What an amazing year… what an amazing 10 years!

31 December 2016

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers looks back at the past 10 years:

2016 has been a year of reflection, celebration and sharing. Reflecting on what we have achieved over the years, celebrating these achievements and sharing our work with audiences in communities across Scotland as well as to new audiences across the world.

I am incredibly proud of what Starcatchers has achieved over the last 10 years. We have worked with amazing artists and connected with partners and communities in different parts of Scotland. This work has allowed us to provide thousands of babies, toddlers, young children and their parents, grand parents, carers and Early Years practitioners with some inspiring innovative experiences that have had a long-lasting impact.

Reflecting back on 10 years of Starcatchers has allowed me to think back to some of my highlights, those moments that have stayed with me throughout this amazing journey. There have been many but a few of my favourites include:

  • Watching the captivated faces of the babies and their parents during the first performances of Little Light in 2007
  • The first version of We Dance, wee groove with nearly 400 babies, toddler, young children and their grown ups dancing together at the Assembly Rooms as part of the Imaginate FestivalWDwg-6
  • Observing the different approaches that the artists leading the Inspire project residencies took from 2009 – 2011
  • Developing and producing Archaeology, a Worm’s Story by Andy Manley and Rosie Gibson with Polka Theatre – the first project we did as an independent company102Archaeology lo res
  • The Playground residency project where Nik Paget-Tomlinson and Jen Edgar explored working in childcare settings in South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire
  • Blue Block Studio remains one of my favourite pieces of Starcatchers’ work – a completely new experience for us and for our audiences magnificently created by Katy Wilson with Ewan Sinclair, Kate Bonney, Kim Moore, Geraldine Heaney and Zoe Squair
  • The Creative Revolution marking the end of the pilot Creative Skill programme allowing us to bring together people from across sectors and from grass-roots up to policy makers in the same room to discuss the fundamental role of arts and creativity in Early Years
  • Sharing Hup by Hazel Darwin-Clements, Abi Sinar and Xana Marwick with audiences in Canada, Macau, Hong Kong and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year – different cultures but the babies all share the same curiosity and desire to connect

We couldn’t have achieved everything we have over the last 10 years without the artists we work with. It is their innovation, creativity and vision that has created the content for all of our projects and productions. We have been incredibly fortunate to work with a growing pool of incredibly talented and passionate practitioners and I am very grateful for all the work they have done with us so far.

I also want to take a moment to thank all the other practitioners, staff and partners we have worked with over the last 10 years – we simply would not have got here without their hard work and support.

And finally… throughout all the work we have shared over the years, the key element at the heart of the work, has, and continues to be, the babies, toddlers and children and their grown ups we want to inspire. Their engagement, connection and response has inspired us as much as we have inspired them and I look forward to Starcatchers continuing to offer amazing arts and creative experiences over the next 10 years to come.