arts commissioning and producing organisation based in the West of England.



TERRESTRIAL means both ‘relating to the earth’ and ‘an inhabitant of the earth’, so it embraces both a place and the people who live there.

We believe that the towns, terrain and communities of the West of England (made up of the counties of North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, and Bristol) can support an arts ecology that is locally thriving, internationally valued, full of surprises, and open to all.



From 2018 we will commission and produce a series of bold, socially engaged arts projects - from intimate encounters to huge adventures - spanning music, theatre, dance, circus, visual arts and more. These projects will be focused towards an annual, nomadic festival staged in a different town within the region each year.

We believe that everyone is an artist. So each work we produce will be co-authored by an innovative practitioner or company and a group of local people, brought together over a year in residence. 

We will launch a full website soon. Our first festival will take place in 2019.



TERRESTRIAL was founded by Tom Spencer. Tom is a producer and artist based in Bristol. He's staged shows in pubs, halls, schools, farms and warehouses across the local region - as well as multiple award-winning seasons at the Edinburgh Festival and around the UK - with his own theatre company and band Fine Chisel; and he's toured to China and across Europe with composer Verity Standen, whose work he produces. 

TERRESTRIAL has grown out of an extensive research project, through which a team of producers, artists, thinkers and helpers worked with Tom to explore the potential for a new organisation that could support groundbreaking artists to create work in the region. This team included Carrie Rhys-Davies (Volcano), Hannah Standen (Artichoke) and Simon Coates (National Theatre Wales).



We are currently appointing a board of trustees. This is an opportunity to help mould the DNA of the organisation - to build the structure of the charity and shape its first years. We are keen that the experience of our board reflects the breadth of our ambitions: commissioning and producing innovative new arts experiences across a range of environments; supporting genuine partnerships between practicing artists and diverse community groups; building festival infrastructure; developing new audiences; and providing bespoke support for artists and producers working on socially-engaged projects.

We're particularly interested to start conversations with people who have a connection to the region and bring experience of any of the following:
- Charity management
- Commissioning arts projects
- Event management
- Fundraising
- Audience development
- Accounting

If you would like to find out more, please email terrestrialuk@gmail.com to arrange an opportunity to chat.



Throughout the research phase of TERRESTRIAL, and continuing now as we develop our plans, we have invited artists to come and explore with us. This has involved individual visits to places within the region, group residencies, and lots of exciting conversations. Some of the brilliant people we've played with are: Mark Storor, Common Wealth Theatre, John Norton, Verity Standen, Phoebe Davies and Pablo Valbuena.

We've also tried to travel - locally, nationally and internationally - to see a huge range of different types of work at festivals, events and conferences.

If you're involved in a project that you think chimes with our vision, or you come across something you think we should see, please invite us. We can't promise we'll be able to attend everything, but we're keen to hear about as much as possible and we do promise we'll respond to an email.

We will post an open call for residencies this winter.


If you're an artist interested in working in these ways, if you live or work in the region and fancy getting involved, if you know someone who'd make a brilliant trustee, or if you'd just like to chat about the things we're brewing... please drop us a line.



Images: Clevedon & Weston-super-Mare (both in North Somerset), by the brilliant Paul Blakemore. http://paulblakemore.co.uk/