An important part of SPARSE Plus is the exchange between organizers, artists and the SPARSE Plus partners. Since mid-December, the mentoring program has been running, where all of them get the chance to meet, be inspired and discuss how, based on their circumstances, they can prepare in the best way for the upcoming rural touring within SPARSE Plus.

For local promoters, the web series so far has consisted of two webinars where we talked about the organizer's relationship with the local audiences and choosing performances that are suitable for your audience. Discussions were also focused on who should be included in the selection of the repertoire in the venues. All conversations have been characterized by great openness, curiosity and a desire to learn and share experiences, which has paved the way for fruitful discussions and feedback from the participants has been very positive. During the coming months, we will continue to discuss and prepare for the upcoming SPARSE Plus rural touring.

As for the Artist Webinars, they have so far been open for anyone to sign up for and have consisted of an introduction to rural touring, held by Ralph Lister from Take Art (UK). We have also introduced SPARSE Plus and other Creative Europe projects looking to collaborate across borders for performing arts practitioners in Europe. In the next step, the producers and artists selected for each partner country's menus will have the chance to prepare together with local promoters and get to know each other before the project's first tour.

Here are some of the feedback we have had from local promoters and artists after the webinars:

"Very inspiring to meet people from different parts of Europe dealings with the same needs to reach wide audience in small areas."

"I feel really inspired to start choosing performances and create ideas with the artists, what they would like to bring to our village."

"It is always the best to listen to the experience of others."

"Very interesting and enriching to share thoughts about rural touring and art. Thank you!"

"Looking forward to the next couple of years with rural touring ideas!!!!"

As for the SPARSE Plus Mentoring team, we could not agree more with what has been written in the feedback. We are really looking forward to working with SPARSE Plus for the next couple of years!

SPARSE Plus Mentoring Team

News written by Anna Skoglund and Christopher Almgren from Riksteatern Värmland (Sweden)

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