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The Rural Touring Mentoring Scheme is one of our longest-running and most successful development schemes, having mentored 32 companies, and supported many more to tour their work to a rural audience, since it was launched in 2005. 

This highly successful scheme, enables members to pitch, gain feedback and access to a panel of rural venue programmers, promoters and producers.

Mentored companies/artists are provided with an understanding of the issues and contexts in which rural touring operates; including advice on marketing, pricing, administration, contracting, press and publicity, licensing, designing for small community spaces, technical considerations, artistic content and liaising with promoters. Artists are helped to make the most of the opportunity through additional support prior and following the pitching by PANDA with the help of peers experienced in rural touring. Those selected for the 'pitching' day watch each others pitches enabling them to learn about each others work and different approaches in communicating that. The atmosphere is always highly supportive and often friendships and collaborations are born!

Delivered in partnership with the Northern Consortium of Rural Touring Networks it also enables programmers and promoters to be introduced to more local talent and to develop a relationship over time, building trust and understanding between artist and promoter. The PANDA scheme also creates a space for programmers and promoters to share knowledge, experience and tips face-to-face in a relaxed environment. To date, the scheme involves: Spot On Lancashire; Arts Out West Cumbria; Highlights Cumbria; Rural Arts North Yorkshire; Cheshire Rural Touring; Arts Alive Shropshire, ARTery East Riding of Yorkshire and Live Lincs.

Artists and Companies supported through this scheme include:

2015 - Chester, Cheshire
Ori Dance - Tales of the Tides
Box of Tricks - Chip Shop Chips
Chris Salt & Gemma Christie - Gemma Climbs Her Mountain
Louise Fazackerley - Sleepover
Ragged Edge - Chef Show
Cheryl Martin - Alaska Unplugged
Urban Conceptz - Inside My Mind

2014/5 Shropshire (with Axis Arts, Freerange & Arts Alive)
Whalley Range All Stars - Cake (move to indoor work)
Krystina Mussiol - Bad Dancing
Open Sky - The Mighty Prince
2 Boards & a Passion - Magic Paintbrush
Storymagic - move to outdoor work
Sterling Trio - Evening of Classical Music
Oliver Carpenter - Mumbo Jumbo

2014 Barnard Castle, NE
Susan Swanton - Hypochondriac
Chanje Kunda - Amsterdam
Etta Emini - Bar Fly and Picnic
Emma Decent - Beyond Dreams of Aberystwyth
Pete Kalu - Anansi Tales
Red Dragonfly - The Autumn of Han

2013 Cockermouth, Cumbria
Lingua Franca Music Agency - world music & dance night
Dansformation - Northumbriana
Quarantine - Between Us We Know Everything
The Edge - Spinach
Molly Orange Street - Little Wonder Travelling Fete
Ben Power - Moving Shadows

2012 and earlier companies include:
Artizani and Avanti Display
Justin Macgregor
Conor McKee
Akiel Chinelo
Owen Gaynor

Inky Fingers