The SPARSE Plus project successfully started in February 2023 and will continue until the beginning of 2027.

Here is a look back at the key events of 2023.

In April, managers of each participating cultural organisations met in Vilnius (Lithuania), to discuss and agree on the next stages of the project. Upon returning home, they identified and selected five new villages and five new Local Promoters to participate in the project.

All participants gathered through an online format in June and Local Promoters were introduced to the project.

Following everyone's return from summer vacation, the Kick off Local Promoters Meeting was eagerly planned. It took place in Ascoli Piceno (Marche Region, Italy) from the 2nd to the 6th of October. Hosted by the coordinator AMAT (Associazione Marchigiana Attività Teatrali), around 80 people had the chance to meet physically, to exchange and learn about the rural touring topic. This meeting primarily targeted Local Promoters, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the project and clarifying their roles throughout its duration. They had the opportunity to meet with fellow Local Promoters from all participating countries.

As part of the project's evaluation, Local Promoters gave feedback on their experience. The conclusion was very positive on everyone's part. The meeting was especially useful and it was not just about the work that has to be done in the future, but about getting to know each other, each other’s culture as a creative and fun part.

Post the Kick-off Local Promoters Meeting, the digital mentoring / webinars' serie for Local Promoters and artists interested in rural touring or the SPARSE Plus project commenced on the 12 of December and will continue into the early months of 2024.

Simultaneously, partners have begun planning a "menu launch party", during which performances will be presented to Local Promoters in the form of showcases adapted to touring in rural areas. Each Local Promoter, in his own country, will select performances that will be included in this year's touring menu.

What a year 2023 will be for the project and its participants! The foundations have been laid, 2024 can begin!

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News written by Apollonia Bilibok from Shoshin Theatre Association (Romania) / © Carlotta Tringali (photo)

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