Wieke Takes the Wheel

Juncture – Day 20
Saturday 24 March

Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance has left the building (for pretty much the first time this week) in a hired minibus full of Juncture guests.

She’s driving them round on her City of Dance Tour, to meet some of the people who make up Leeds’ active dance community: Janet Smith, the new Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Sharon Watson, Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, and prolific Producer David Edmunds from DEP Arts. The tourists have been talking to them about their respective visions and ambitions.

One of those tourists, Cindy, has just sent us this missive from the road.

“It’s a really valuable experience to talk to – and share the thoughts of – these eminent dance professionals.

“From these representatives of dance organizations in Leeds, I recognized passion and creativity are key factors in running arts businesses, even though they actually face a lot of challenges in cultural industry, such as how to secure funding, how to get balance between entrepreneurship and artistic culture, and how to improve artists’ development or dance education.

“Otherwise, there is a common strategy for independent art organizations to extend their community: to build networks and relationships. Collaborating with other art organization is a good way to make things happen, accumulates more audiences and improves artist development and education.

“To sum up, the City of Dance Tour has been fantastic, and has given me more than a glance into independent arts organizations. It’s encouraged me to think about how to achieve balance and build a good relationship between arts and business.”

Wieke’s now driving the minibus back to the hire company, having explained to everyone in the office how pleased she is not to have crashed it. Yet.

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