A brief history of The Music Pool and Hereford Arts In Action
Hereford Arts in Action was formed in 1988, with the aim of bringing community Arts projects to people of all ages and abilities. From the outset, the emphasis was on participation, inclusivity and an open-access policy.
From a base in East Street, Hereford, and with funding support from West Midlands Arts (the predececessor to Arts Council England, West Midlands) and the local authorities, in those days split into Hereford City Council, South Herefordshire District Council and Leominster District Council, HAIA mounted a wide variety of projects in all art-forms, and with all kinds of people. Notable examples incuded 'The Visitor', 'If You Go Down to the Woods', 'Play It Again, Sam', 'The Leominster Musical Monster' and 'PlugDin'.
Ten years later, in 1998, it was decided to emphasise our remit more towards music, whilst still involving more general and complimentary art forms, and we re-launched with our new operating name 'The Music Pool'. At the same time, we moved our headquarters to the then brand new Courtyard Centre for the Arts, in Hereford.
Rob Strawson, our Artistic Director, originally joined the company as a project artist in 1992, and became Director in 2001. Dennis Schiavon, our Administrator, joined in 1998, at the time of our re-launch and office move as The Music Pool. Mina Nakamura, our General Assistant, joined us as a student trainee/project assistant in 2004.
We've organised a great many projects over the years, with all kinds of people - toddlers, children, young people, people with a range of physical & learning disabilities, adults, older & retired people. Our projects have happened in all kinds of places around Herefordshire and its border areas - nurseries, parent & toddler groups, schools, colleges, health care settings, housing schemes, hospitals, day centres, shopping centres, concert halls, village halls, churches, theatres, pubs, night-clubs, residential & care homes...and even the streets & roads of Herefordshire - city, towns & villages!
...and we're still out there now, bringing 'Music for Life' and 'Music for All' to as many people as possible, helping enhance lives and communities!