I have returned to DOCA for two days a week to programme their events and look after their fundraising. It’s great to be back with an amazing new team working on an exciting programme. More updates to come.

Below is an outline of my work as Artistic Director.

I took on this four day a week role only a couple of months before its busy Festival Fortnight was about to happen. It had been programmed by the previous Artistic Director. This gave me the opportunity to experience a year’s worth of activity and work out my strategy to move the organisation forward.
I had an initial contract of 12 months and a hell of a lot of work to do.
During this first year, I continued to work in the Wyre Forest of one day a week. This was to facilitate a solid handover period, and attempt to protect Kidderminster Arts festival.
As Artistic Director I led DOCA, along with an enthusiastic board of Trustees, by fundraising, programming, commissioning and growing the existing offer into something new and exciting.

I slowly implemented change from 2016 bringing our community of dedicated volunteers with me.

It was a huge and rewarding task. The events that were the core of the DOCA offer still exist but are evolving into new, bigger and brighter happenings along with a few additional events which help make the organisation more sustainable.

Clowning around with clowns from “Caulrophobia”

I brought together a tiny new team with great complementary skills and great passion for our work.   Our amazing volunteers power everything DOCA does and are at the forefront of the brand. I worked hard to ensure all the events had equally high-quality of artistic content for audiences who visit from near and far.

Breathing new life into old traditions

Confetti Battle 2019

Audiences have swelled by over half at Confetti Battle with over 5000 attending in 2019. I evolved it into the spectacle I knew it should be. This longstanding tradition offered the perfect backdrop for artistic intervention.  I brought in giant inflatable’s, flying clowns, and mad French men firing streamers into the sky. I introduced the Colour Rush which adds to the chaos, engaging new audiences and helping with the sustainability of DOCA’s work.

The International Street Festival took on a new format, moving a day on the Green into Town and adopting a more curated approach. I used themes and a late night offer to diversify our audiences.  I added indoor shows to the program, bringing street or circus inspired theatre to unusual venues adding ticket revenue to support the outdoor work.

Picnic in the Park included performance for the first time. I added creative workshops to engage families in creating site décor or making elements for other events to the great line up of music.

Storage facilities were improved, evaluation process implemented, a new website commissioned. Our social media engagement and marketing reach grew. 
We declared ‘Cultural Climate Emergency’, and planted trees to offset the carbon footprint. I implemented guidelines for traders that safeguarded the environment and improved the quality of our offer.

The Lantern Parade grew, as I expanded audiences by introducing high-quality lighting installations and touring the amazing, animated lanterns.

Commissioning new work

I headed a commission by Ginkgo Projects to engage and connect old and new sections of the community. I doubled the projects budget by applying to the Arts Council, this enabled the work to visit both Amesbury and Devizes.

DOCA offered artist bursaries and connected the community to the history of their landscape. Enter Beryl and the Mammoth created by Beautiful Creatures and And Now, accompanied by large costumed groups of residents of all ages.

In 2021 I worked with Bassline Circus to create an outdoor spectacular with a large strand of community engagement, based on the story of a local woman, Ruth Pierce. The show was a huge success attracting an audience of over 5000 each of the two nights it showed. This was the largest and most ambitious performance presented in Devizes to date.

Ceres from Bassline Circus on Vimeo.

An amazing finale to a very moving site specific spectacular.
Summary video for the Neolithic Carnival Project

For more details of the work I facilitated at DOCA visit us at:

DOCA Devizes (@docadevizes) | Instagram