A Fond Farewell From Lucy Crompton-Reid

As Lucy Crompton-Reid prepares to say a fond farewell to her role as Director of Apples and Snakes, there’s just time to reflect on a few highlights from her time with the organisation…

Pamela Raith Photography_Shake The Dust_171-web

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

It is with mixed feelings that I’m writing my last blog post as the Director of Apples and Snakes. Whilst I’m excited to start my new role as Chief Executive of Wikimedia UK, the open knowledge charity, it is going to be a wrench to leave such an amazing organisation and a committed, passionate team who, along with our artists and audiences, make Apples and Snakes what it is.

Looking back, there are some key highlights of my time here. Shake the Dust was a major national project that involved tens of thousands of young people and hundreds of artists and culminated in a four day festival at the Southbank Centre, as part of the London 2012 Festival. I’m proud of my role in making that happen. Architects of Our Republic, which marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream speech, was another defining moment for the organisation. More recent highlights include the SPINE Festival in March this year, with over 100 events for children and young people taking place in London libraries, and The Alternative Magna Carta Festival at Free Word this summer. Other personal high points include two successive uplifts in our core funding from Arts Council England, first from 2012 to 2015 and then for the period 2015 to 2018; although this grant is now under serious threat with the Government’s forthcoming Spending Review, for which it has asked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to plan for cuts of up to 40%.

CPICDZvWEAQi4OJSince I joined the organisation in February 2010, the political and economic landscape has shifted dramatically, however this challenging context has only strengthened the determination of the Apples and Snakes board and staff team – and of course hundreds of spoken word artists and performance poets around the country – to continue to push the boundaries of the artform and to create artistic and social change through the power of spoken word.

I am delighted that Lisa Mead and Robert Saunders, who will be known to many of you, are jointly taking on the Chief Executive role at Apples and Snakes on an interim basis, on top of their usual responsibilities as Creative Producer and General Manager. I wish them, and you, all the very best for the future. May it be bright, and filled with poetry.
Lucy Crompton-Reid