Shropshire has a rich diversity of arts provision, in particular visual arts and theatre, and is home to both locally and nationally significant organisations, venues and festivals supporting local artistic talent and attracting national and international artists. This includes:
- Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - the county's largest performance venue
- A range of smaller venues, including multi-use spaces such as the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, SpArC in Bishops Castle and Wem Town Hall
- Cinemas such as the Old Market Hall (OMH), Shrewsbury
- Galleries such as Qube, Oswestry
- The Discovery Centre at Craven Arms
...and many commercial spaces.
The county has a broad collection of museums and archives, housing prestigious collections. This high quality arts provision reflects the value people in Shropshire give to the arts.
The Arts and Festival Development Service believes that, in partnership with others, it has an important and pivotal role to play in the provision of arts within Shropshire. The main roles of the service are to specifically:
- Undertake the role of 'leader in the community', providing leadership on arts development issues, training and relevance to priorities
- Advocate for the arts in Shropshire on behalf of the whole community, strategically influencing others
- Ensure that access to the arts is widened through continued audience development
- Develop and deliver arts-focused training
- Establish partnerships to provide arts and cultural services to local people, and hold a broad overview of county provision and local arts issues
- Develop new and support existing local arts provision
- Recognise and respond to the 'instrumental value' of the arts, and the contribution they make to the sense of community and achievement of wider policy objectives