The First Frome Festival Debate held at Rook Lane Chapel

A well attended debate about the arts in Frome was held earlier this evening at Rook Lane Chapel organised and introduced by Duncan Skene and Alex Webb of Creative Frome.  Thought provoking opening statements were made by the panel and although it was mentioned that the audience might have been 'festivaled' out, the debate was more than lively, with wide ranging ideas, suggestions and comments.  It has been recorded in its entirety by Frome FM and will be available to listen to shortly. So, if you would like to add your own thoughts and continue the debate on this blog please add your comments. Lets thrive on creativity and keep the momentum going.


Probably controversial but here goes....

I think it was a great idea to have the debate but the timing was unfortunate, a lot of the interested parties were involved in the Open Studios which did not finish until 5pm and they thus missed most of the initial presentations, which made it a bit confusing to catch up on what was being said.  5.30 would have been better. That being said whilst some interesting and valid points were made for both sides of the argument in my personal opinion there was an awful lot of hot air being bandied around.  Not enough time alloted for everyone to have their say, many hands arose but only a few had the chance to speak, and those behind pillars were ignored altogether.  I would think that many of us would like to see some constructive decisions being made for once not so much being talked about.  We have to face the fact that Arts Funding is always the first thing to suffer in a recession, therefore in order to promote Frome as an artistic centre self funding towards future investment in the town needs to be made now before the many facilities currently available fall foul through lack of money. It is worth stating here that the Open Studios was completely self funding, as is this website so far, and has received no help from anyone except the hard work and money of the artists involved and yet I believe it has proved year on year to be an event growing in popularity and standards.  See my blog on it.

Frome Arts Debate

I agree, the debate was a great idea, and in my view, it would be even better if, as a creative hub, we could host a weekend symposium to be able to debate issues  in more depth, facilitate workshops and perhaps provide some solutions.  With all due respect to the previous comment, I think the impact of the reduced funding will not only affect performance, creation and well-being it will also affect the resources to find solutions. So, it is endeavors like the debate organised by Creative Frome that may help. I think small scale events such as Open Studios, will continue to thrive because of inherent creativity of people but it will be much harder for the larger arts organisations to meet day to day operating costs and still support and encourage new emerging talent and develop new ways of nurturing the wellbeing of our diverse society.  I will be happy to volunteer to help organise a larger symposium if others and Creative Frome want to expand on the idea.