“Our audience are our experts,
we start by listening to them.”

 

“We widen opportunities for
people to engage in the arts
by making work in familiar places.”

 

“We reclaim and reimagine the community domain by animating unloved, disused familiar spaces…”

 

“We encourage empathy in the
retelling of stories, raising the
voices of those we meet.”

 

“Through shared experience
we create a space for
communities to build networks
and meaningful social ties.”

 
 
 

A murmuration is, by its very nature, a collaborative act.

WHAT WE DO


Murmuration Arts is a participatory arts organisation with over 14 years experience delivering community engagement projects.

We focus on projects which adopt a co-creation approach – we create collaboratively with communities.

We connect with and build community through street theatre, site-responsive performance, participatory dance, music, reminiscence sessions, intergenerational workshops, cooking together, sharing stories, oral history projects and craft activities… and we love playing games!

OUR VALUES


 

We are passionate about widening opportunities for people to engage in the arts. Our creative process involves in-depth research with communities, focusing on building & maintaining relationships. Each project we work on aims to create a unique shared experience, connecting communities & giving people a voice & platform on which to tell their stories.

The people we meet are the experts of their lives,

we start by listening to them.

We believe that by instilling a sense of ownership, by increasing confidence, social ties & social cohesion, communities feel a greater investment in their future. By sharing agency and the decision making process Murmuration Arts can empower individuals to develop their own artistic expression. As artists, we in turn seek to learn from the people we work with.  Through social interaction and active participation we aim to improve the health and wellbeing for everyone involved.

Marion Duggan


Artistic Director

Marion is an artist, performer, producer and company manager, founder member of Ragroof Theatre and co-director of The Ragroof Players – developing and managing both companies for 15 years. Marion’s interests lie in widening opportunities for people to engage in the arts. Often her work will involve in-depth research with communities, focusing on building and maintaining relationships. She has researched and developed oral history and reminiscence interview techniques and using verbatim text in the devising processes.

Marion devised and performed with Ragroof Theatre in ‘Make Do and Mend’, the Ragroof Tea Dances and ‘Shall We Dance?’ and was performance director for ‘Gloves On’. She directed ‘Bridges y Puentes’, developing a new performance language for site-responsive, promenade performances. Marion is on the board of directors for Clown Without Borders UK, she has fundraised and toured to Zimbabwe, India and Greek Refugee camps with the charity, providing psychosocial first aid to children living in crisis situations.

“I am excited to be starting a new company building on my 15 years of experience working in outdoor arts and community-led work. With Murmuration Arts I want to shift the power dynamics of artists working in participation and look at ways to share the agency and decision making process with participants.

I believe that we are all part of a community, what helps shape and define us are our experiences and what we have been individually exposed to. Murmuration Arts will offer the tools learnt through our training as a way to express and develop a shared language and experience between us and the people we meet – we are always ready to learn new skills ourselves. At the heart of Murmuration Arts is collaboration and listening. It is my aim to shine a light on people’s individual expertise using the skills we have as artists to enhance and market this, bringing it to a wider audience.”

Matthew Black


Director

Matthew trained as an actor graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2002. Since then he has worked in television, film and theatre. He has held the position of director for The Ragroof Players, performed as part of a comedy dance duo ‘The Gentlemen Friends’ and run theatre and dance workshops in schools, community settings, residential care homes, yoga retreats, fitness expos and for corporate and private events.

Inspired by teaching dance and interested in learning how the body is impacted during movement, Matthew has qualified as a personal trainer, pilates and yoga instructor through his company Dance Floor Activist. Running regular community fitness classes, has enabled Matthew to spend the past 10 years exploring how focused movement can have a beneficial impact on an individuals mental health. When working in theatre and fitness, Matthew looks to bring people together, through shared experience, creating a space for everyone to gain from the benefits of social engagement, moving their bodies and expressing themselves.

Testimonial:

“Never underestimate what your classes give to others. Not just your exuberance but your passion for dance and the well-being of others. I was body conscious and so lacking in self esteem before I came to one of your classes. You do so much good without even knowing.”

Liza, Zumba client

Laura Wright


Producer

Laura Wright is a producer with over 18 years experience managing theatre projects, live music events, and festivals. She has a background in event management, audience development, fundraising for theatre and community projects, marketing and promoting theatre shows and live music events, programming festival stages, and has worked at theatre and live music venues and festivals since 1999.

Laura is a singer and piano teacher, and has performed as a cabaret artist. Experience as a performing artist has given her empathy and understanding in how best to support artists through the creative process, from behind the scenes. She sees her role as a producer as primarily facilitating and empowering artists to make work that realises their full creative potential.

“I believe art can change the world, by immersing people emotionally and cognitively in the issues that matter. Participatory arts can be particularly transformative for individuals who don’t have a background in the arts, and for communities using participatory art as a tool for empowerment.”

Richard Baskott


Finance Director

Richard runs his own accountancy practice, Beancounters of Lewes Ltd, based in East Sussex with over 100 clients. He has over 25 years in a variety of finance roles both in the private and not for profit sectors and specialises in small to medium companies with a particular focus on the arts and media. He has assisted many start-ups to convert their ideas and plans into real businesses. He sits on the board of several community interest companies and charities – Figment Arts CIC, North Street Co-working CIC, Murmuration Arts and Clowns Without Borders UK. He is also treasurer of Lewes Labour Party and has an MA in International Sport Policy from the University of Brighton. He has a keen interest in photography, having exhibited work on football culture and identity as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe.

