Hardish Virk is providing marketing and audience development support to Black Theatre Live through in particular the advent of regional Street Teams across all the touring shows.
Hardish Virk has over twenty years experience of Marketing and PR in the arts and culture sectors having worked with visual arts, dance, music, theatre, festivals (mela, carnival, street arts), museums, heritage and commercial entertainment projects in the UK and Europe.
Hardish set up the first ambassadors scheme with the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in 1993 as part of developing South Asian audiences for a new British Asian theatre production, Geji which dealt with issues around violence against South Asian girls and women (in the UK and subcontinent). The stage adaptation was from a book of short stories written by author and broadcaster Jasvir Kang.
During the mid to late Nineties Hardish developed his outreach and community engagement experience and skills further whilst working in the social, health and education sectors.Specifically his role was to develop public service provision so that they were accessible to a diverse Black and Asian population. This involved training, outreach work, translation and interpretation, ambassador schemes and organisational change. Some examples include developing Black and Asian service users for a centre for adults with learning disabilities; setting up and managing a social and support group for Black and Asian gay and bisexual men; engaging young people who have been involved with crime, drugs and violence through music and DJ projects.
Over fourteen years ago Hardish introduced different ways of thinking about audience development in the arts which was as much about the audience as it was about the work and venue. He advised on getting to know the audience, crossdepartmental
working, organisational change and building sustainability into the planning. He has led on major South Asian audience development projects including work on the following theatre productions: The Ramayana (Birmingham Rep Theatre and National Theatre); Rafta, Rafta (National Theatre); Bombay Dreams (Really Useful Group Limited); Tim Supples’ A Midsummer Nights Dream (National Tour). Hardish has had a long standing relationship with Tara Arts since Journey to