ARTS events in Dorset have been given much-needed financial backing, with more than £66,000 being distributed to projects from a county-wide fund.

The Performing Arts Fund, which is managed by the Dorset Community Foundation, has dispersed thousands of pounds to support schemes across the county.

The Dorset Performing Arts Fund was established by local philanthropist Alasdair Warren in spring 2019.

Since then it has distributed the first grants to six performing arts projects across Dorset.

The fund, managed by Dorset Community Foundation, was set up to fund the delivery of performing art projects across the Dorset county area.

Among the six arts projects that received funding this year was the 'Apollo: One Giant Leap' project, carried out by Dorchester Arts, which was handed £15,000 towards putting on the spectacular event at Maumbury Rings in Dorchester.

The event brought together hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds to a multi-media, interactive celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landings.

It encouraged community cooperation by involving local schools, a local composer and community choirs.

Another funded project was Friends of the Lyric Theatre CIC, which received a grant to help support the planning for a community puppet show, to be held in Bridport.

A series of workshops and master classes will be led by professional artists, and the resulting performance will involve community participants of all ages and abilities.

The project aims to bring the community together, developing new performing arts skills whilst also promoting inclusivity, diversity and new friendships.

Mr Warren said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to support so many performing arts projects across Dorset. Working with the Foundation and the expert grants panel, we’ve focussed on projects which enrich community life, reach inclusive audiences, support original and collaborative work, and celebrate emerging local talent.

"As a next step, the Fund will also provide support to individual performing artists.”

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