Arts organisation Darlington for Culture has launched an initiative which it hopes will spark new creative partnerships in the town.
The Hot House, which offers to bring creatives together to work on new projects, has its roots in a chance encounter five years ago when Darlington Arts Centre was still open and which led to a stage premiere in the town.
The encounter which sparked the idea was between members of The Darlington Green Theatre company and Darlington-based Inkerman Writers in the Centre in 2011.
Darlington Green Theatre asked the writers to produce three one-act plays. The result was Branching Out, written by Inkerman writers Bud Craig, Sandra Spears and Pat Stewart and performed over two nights by the theatre company.
The event was brokered by Darlington for Culture, which was at that time running events at the Arts Centre.
Since the Centre closed, opportunities for such chance meetings have been reduced but there have been many examples of Darlington for Culture brokering events, including art exhibitions, musical events and theatrical events, hence the idea behind the Hot House, a chance to bring artists of all types together.
John Dean, Chair of Darlington for Culture and a member of the Inkerman Writers, said: “These events got us thinking. How many more theatre groups need writers? How many filmmakers need lighting experts? How many singers need musicians?
“That’s what our Hot House is all about, a chance to plant ideas, seek help to make them happen and see what grows.”
Darlington for Culture vice-chair Jo Potter, also one of the team that runs Darlington Green Theatre, said: “Branching Out was a thoroughly enjoyable project and we hope The Hot House finds more like it.”
Writer Sandra Spears said: “Seeing my play in performance was a fantastic opportunity, made possible by the collaboration between Inkerman Writers and Green Theatre.
“I have first-hand experience of how effective creatives from all areas can make working together successful and I shall certainly be using the Hot House for my future projects.”
Inkerman Writer Bud Craig said: “I have fond memories of the collaboration with Green Theatre that got my play produced. I’d jump at the chance to do something similar so hope this new venture gets off the ground.”
To find out how to promote your project through the Hot House, please visit http://www.darlingtonforculture.org/the-hot-house/