Before we get stuck into what is promising to be an exciting festival year, we wanted to look back on the past 12 months

Welcome to the first Compass Live Art E-News of 2016.
Before we get stuck into what is promising to be an exciting festival year, we wanted to look back and reflect on the 12 months just gone, the events we delivered and the artists and partners we worked with. 


This time last year we announced a call out for Yorkshire based artists or collectives to design and lead a programme of professional development activities around the region which would both support their own research but also strengthen relationships and infrastructure for other makers. 


We appointed Leeds-based Invisible Flock to this role and they set about planning activities which would create dialogue and debate around the risks and responsibilities facing makers of live art, with a particular focus on unpicking contemporary, participatory practices. Later that month we also worked with BLOC Projects in Sheffield on BLOC assembly where artists Faye Green and Ben Judd presented new works, which were then discussed and critiqued around a dinner table. 


Online and in print we published Unruly Utterences: participation, criticality and Compass Festival 2014, edited by Amelia Crouch and Yvonne Carmichael and supported by Live Art UK. Later that same month, we were also delighted to be confirmed as a Leeds City Council arts@leeds regularly funded organisation. 


Over the Easter break we welcomed Simon Persighetti and Katie Etheridge back to Leeds Kirkgate Markets for an artist residency developing further ideas from their work Personal Shopper, which formed part of the 2014 festival programme. Simon and Katie renewed relationships with shoppers and traders from the previous year whilst hosting an artist talk and workshop. 


Invisible Flock's series of professional development activities, now named Start Live Art, began in earnest with a Webmaker workshop at the Open Data Institute in Leeds, supported by the Mozilla Foundation. Around the corner we partnered closely with Yorkshire Dance to host a residency by Wendy Houston, culminating in a sell out presentation of her new work 'Stupid Women', created with five local dance and live artists. 


Invisible Flock hosted a fantastic summer social at The Cross Keys in Holbeck whilst also launching 4 one to one menteeships available to emerging artists around the region as part of Start Live Art. 


For the third time we were pleased to take part in Live Art Development Agency's DIY programme, hosting Selina Thompson and Ria Hartley's retreat in the Yorkshire Dales, 'Spaces of Radical Agency'. 


Invisible Flock invited us to dinner with speeches through the hosting of 'Pitchless', a brilliant dinner cum debate event structured around a series of Georgian 'toasts' from local producers, artists and curators. 


We supported Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield to host Forced Entertainments brilliant new performance work 'The Notebook' and an accompanying workshop on adapting new work from existing texts took place in Leeds in partnership with Leeds Beckett University. October also saw Invisible Flock lead a brilliant artist retreat for site-specific artists called 'Interactive Landscapes' in the Yorkshire Dales. 


We concluded the year with the brilliant new performance work 'Happiness Forgets' by Season Butler, which we were proud to co-commission with Fierce Festival and present with Live Art Bistro in Leeds.


We were treated to the fantastic double bill of news that Bethany Wells, whose first solo project WARMTH, Compass has commissioned is to receive funding from Arts Council England and we ourselves were successful in securing a grant from ACE to deliver the artistic programme of Compass Festival 2016 this coming November. 

There are still two fantastic events to come as part of Invisible Flock's 12 months of professional development activity, Autobiographical Food in Sheffield and 'Creative Prototyping for Beautiful Things' in Leeds and York, we hope to be able to say hello to you at one or both of these, and look forward to more exciting announcements as the year moves on towards the next edition of Compass Festival. 

Thank you for reading, Happy New Year!

Peter Reed and Annie Lloyd

Compass Live Art