Forest Arts in New Milton and Fareham's Ashcroft Arts.
We thrive on bringing people together for music, laughter, learning, inspiration and creativity. We particularly pride ourselves on being places where everyone can feel welcome and looked after. The COVID-19 crisis has challenged this and for many months, like many, we were closed to the public.
Now, as restrictions begin to ease, we are delighted to be getting back to doing what we do best: offering an exciting and varied programme of live performance, classes, workshops and other events, in an environment that is both welcoming and safe. It will be a while before that feels like it did before, but it gives us an opportunity to reconnect, to showcase and support local artists and to offer both familiar and new ways to experience the very best of arts and culture.
What we will be doing this year
Government guidance allowing, we are kick starting our new season with regular music, comedy and theatre nights from mid-September, all in a safe and socially distanced setting and often with cabaret style seating. We will be focusing on supporting local and up-and-coming performers, although you may also recognise some household names! These regular nights will be sold at a flat price of £10 per ticket, the best way we can find to ensure affordability for all. We are also excited to be working with Wellesley Woodlands to offer a return visit from Handlebards in August. Our classes and workshops programme will be slightly reduced, but will otherwise look very similar, with some classes continuing to be delivered online.
Behind the scenes we will be doing everything we can to support artists and performers to continue to develop their practice, create and perform new work. And there is still more to come about new and alternative ways to offer you access to cultural experiences - indoors, outdoors and online.
What’s happening with events this autumn
Many acts who were previously due to perform this autumn have either had to postpone or cancel their tours; in addition, we have been reviewing our capacity to ensure we can keep everyone safe. We are working to reschedule where possible and will be in touch with ticket holders to provide options for your booking.
Finally - we are hugely grateful for the patience and support we’ve had from you, our customers. Thank you!
To help keep everyone safe, we’ve made some changes at West End Centre. We have introduced a number of measures in line with government guidelines to help manage our visitor numbers and ensure we maintain social distancing. You can find out more about what we are doing to protect you, our staff and volunteers here.