On 22 April the Arts & Heritage group held an Open Meeting for members of the Company. Its aim was to explain how the group was approaching its remit to identify and prioritise outstanding cultural and heritage bodies in Gloucestershire and work out how best to support them, and then to give examples of projects that have been supported and some under current consideration.
The Stone Masons Yard is responsible for the important restoration carving at the cathedral. Following a Company visit to the Yard and subsequent discussions, the cathedral set up a special fund to support the advanced training of their apprentice stonemasons, to which the Company made the initial contribution, and there have since been additions from some members.Click here to read the 21 September 2015 letter of thanks from the Gloucester Cathedral Office for the Trust's recent £2,000 grant.
Ten volumes have been produced since 1960 in this distinguished series and work is under way on three more. The Company has supported the project, including sponsoring a lecture at last year's Cheltenham Literature Festival. The general editor, John Chandler came to the meeting to talk about the current volume on Cirencester, mentioning especially the participation of volunteer researchers.
Arising from the well known biennial sculpture exhibition the QST has been able to award craft apprenticeships; this year the Company gave a travel bursary to a glass sculptor apprentice, Faith Mercer, who worked at Colin Reid's studio in Stroud and then went to the Czech Republic to visit glassworks and museums. Faith gave an account of her experiences and her blog tells more at http://www.faithmercer.co.uk/414253852.
Looking further ahead, Arts & Heritage is examining the scope for supporting the New Brewery Arts Centre gallery exhibitions and its chief executive, Ali Russell, gave a presentation to the meeting. In addition the group is look at supporting a Heritage Lottery bid by the Corinium Museum, Cirencester, and Amanda Hart, the manager, also gave a presentation. Finally, there was a vivid presentation on the Painswick Wearable Arts Festival.
Notes on the 28 September 2015 meeting of the Arts & Heritage Groupo are here.