The Nutshell is a female-led organisation founded by the Directors of The Discarded Nut Theatre Company. We are a small-scale vibrant, inclusive space situated in the heart of Winchester’s Creative Quarter, where we invite all members of our community to ignite their creativity through engaging in unique, joyous and life-affirming artistic opportunities. "A vital gap filled in Winchester's cultural scene" - Stakeholder Survey
We offer an alternative high-quality experience delivered from one of Winchester's most-loved buildings. We support the wealth of talent within our city, collaborating with creative individuals and organisations - championing children, young people and emerging talent, and shouting to the world that Winchester is a thriving dynamic cultural destination.
"A breath of fresh air, an inclusive, dynamic, progressive, welcoming arts venue." - Stakeholder Survey
We believe that the arts have the power to not only inspire and entertain but also to educate and challenge. We have seen firsthand how the magic of live performance and participation can transform people’s lives.
Since 2018 we have:
- Welcomed over 8560 audience members.
- Showcased local artistic talent through our bi-annual Makers Markets (over 120 makers)
- Run workshops engaging over 370 participants
- Engaged with participants through our renowned resident youth theatre - Discarded Nut Youth Theatre - who have worked with over 826 children and young people since 2010.
- Actively sought to engage newly qualified performers, practitioners and technical staff and have employed local young people including students from our two universities
- Delivered our services online during 2020 and 2021.
- Offered interesting and stimulating work-experience placements for pupils from local secondary schools, colleges and universities.
Alongside this we have developed an exciting, engaging and entertaining programme of shows, events, workshops and exhibitions and have worked with some incredible individuals and organisations.
The Nutshell Comedy Club (Paul McCaffrey & Paul Cox), The Nutshell Jazz Club (Winchester Jazz Festival), Wonder Gigs (Filskit Theatre), JazzBops, Saving Britney (FakeEscape), Pinocchio (Indefinite Articles), The Moomins & Roald Dahl (Get Lost & Found), Walnuts Adult Acting Company, The Nutshell Baby Comedy Club, Hot Orange (Half Moon Theatre Company), Cathy Waller Company, I Want My Hat Back (Little Angel Theatre), Solent Gay Men's Chorus, Loved&Lost and You're Dead, Mate (Trés Rascal).
Our building also provides a space for many creative individuals and organisations from the Winchester District and across Hampshire, enabling them to deliver their services and grow their own businesses.
Flying Colours Education, GiggleBugs, Hampshire Hospitals Trust and Foundations, Winchester Comic Fair, Winchester Print Fair, ENCORE Youth Theatre, Florian School of Dance, Winchester School of Art, University of Winchester, Winchester Chamber Music Festival, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester City Council, Winchester Life Drawing Club, The Yard, Winchester Round Table and Play to the Crowd
"A hub for the creative community in Winchester, an organisation to grow in partnership with." - Stakeholder Survey
WHY WE'RE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP
It has been an incredibly exciting but also extremely challenging year for us at The Nutshell. We have run The Nutshell as a self-sustaining organisation dedicated to removing financial barriers to our participants and audiences and are committed to making sure that those who work with us are properly and fairly paid.
We have grown our services and engaged with more people than ever before but are now struggling to fund the core costs needed to continue operating.
However, due to the ongoing financial impact of COVID and the subsequent cost-of-living crisis, our services are at immediate risk. We know that we have to act quickly and take proactive steps to ensure our much needed and much loved company continues to operate long into the future.
BRIDGING THE GAP
We need to raise £35,000 to fund core costs, rebuild our reserves and grow our Bursary scheme, support our delivery, and continue growing our programme while we transition our existing organisations into a charity.
Alongside building a resilient, thriving and inspiring charity set in the heart of Winchester’s cultural quarter and regeneration area, the most important element that we want to continue is our commitment to removing financial barriers and opening access to the arts for as many people in our community as possible.
Your contribution to our appeal will help us to sustain our Pay What You Can and Bursary schemes enabling more people to benefit from our high quality, diverse programme of events, shows, workshops and youth theatre. In addition, so that other creative individuals and companies can develop their own work and businesses, we offer reduced hire costs so they can reach new audiences and start their own creative adventure.
WHAT THE FUTURE WILL LOOK LIKE
"A space where things happen for Winchester people of ALL ages. Creative, experimental, a warmth and a welcoming place for the creative arts." - Stakeholder Survey
Our aim is to create one strong, ambitious, resilient charity by merging The Nutshell and The Discarded Nut Theatre Company together in order to deliver our frontline creative services.
The Charity: Discarded Nut (CIO)
Our Family: The Nutshell, Discarded Nut Youth Theatre, Discarded Nut Theatre Company
Our Brand: Raw - Ambitious - Passionate
Our Vision: Dedicated to enriching people's lives through the power of the arts.
1. To inspire and challenge people with a passion for theatre at every stage of their lives from first steps on stage to their first professional engagement.
2. To provide a vibrant, safe and welcoming venue facilitating high-quality opportunities for local creatives, young people, emerging talent and members of the community.
3. To produce work that gives our members and audiences thought-provoking and life-enhancing experiences.
We recognise that by merging our companies together we can:
- apply to trusts and foundations for core funding
- seek new partners and sponsorship opportunities
- create a dynamic and ambitious cultural organisation
- streamline our resources to become more financially resilient
- diversity and maximise our income inline with our values
- grow our reach and engagement with creatives, hirers, participants and audiences
- grow our team and offer more employment/work experience opportunities
We are asking you to join us at the start of the next exciting chapter in our journey, where we will work together ensuring that The Nutshell’s legacy is protected and championed into the future.
THANK YOU for your support and for your ongoing belief in our work and vision.
The Nutshell Team x
All photos copyright Sam Gavins 📸