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"We could easily have done what others did, seen an unsurmountable barrier, move the money into next year and done nothing," said Arts Taunton spokesperson and festival director, Deborah Baddoo.
Instead the charity launched a new TYCA festival website and reached out to other businesses that would be willing to help them make it happen. They launched competition challenges for the first four weeks, with cash prizes, to allow young people up to the age of 25 to explore their creativity and find ways to relate to their new environments. Themes included 'living in a small space' and 'what does a mask mean to you?'
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"It was a time to be brave. The world changed daily, and indeed continues to do so," said Deborah, "but now more than ever we knew the creative industries needed support and young people needed an outlet for all their emotions. Arts Taunton began creating a platform for the young people of Somerset to meet that need."
The decision to go fully virtual was taken late July.
Ian McNeice, who had attended close by Taunton School as a boy and who has a string of major film and TV credits to his name ( currently appearing as Bert Large in the popular TV series Doc Martin), offered his services. This meant the charity could create two distinct days of entertainment, with a professional actor compering.
And where does it all stand today?
In October TYCA festival will go live. Arts Taunton, through the festival, gave 10 performing artists and their companies work during a time when little was available and a platform for young people to learn and be creative.
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The whole festival will be streamed via the festivals website on the 23 & 24 October with Ian McNeice introducing each act : https://tycafestival.co.uk
For more information please contact Pam Knight on 07887 850 757
The full programme of events can be seen on their website
A previous performance of the spoken work event which has already been aired can be seen here: https://tycafestival.co.uk/programme/onwords-and-upwords (bypass the entry form by clicking elsewhere on the page)
Arts Taunton is a registered charity and secured funding for the Tyca Festival prior to the pandemic.
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