Revolution Performing Arts Awarded £35,000 Covid19 Grant 

Swindon Theatre Group Get Covid-19 Grant: Revolution Performing Arts – a company that provides classes to children and young people across Swindon gets a grant from the Arts Council England’s Covid 19 Emergency Fund. 

Fiona Da-Silva Adams - Swindon Theatre Group Gets Covid-19 Grant

Founder, Fiona Da Silva-Adams said the money has been a life-saver for the organisation.

It’s currently offering its classes, one-to- one support and feedback online via Zoom and WhatsApp. It’s supporting around 350 young people aged 4 -18 years.

In addition, the team works with children in care and provides places free of charge to any young person affected by domestic abuse, referred by Swindon Women’s Aid. The aim is to provide an escape from the trauma of abuse. They also offer a family support morning to encourage autistic young people and their parents to experience the arts and network with each other.

Swindon Theatre Group Gets Covid-19 Grant – In shock

“When we knew lockdown was coming and that schools would close, I went into a state of shock. How would we survive this? Then we made a plan to go online and that’s what we’ve done. We got an initial premises grant which helped for a few weeks.

“This grant ensures that Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) can cover losses and remain a strong and viable company. With that there’s future delivery of performing arts twilight sessions for vulnerable young people.  When I knew we’d got the funding, I cried and cried. It means so much. 

“This now allows us to fund delivery of online sessions (a combination of live, pre-recorded and feedback). And provide a lifeline to young people during the pandemic.”

The birth of RPA

Fiona set up RPA in 2007 after a successful performing arts career which saw her study at the University of Middlesex and then return to Swindon to manage the Sixth Sense Theatre group – now known as Prime Theatre).

She struck out on her own under the original name of Drama Babes after having her children. The business has grown ever since and was later re-branded as RPA. 

After school clubs

“We run after school clubs in many Swindon schools and often in non-school settings offering a range of activities from dance and drama to circus skills,” Fiona said.

“Young people often come to us to feel included, respected and celebrated. They strive to create excellent works of high artistic quality. They can do this because they feel safe to express themselves. These sessions will ensure they remain connected and included and safe.”

Fiona manages a team of 15 workshop leaders, some employed, some freelance and some volunteers. The grant, from Arts Council England via The National Lottery, allows her to keep working with them all as they deliver online workshops. This is valuable as subs have dwindled due to families being unable to afford the fees. 

This isn’t the first time RPA have been in receipt of funding. In 2016, they received a smaller grant from Arts Council England in 2016 for an anti bullying film project in collaboration with Cre8 Studios.

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