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Looking at Outreach

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Outreach is one of those terms thrown about in the arts which a lot of people aren’t entirely clear on. What is Outreach? Why is it important? What does an Outreach Coordinator actually do? We asked freelance Outreach Coordinator Meg Fozzard, to tell us a bit about her recent work with us, surrounding our presence at Brighton Festival.

“I had the pleasure of working as an Outreach Coordinator for Diverse City in the lead up to the two shows that we had at Brighton Festival in May of this year. We had two shows in Brighton on one day, and this meant that we could focus our outreach efforts in one place to really make the company’s presence felt, and reach a lot of people. I was hired to specifically connect with the local community and see what we could offer them. This was such an exciting opportunity, as the casts from both Human and Till We Win were in the local area, and we also had some capacity to add more to the shows with question and answer sessions and visits to local schools.”

What is outreach work?


“Outreach work is when a company not only puts on shows in venues but also engages with the wider community. One of the reasons Diverse City and Extraordinary Bodies do outreach work is to give the communities we take work to an opportunity to engage with the productions we’re bringing to them and give them the opportunity to respond creatively to the work.
Outreach work might also happen so that more people feel comfortable seeing a show and feel included. We aim to engage with both D/deaf and disabled and non disabled audiences equally, and through our Outreach efforts, we are also trying to ensure that everyone who might enjoy our work gets to hear about it. Who is in the audience and how they engage with the show is just as important as the show itself.
Outreach work might also happen to educate people about the themes of the show. This kind of work can include both the venues and the schools and colleges in the area. I’ll talk later on about the workshops that we held in local schools, but in addition to that we also got in touch with a local inclusive dance studio, Parable Dance and a local deaf cultural outreach group called DeafCog . This way, we are engaging with the local community and letting them know a little bit more about the show and when and where it is happening.”

Our work around Brighton Festival


“In May 2022 Extraordinary Bodies took two shows to Brighton Festival, and I was able to facilitate two visits to local education settings while the casts and wider team were in the area.
One of the activities we planned was a visit to Hamilton Lodge School and College for Deaf Children. David Ellington, who is a Deaf performer in Human, visited the school to speak to students about his experiences as a Deaf performer, and also facilitate some activities which gave the children and staff a taste of the show. David’s trip to Hamilton Lodge was a success, inspiring deaf students and the staff who enjoyed learning about his previous acting experiences and achievements. The talk was given to about 20 children (primary & secondary from around 10-16 years old) and 12 further students at the college (16-20 years old), and lots of Deaf and hearing staff. They also did trust and balance exercises, which are very important for aerial performers.”
I hope that after my visit, the students I met might feel inspired to try something new, and maybe even think about if a career in the arts might suit them. One student told me that she will remember me when she grows up. I’m so pleased that the day seems to have made a big impression on students.
David Ellington
Another activity we planned was a workshop at The Orpheus Centre, an independent specialist college that uses the arts to increase confidence and skills for young disabled people. Some of the members of the cast of Till We Win from Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists came along to facilitate the workshops alongside other members of the Diverse City team. The workshops were based on the themes of Till We Win: hometowns, activism and characters. The students had the opportunity to work on their own, in groups and with members of the cast, and also leant the song This Town of Ours from the show.
Students at the Orpheus centre dance, with big smiles on their faces.
Students at the Orpheus centre smile and dance.


The following afternoon, it was fantastic to have so many students and staff from The Orpheus Centre at the show at Brighton Dome. Their enjoyment was apparent, and it was lovely to see how well they had engaged with the show, and responded with particular enthusiasm to the parts and characters they recognised from their workshop. After the show there was a questions and answers session with the cast of Till We Win. The students from The Orpheus Centre asked some fantastic questions and displayed great insight into what they had just watched. Later the same week, the staff at the Centre screened a film of the show Human, and we arranged for the students to have a zoom call with John Kelly, one of the stars of the show. 

For me, the magical moment of the week, and one which highlighted the importance of Outreach work, was during the performance of Till We Win at the Dome, with all those students from Orpheus in the audience. When the cast began singing This Town of Ours, the students sitting in the audience joined in and sang along. It was a moment of total connection, joy, and understanding between the cast onstage, and the audience.”

Meg Fozzard is a freelance producer and journalist. Her career as a producer began back in 2018 when she studied Creative Producing for Digital Platforms at the National Film and Television School. There, she learnt how to produce for AR, VR, podcasts, smart home devices and social media. 
She graduated in February 2019 and became disabled in April 2019, drastically altering her career. As an early career freelancer she works across different sectors, but the performing arts is the one she has found most fulfilling and accessible.  She tries to work within the theme of disability across sectors. Her writing on disability rights issues and culture have been featured in Vice, BBC Ouch, Stylist, Refinery 29 and Wellcome Stories. You can see examples of her previous work and get in touch with her here- https://megfozzard92.wixsite.com/megfozzarddigital

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