Reason for Formation:

The Company sprang from a desire, from both Ellen and Liz to showcase Newquay, its community and its unique identity, both to people within the town, but also to communicate a more accurate view of Newquay to the outside world. Both Liz and Ellen were involved in Art8 Festival in its early days, and it was this festival that demonstrated beyond all doubt that there was a rich cultural and artistic life and community in Newquay ready to be explored.

When Blystra Arts was created in 2015 there was a big disparity between how people viewed Newquay as a resident living in the town, compared to how it was viewed by other communities and both Liz and Ellen, the founding Directors of the company, wanted to do something about this inconsistency. In 2009 Liz and Ellen, both Newquay residents, met while working at The Works, Dance and Theatre Cornwall, Cornwall’s Arts Development Agency, and tentative corridor conversations began about their shared desire to initiate some creative activity in Newquay. In her role at The Works Liz was able to initiate, help fund and support members of the Newquay community to set up Newquay Art8, the Arts and Culture Festival in 2010 and 2011, and one of the initial seeds of cultural cohesion was sown in the town. Ellen ran events within the festival, and Liz remained a key member of the festival team from 2010 to 2014, with Ellen serving as a key committee member in 2016 and 2017, when Liz was on Maternity leave.

In September 2015 Ellen, with the support of Liz, ran Blystra Arts’ first event, a pedal powered film night at The Carn Marth Hotel in conjunction with Carn to Cove. In 2016, still functioning as an unincorporated organisation, Blystra Arts created their first piece of performance: Shakespeare in a Shed, which premiered at the Art8 Festival 2016 to coincide with the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This piece was a mini performance in a shed powered by solar energy and was also performed at The Newquay Fish Festival in Sept 2016. In the same month the company put on their 2nd pedal powered film night at Newquay Community Orchard. In Jan 2017 Blystra Arts was officially set up by Ellen Moule, Liz Wright and Caroline Swain (also an Art8 committee member).