The Arts at Dartington

About the Arts at Dartington

Dartington has a vibrant, exciting arts programme planned for 2015.

The flagship arts programme remains the Dartington International Summer School. This is four, week-long, programmes of teaching, master classes, music making and concerts. It has over 1000 participants made up of over 200 bursary students; 165 artists; over 550 paying residential; 140 non-residential; and 2250 separate concert goers.

There are also plans to extend its reach into the local community. These includes bolstering the concert programme, developing new offerings to attract new audiences and some outreach programme.

Arts programme 2015

Left to right: Summer School Director Joanna MacGregor, Summer School pupil, Outdoor Cinema


The Barn Cinema shows 1055 screenings per year comprising 274 films and live events (a mix of mainstream, classic, specialised and young person’s film as well as live broadcasts) with a customer base of over 40,000 people.

It also operates an out-door film programme at Dartington and in local venues (Newton Abbot; Plymouth) It has a pool of 55 regular volunteers and has full 4K digital projection, 7.1 digital sound, 3D capability, is equipped for satellite broadcasts and can also screen analogue films in 35mm and 16mm.

Development plans focus on creating a second screen that will increase the range of films offered, utilising the existing structures and enabling more effective management of strong and slow-selling films. An investment appraisal of these plans will be performed as part of the arts review.

Dartington Craft education runs two workshops offering courses in printmaking (led by Michael Honnor); and bookbinding (led by Mary Bartlett). They each run three terms per year (2 × 10 weeks in winter & spring and a shorter 5 week summer term ).

Class sizes approximately 10 people per session with between 50-65 people attending sessions each term. Over the year approx. 320 people attend the workshops. The costs of the courses are modest starting at £100/ term.

Dartington Space is made up of over 10 high grade performing arts spaces at Lower Close, the Hex and Gym as well as the Shippon. This includes a black box; 2 dance studios; performing space with 120 seat capacity; recording equipment; wet space and full technical and lighting support. These spaces are used on a pay per hire basis and on a discounted or free basis by local artists and arts organisations when not in use. They have also been used to support the Associate Artist programme that is funded by ACE.

arts at dartington montage

Left to right: Barn Cinema, Space studios, Printmaking


Current activities that take place in Space include:

Royal Ballet who run quarterly junior auditions and Saturday classes
Random Dance who periodically use the Dance studio for pre-production work
Family Gamelan
• Associates Artists programmes (Matthew and Me, Earfilms, FanShen, Impermanence Dance Theatre and Aakash Odedra)
Immerse membership – able to access Spaces at a community rate or free of charge on 24hrs notice

Other Arts activities

• We usually run at least one large scale community event that has a music focus – last year this attracted 500 people and cost £5k
The Shops at Dartington run a regular programme of music and children’s entertainers at the weekend during busy periods. On average there over 40 performances a year seen by 300,000 passing shoppers.

Associated arts activities

In addition there are other significant activities that take place on the estate and are closely associated with Dartington. These include:

Ways with Words literary festival over 10 days in July, supported by Dartington Hall through accommodation, catering and event support and attracting over 5,000 people.
Dartington Playgoers – a local amateur dramatics society set up by Dorothy Elmhirst. The society puts on 2 plays a year with 15 performances.
Dartington Community Choir, with 170 members, meets weekly and performs a number of concerts a year.
• Artistic tenants: we also have over 100 business and residential tenants many of whom would classify themselves as artists or part of the creative industries.


The above is intended to provide a flavour of Dartington’s artistic scope, and is not intended to represent every artistic activity at Dartington

Our Vision: We work in partnership with others to deliver change in three areas: Registered charity number: 279756