Silent Uproar is an award-winning charity based are now Hull’s largest arts organisation not in receipt of regular funding. We create and tour excellent new work to areas of Hull & East Yorkshire with low arts provision, ensuring people from all walks of life have access to the arts. We are also focused on supporting artists in in Hull & East Yorkshire. Our artists support programme ensures there are the same development opportunities in East Yorkshire, as there are elsewhere in the country.
A breif synopsis of what we do as a charity:
● Artist Development:
Silent Uproar is dedicated to aiding artists at crucial stages in their careers from Hull & East Yorkshire. Each year Silent Uproar champions around 70 artists across our various programmes in Hull. Artists we have supported and commissioned have gone on to work for the BBC, Disney, Channel 4, Netflix, and in the West End.
● Allowing a new generation to access the arts:
We regularly engage with communities in East Yorkshire that often feel excluded by arts programming and neglected by touring companies. As a result of this neglect, these communities (Driffield, Bridlington, Goole) rarely or never attend ‘cultural events’, often citing that they ‘do not belong’ at arts venues or they think they ‘wouldn’t have a fun night out’. One of our most successful methods of engagement has been our “Live & Local” community touring programme which brings playful & provocative new work to pubs, clubs & libraries right at the heart of “hard to reach” communities. Out of those who attended across the 2019 Live & Local programme 61% rarely or never engage with the arts outside of Live & Local and 75% were aged 18-35.
● Award-winning shows made in Hull
Our “Main Features” national touring programme (outside of our artist & audience development programme) is dedicated to bringing fun nights out to areas of low-arts provision across the UK. This programme also creates a national platform for the Hull & East Yorkshire artists we support, showcasing talent from Yorkshire to audiences across the UK. This programme has contributed towards Silent Uproar’s annual standing audience of 10,000 people and digital reach of 1.2 million. Around half of these audiences are from areas of low arts provision who usually cannot engage with the arts. As of 2021 our Main Features programme will expand to include international transfers of our award-winning work to New York. This programme is one of the main sources of income we generate as a charity in order to deliver our artist development programme.
A little bit detail about our Artist Support programme
Artist Support in Hull & East Yorkshire
To keep the UK’s prosperous arts sector alive, we need to further support artists from all walks of life, particularly those at crucial points in their careers. We are determined to ensure there are the same development opportunities in the North of England, especially in East Yorkshire, as there are elsewhere in the country. As without artist development opportunities in the North we risk missing out on great art that is drawn from and reflects a much truer representation of our whole society- we also risk losing communities who feel under-represented by the arts.
We have witnessed first-hand how a little support can go a long way for artists who are at a pivotal point in their careers. Being able to focus on your writing rather than pulling pints prevents an artist’s career stalling before it has begun. Some of the artists we have supported at just the right time have gone on to work for major BBC television shows, the National Theatre, and even international companies such as Netflix.
Since we have formed, we have helped support 147 artists. In our first year we supported 10 artists, we now support around 65 artists per year, predominantly writers. By 2022 we hope to increase this to 70 artists per year.
The Covid-19 crisis will prematurely end the careers of countless artists as projects are cancelled, funding applications suspended, and venues’ doors closed, we therefore have reinforced our efforts to help as many artists as possible get access to professional and financial support. Silent Uproar has already fundraised over £5000 and distributed small cash grants for individual artists in the North of England to help them during this time of great uncertainty.
In response to this we are also accelerating our boldest and most ambitious artist support offer to date, we have set aside restricted budgets to support artists in the following ways:
Our writer support programme consists of various levels of paid script commissions, these allow writers to take time away from the daily grind to focus on their creative endeavours whilst also being offered mentorship, guidance, and support
● ‘Seed’ commissions- small cash commissions for writers to research & grow initial ideas for exciting new scripts. Each writer is mentored by an established writer through our buddy scheme (see below). Currently we support 4 writers per year; we wish to increase this to 6 per year by 2022.
● ‘Next Stage’ commissions- larger cash commissions for writers to develop full scripts over the course of a year. These writers also receive mentorship from well established artists as well as support from regional theatres such as Hull Truck Theatre (Hull), The Lowry (Manchester) and Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough). This support allows writers to not only improve their craft but their industry connections. Currently this strand supports 3 writers per year and wish to increase this to 4 per year by 2022
Paid Research & Development Residencies
● Often it can be hard for writers to get the time, opportunity or even headspace to work with other artists to further improve & develop their scripts. We endeavour to fundraise £13,000-£14,000 a year to create paid residencies for writers & artists. This unique opportunity allows writers to test out ideas and workshop scripts with a team of established artists such as composers, directors, actors, choreographers, and designers. This programme supports 5 writers and 20 other artists a year. This programme has already fostered the creation of our critically acclaimed work such as: our award-winning A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad); our sell-out comedy show Dungeons & Dragons: A Bonkers Adventure; and our UK touring musical Thank You For Doing Nothing.
Artist Care Package
The ‘artist care package’ programme supports 15 artists through a series of small provisions focused on supporting emerging talent whilst they are in between work.
● Access to free office and rehearsal space (when social distancing is eased).
● Mentorship as part of a “buddy scheme” from one of our established associate artists.
● A ‘Go & See’ fund allowing artists to experience work outside of Yorkshire and meet artists from across the UK.
● A professional development fund to allow artists to overcome financial barriers so they can develop their craft (child-care, travelling to different cities for meetings etc)
Out Loud Programme
‘Out Loud’ is our regular ‘work-in-progress night’ programme. These nights consist of artists testing out new ideas in front of an audience in a comfortable and bold learning environment. On top of this every artist that participates receives a fee. This programme is dedicated to supporting early career artists in Hull & East Yorkshire; for a lot of the artists involved, Out Loud is their first paid job in theatre.
