Supporting and Promoting Arts in Rural Settlements of Europe (SPARSE) will foster rural touring in the partner countries taking performances by professional performing arts companies and artists into rural areas to rural audiences in local community venues.



The critical basis of rural touring is that local people (the promoters) living in rural areas and who are part of their rural communities choose and promote shows in a local venue in collaboration with their local professional touring organisation. This will help to address the issue that many rural communities do not enjoy the same opportunities to enjoy high quality arts as their urban counterparts. Kickstarted by a capacity building programme, SPARSE will create a network within each partner country that puts audience development and access to the arts by rural communities at its heart.


According to EU statistics 30% of Europe’s population live in a rural area, access to services is worse and social exclusion is higher in rural areas. There will be 150 performances by at least 45 artist companies in 50 rural communities to 7.500 audience members. 20% performances will be cross border and slow travel will mitigate environmental impacts with partners offsetting carbon emissions. A live and digital mentoring programme will support 50 local rural touring promoters and at least 45 artist companies to learn the essential mechanics of rural touring, including visits to experienced rural touring partners.


There will be 3 key events; a kick-off meeting for 50 promoters and 11 partner staff; a public facing Symposium for 100 delegates (policymakers, funders, cultural associates) and a final Conference will share learning and launch the next 4-year programme for 100 delegates (local promoters, partners, artists, potential new partners and associations). To capture and disseminate learning a new SPARSE Network website will host the project and feature new rural touring toolkits for artists and local promoters translated into various partner languages; a free to access recorded mentoring programme; evaluation, research and advocacy reports; and a film documenting the project. The SPARSE Network will be legally constituted.



Teatro 4Garoupas with the project KAPILAR! unterwegs has been part of 2 of the selected partnerships:


CROSSING BORDERS - A European Rural Touring Project


MAKING WAVES! - Europe International Inclusive Arts Network