Tom Morris dedicates Bristol Life Awards to young people in the arts16 Apr 2019
Photography by Paolo Ferla
On Thurs 11 Apr, Bristol Old Vic was awarded both the Arts Award and final Platinum Award at the annual Bristol Life Awards. Upon receiving the Arts Award, Artistic Director Tom Morris made a rousing speech, thanking Bristol’s creative arts sector for its involvement in inspiring the next generation of artists, saying,
"In this city, we’ve got something very, very special. We have one of the most creative economies in the country and we don’t celebrate it enough. In our education system, we have a massive collapse of funding for every creative subject in our state schools and all of the organisations on this shortlist are going into schools in order to give your children the chance to discover their creativity. It’s very important work they’re doing.”
The judging panel commended Bristol Old Vic for “renovating and redefining their space whilst attracting old and new punters” and underlining its position as a city landmark, celebrating it as “a place that elevates Bristol – it is an institution deeply worthy of our thanks and recognition.”
The full winners are listed here.
Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. Under Artistic Director Tom Morris and Chief Executive Emma Stenning, the historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.
They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.
On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.