● The Out Loud programme supports 16 emerging writers per year and is the only one of its kind in Yorkshire. It allows artists to take risks, learn and develop their craft- whilst getting paid.
● We developed this programme in partnership with the award-winning theatre company Middle Child. This partnership allows us to give artists further industry connections and a larger platform. As of 2020-2021 the ‘Out Loud’ programme will be featured on BBC Radio Humberside, significantly increasing our platform for these artists.
We plan for our artist support programme to champion over 200 artists at pivotal points in their careers across the next 3 years.
A little bit about some of the impacts our work has achieved
1) A platform in East Yorkshire that stretches to New York
Since forming in 2013 we have managed to establish a Hull ‘launch pad’ for artists in Yorkshire that connects with over 30 regional theatres & low arts provision areas communities across the UK. These venues not only financially support our work, they create a national platform for the artists we work with. We are the only company from Hull & East Yorkshire that regularly tours at this scale.
One of the main reasons we can tour at this scale is that we have been able to prove the high-quality of our work, through demonstrating our strong track record of critical acclaim and industry awards. This critical acclaim has helped us to secure incredibly competitive touring funding bids and financial support from organisation such as the NHS, City Councils, corporate sponsorship (such as LUSH, Hull Trains) and celebrity donations. In 2019 we managed to fundraise £220,227 through clearly demonstrating our high-quality work.
In 2021 our platform will be extended even furthered as we have been given the opportunity to transfer our work internationally to New York to run for a month. Setting up international tours of our work allows us to diversify our income streams and provide larger opportunities for the artists we support. By taking our work internationally we will be able to use opportunities in North America to further invest in artists and communities in Yorkshire. This is the first time a company from Hull & East Yorkshire has been able to transfer their work to New York in the last 30 years.
2) Our Live & Local programme:
Our Live & Local programme works to bring stories straight to the heart of hard to reach communities. This programme is focused solely on touring shows to non-arts venues (pubs, cafes, village halls and community centres) in low-arts provision areas. This programme has had success in bringing in not only younger audiences but also ‘first time bookers’ (people who rarely or never attend arts events). Our research showed these environments made people feel less anxious about attending an arts/cultural event, allowing us to work better in those communities.
Since we piloted this programme in 2019, we found that:
● 61% of those who attended the Live & Local programme rarely or never engaged with the arts in the last 12 months.
● Overall, 75 % of the audiences were aged between 18-35, this is well above the national average.
● Over 92% of audiences labelled their experience as excellent and said that they would wish to return for future Live & Local nights.
In 2019 we had 943 people from low arts provision areas in Hull & East Yorkshire engaged the ‘Live & Local’ programme, over the next three years we are hoping to increase this audience to 3,000 people per year. We will do this by both increasing the number of ‘Live & Local’ shows per year and through increasing marketing and community work in these areas.
We anticipate over the next 3 years that our Live & Local programme will work as a cultural ‘gate-way drug’ for communities to feel comfortable ‘taking a punt’ at attending arts events at traditional arts venues outside of their comfort zone.
3) Access to the Arts (Pay What You Want)
Silent Uproar believes that people from all walks of life should be able to access the arts, as the arts bring joy and cohesion for both individuals and communities.
Hull is the third most deprived local authority in England, we understand a lot of people in Hull are more cautious with their money and most are highly unlikely to attend a theatre performance unless they are already highly engaged in the arts, which less than 35% of the city's population are.
This has led us to find alternative methods to allow communities ‘to take a punt’ on the arts. Our ‘Pay What You Want’ nights, where audiences can reserve a ticket for free and pay what they believe it was worth after the show, has had great success in bringing in audiences that otherwise wouldn’t engage with the arts. Last year we saw 1300 people engage with our ‘Pay What You Want’ strategy.
● Over 65% of these audiences stated they “wouldn’t have attended otherwise” as they were taking a punt on attending a theatre show.
● 95% of these audiences rated their night as “excellent”, indicating that these audiences engage strongly to our work. However, these audiences would require long-term development for them to confidently engage with in other regional art events.
● Also, incidentally these nights also yield higher financial returns as they are often completely sold out and the average donations are usually inline or greater than the average price of a standard ticket. This indicates that this system can bring in more people without devaluing the art itselt.
Examples of Silent Uproar’s Critical Acclaim:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ‘Silent Uproar commission writers, in this case Jon Brittain, to create playful and provocative work to help make the world a little less crappy.’ Musical Theatre Review (2019) / ‘A Super Happy Story is Superb’ The Guardian / ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Musical Theatre Review (2017)/ ★★★★★ Festival Magazine /★★★★★ British Theatre Guide ★★★★★ Whats’sOn Stage / ★★★★ The Stage/ ★ ★ ★ ★ Hull Daily Mail /★★★★ The List /★★★★ The Scotsman/ ★★★★ Scottish Daily Mail/ ★★★★★ Three Weeks
★ ★ ★ ★ The Upcoming / (2019) ‘Ultimately Uplifting’ /The Metro ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Miro Magazine ★★★★ / Fest ★★★★★ / Reviews Hub ★ ★ ★ ★ /Time Out ★★★★★ / Musical Theatre Review (2018) / ★★★★ A Younger Theatre (2017)/ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Upcoming (2016) /★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 'one of the few theatrical works that has brought me to tears and the only one to do so not five seconds from making me laugh.’ A Younger Theatre (2019)
Reg Number: 06455490 | Charity Number: 1125856