In 1992, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Crathes Castle, a successful theatre production was staged by the community, looking back at the history of the castle and local community, writes Mark Hope, Chairman of Woodend Arts Limited.
The venue for rehearsing was the airy steading of Woodend farm. This initial use of Woodend led to a group of energetic local people thinking about what could be done with the space.
In 1994, Woodend Arts was formed and this group of community members worked hard over the following decade to raise money and convert the steading into the venue we now know as Woodend Barn.
Woodend Barn is one of North-east Scotland’s leading performing and visual art spaces, hosting the finest musicians, dancers, curators and theatre companies from across the UK and beyond.
Woodend Arts has also started nurturing talent and encouraging the creation of new work and in the future, it is envisaged that work made on Deeside will tour the country.
It is a great testament to the founding group to see the venue expand from housing a few concerts and workshops a year, into the nationally-respected art centre for Deeside that it has become, while still putting local people at the forefront of its planning.
However, funding is tight and that is why in this, the Barn’s 20th year, they are hosting several fundraising events for the community, researching ways to increase its own earned income and using new technologies, such as crowdfunding, to support new projects. Crowdfunding involves interested people pledging money towards helping fund a project and receiving a ‘reward’ for their support.
Woodend Arts Limited, the not-for-profit company which runs Woodend Barn, is seeking new directors to serve on the board. The present chair, secretary and treasurer all plan to hand over their roles during the next two years.
Various skills and experience would be welcomed - anyone who enjoys teamwork, has a passion for the arts and/or relevant skills/experience, should contact Mark Hope at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01330) 825274.