As we approach the end of 2021, Highly Sprung want to acknowledge all our achievements from over the last year. From coming out of lockdown to a return to school delivery and touring, 2021 has been eventful, exciting and at times, chaotic.
Here are some 2021 highlights from the Highly Sprung Office team:
“My personal highlight was being back in the room with all our amazing Sprungs. I hadn’t realised how much I missed it and how important face to face teaching really was. Their resilience and perseverance amazed me and made me so proud to be part of their journeys! I was so astounded at how much the Sprungs had learned during their Zoom sessions and coming back together were able to work quickly to make new work. Sprung Advance made a full-length performance Winter Rites in only 8 sessions for the Changing Climates Festival and performed with confidence and passion that blew me away!” – Sarah, Executive Director.
“My personal highlights of 2021 have to be centred around being back out touring. I remember worrying about the response audiences may have with us being back out in the streets, bringing people together, performing; something that could be considered frivolous or not necessary in the current climate. What we received was unanimous thanks and a warmth from EVERY single town, city, and community. On several occasions people approached us in tears of gratitude; thanking us for making them feel again, for performing again, for bringing some much-needed life to their hometown post lockdown. Tears of joy have been shared and reciprocated across the country. Thanks to all our outdoor audiences.
It should also be said that Highly Sprung’s new storage unit has also been a real highlight allowing us to store our flying machines safely in a space fit for purpose- something not always available to arts organisation and we certainly appreciate!!” – Mark, Artistic Director.
“My highlight of 2021 has been CastAway. I have loved the physical and creative challenge of working with the rig and utilising aerial skill in way that is unique to the show. I also loved the involvement of the Coventry Young Producers Collective (CYPC) and having their input in the creative process. Touring with the show this year has been so joyful, and the team are amazing!” – Emily, Schools Development Co-ordinator and Associate Artist
“My 2021 highlight was being back in person at the Changing Climates Festival, getting to see the work the young people had created despite COVID restrictions, particularly the Sprung Advance’s headline performance of Winter Rites. The Sprung Advance performance never fails to move me, and this year was no exception!” – Zoe, Project Administrator.
“My highlight for 2021 was being in our May rehearsals for CastAway and getting to see behind the scenes as the team crafted this incredible aerial piece. I started working with Highly Sprung just before lockdown hit in 2020, so had missed out on Highly Sprung’s usual busyness and in-person work. It was therefore really special this May to be in the rehearsal space with everyone properly for the first time!” – Hayley, Marketing and Communications Assistant
“My highlight would be being able to return to work in person as a team! It was great be able to not only be able to work in person but to do so in our new office space!” – Cheryl, General Administrator
“My 2021 highlight is the involvement I had in the HelloYellow campaign with Young Minds UK. I spent the whole day posting to feeds, uploading stories, and creating reels to raise awareness for this awesome campaign! It was a lot of responsibility but also a very enjoyable experience, I felt a real sense of achievement by the end for creating conversations and making a difference through social media in the name of young people’s mental health, a subject matter that I feel very passionate about!” – Paul, Team Assistant.
“My 2021 highlight is the involvement that I have had in the Culture Declares Emergency (CDE) work that Highly Sprung are doing. Through doing research and finding ways to help the charity develop, I am learning so much more about the Climate Crisis and have begun implementing changes in my own life! I think that it is truly amazing to be able to work for a charity which has such a heavy focus on helping others, inspiring people, and helping to create a greener and happier future! “– Jake, Team Assistant.
Alongside these wonderful memories, we’ve had an epic year, being awarded funding from Arts Council England as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund , being a key part of the Coventry City of Culture 2021 programme, moving to the cultural hub that is the Daimler Powerhouse, and building new national partnerships for exciting projects coming up in 2022. We founded a brilliant collective of Young Producers in Coventry, returned to schools with brand new residences alongside our regular, tailored physical theatre workshops, and received 2 awards from Teach Primary & Teach Secondary for Ready Box-Set Go. Our team of core staff has grown significantly and we have moved the organisation forward through signing up to More Than A Moment as part of our EDI commitment and declaring a Climate Emergency as part of Culture Declares. Other projects inside lecturing at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, our Sprungmas festive sharing at Fargo Village, and much more!
THANK YOU to our team and to all the wonderful Sprung family of artists, freelancers and young people that we have privilege to work with… here’s to an even busier 2022!