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The Pocklington Arts Centre column with Sara Morton

Pocklington Arts Centre saw 2,800 people attend 31 events.
Pocklington Arts Centre saw 2,800 people attend 31 events.

There has certainly been a celebratory air around Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) over the past few weeks – and no, it wasn’t due to the Royal Wedding, although it was of course incredibly heart-warming to see communities across the country come together to raise a glass to Meghan and Harry.

No, there was a sense of celebration and achievement as the arts centre embarked on a really exciting new chapter in its (almost) 20-year history.

PAC officially became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), a significant achievement which means the venue will receive funding and support from the Arts Council over the next four years. Think of it as a big thumbs-up from the arts council who have recognised that PAC is getting it right when it comes to bringing arts to this corner of the world.

It also means that they can employ me, as an audience development and marketing officer.

On my first day in the job, just a few weeks ago, James Duffy (venue manager) and Janet Farmer (venue director) described my arrival as ‘like Christmas’, as they were now in a position to employ someone to help build on what has already been achieved.

I feel incredibly honoured to have been picked for the job, and the chance to combine my passion for live music and the arts with my media and marketing experience was just too good to refuse.

This is undoubtedly an exciting time for PAC which has just had its most successful month ever, with a record number of people coming through the doors to enjoy a multitude of visual arts – from live comedy, music, art exhibitions, to theatre and live broadcasts – not bad for the former Ritz cinema.

Throughout April PAC saw over 2,800 people attend 31 events, with highlights including award-winning comedian Henning Wehn, Grammy nominated blues musician Eric Bibb, soul-sensation Ruby Turner, comedian Phill Jupitus, BBC Folk Award-winners The Young ‘Uns, and the unique theatrical experience ‘Chip Shop Chips’.

And to top off a top month, I got the chance to meet comedian and the actual voice of ITV2s Love Island Iain Sterling!

As an ardent fan of the TV show (I’m not ashamed to admit it), this was like Christmas for me – the guy is hilarious and put on a great stand up show, as part of his extensive UK tour, before jetting off to Mallorca once again ready for the next series of Love Island.

And we’ve seen the arrival of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story in PAC’s cinema – I am literally in my dream job and am genuinely excited about all that we have to bring audiences over the coming months – it is going to be a busy, fantastic summer!

l The arts centre is bringing national theatre and ballet live and direct to audiences in East Yorkshire.

Thanks to the wonders of satellite technology, it has never been easier for audiences to experience some of the world’s most prestigious and best loved theatre and ballet performances from the comfort of their local cinema.

Audiences at the arts centre can do just that over the coming months as the venue brings a total of five live broadcasts direct from London and Nottingham straight to Pocklington.

The next live broadcast is the Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake at The Royal Opera House on Tuesday 12 June (7.15pm).