Marion Duggan


Artistic Director

Marion is an artist, performer, producer and company manager, founder member of Ragroof Theatre and co-director of The Ragroof Players – developing and managing both companies for 15 years. Marion’s interests lie in widening opportunities for people to engage in the arts. Often her work will involve in-depth research with communities, focusing on building and maintaining relationships. She has researched and developed oral history and reminiscence interview techniques and using verbatim text in the devising processes.

Marion devised and performed with Ragroof Theatre in ‘Make Do and Mend’, the Ragroof Tea Dances and ‘Shall We Dance?’ and was performance director for ‘Gloves On’. She directed ‘Bridges y Puentes’, developing a new performance language for site-responsive, promenade performances. Marion is on the board of directors for Clown Without Borders UK, she has fundraised and toured to Zimbabwe, India and Greek Refugee camps with the charity, providing psychosocial first aid to children living in crisis situations.

“I am excited to be starting a new company building on my 15 years of experience working in outdoor arts and community-led work. With Murmuration Arts I want to shift the power dynamics of artists working in participation and look at ways to share the agency and decision making process with participants.

I believe that we are all part of a community, what helps shape and define us are our experiences and what we have been individually exposed to. Murmuration Arts will offer the tools learnt through our training as a way to express and develop a shared language and experience between us and the people we meet – we are always ready to learn new skills ourselves. At the heart of Murmuration Arts is collaboration and listening. It is my aim to shine a light on people’s individual expertise using the skills we have as artists to enhance and market this, bringing it to a wider audience.”

Laura Wright


Producer

Laura Wright is a producer with over 18 years experience managing theatre projects, live music events, and festivals. She has a background in event management, audience development, fundraising for theatre and community projects, marketing and promoting theatre shows and live music events, programming festival stages, and has worked at theatre and live music venues and festivals since 1999.

Laura is a singer and piano teacher, and has performed as a cabaret artist. Experience as a performing artist has given her empathy and understanding in how best to support artists through the creative process, from behind the scenes. She sees her role as a producer as primarily facilitating and empowering artists to make work that realises their full creative potential.

“I believe art can change the world, by immersing people emotionally and cognitively in the issues that matter. Participatory arts can be particularly transformative for individuals who don’t have a background in the arts, and for communities using participatory art as a tool for empowerment.”

Matthew Black


Director

Matthew trained as an actor graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2002. Since then he has worked in television, film and theatre. He has held the position of director for The Ragroof Players, performed as part of a comedy dance duo ‘The Gentlemen Friends’ and run theatre and dance workshops in schools, community settings, residential care homes, yoga retreats, fitness expos and for corporate and private events.

Inspired by teaching dance and interested in learning how the body is impacted during movement, Matthew has qualified as a personal trainer, pilates and yoga instructor through his company Dance Floor Activist. Running regular community fitness classes, has enabled Matthew to spend the past 10 years exploring how focused movement can have a beneficial impact on an individuals mental health. When working in theatre and fitness, Matthew looks to bring people together, through shared experience, creating a space for everyone to gain from the benefits of social engagement, moving their bodies and expressing themselves.

Testimonial:

“Never underestimate what your classes give to others. Not just your exuberance but your passion for dance and the well-being of others. I was body conscious and so lacking in self esteem before I came to one of your classes. You do so much good without even knowing.”

Liza, Zumba client

Richard Baskott


Finance Director

Richard runs his own accountancy practice, Beancounters of Lewes Ltd, based in East Sussex with over 100 clients. He has over 25 years in a variety of finance roles both in the private and not for profit sectors and specialises in small to medium companies with a particular focus on the arts and media. He has assisted many start-ups to convert their ideas and plans into real businesses. He sits on the board of several community interest companies and charities – Figment Arts CIC, North Street Co-working CIC, Murmuration Arts and Clowns Without Borders UK. He is also treasurer of Lewes Labour Party and has an MA in International Sport Policy from the University of Brighton. He has a keen interest in photography, having exhibited work on football culture and identity as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe.

“I have always admired the work of Marion and Matthew, they have constantly proved to be exemplary practitioners working with and for communities who are regularly forgotten by the main stream.
They work hard, have strong ethics, a lovely creative energy and I’m very exciting to see how there new company develops.”
Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE

Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Stratford East (TRSE) from 2004 to 2017

“Joan Littlewood would have loved this show for many reasons. Firstly, because it is based on interviews with real people…She transferred this way of telling the stories of working class people into the theatre where she added dance and movement in ways British theatre had never seen before. Bridges y Puentes does this too…Joan would have loved the fact that the show is performed in an extremely unlikely place, Stratford Multi-storey Carpark. Joan loved street entertainment interacting with passers-by, so it was a real pleasure to see this show rehearsing on the streets near the theatre.”
Philip Hedley

Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East (TRSE) from 1979 to 2004 on Bridges y Puentes, directed and produced by Marion for The Ragroof Players. See the full article.

CONTACT


Laura Wright // Producer //Laura@MurmurationArts.co.uk  // 0044 7737 242 847

Marion Duggan // Artistic Director // Marion@MurmurationArts.co.uk

Matthew Black // Director // Matthew@MurmurationArts.co.uk

Richard Baskott // Finance Director // Finance@MurmurationArts.co.uk

OFFICE // Murmuration Arts CIC, Brighton Youth Centre, 64 Edward St, Room 5, Brighton BN2 0JR // Info@MurmurationArts.co.uk

Images courtesy of The Ragroof Players. Photos by Rosie Powell and Dik Ng