The Arts Society Scarborough (TASS) was founded in 1983 as the Scarborough Decorative and Fine Arts Society and an affiliated member of the National Decorative and Fine Arts Society (NADFAS). In 2017 NADFAS simplified its name to The Arts Society, and we became The Arts Society Scarborough. The Society has as its objects “the promotion and advancement of the aesthetic education of the public, the cultivation, appreciation and study of the decorative and fine arts, and the giving of aid to the preservation of our national artistic heritage for the benefit of the public”.
Although called The Arts Society Scarborough, our membership covers a wide area and is drawn from towns and villages both north and south of Scarborough as well as villages to the west extending into Ryedale.
The Society’s main activity is its programme of lectures which cover a wide variety of arts topics including painting and artists, sculpture, music, architecture, design, ceramics, silver and jewellery. Most of our lecturers are drawn from a list approved by the Arts Society after a vigorous selection process which ensures we get people with great expertise in their field as well as being skilled in presenting a well-illustrated lecture. You can find out more in our current programme.
We hold 9 lectures a year (we do not meet in July, August and December). Lectures take place at 11.00am on the third Wednesday morning of the month and are timed to last an hour. They are held at the Downe Arms hotel on the A170 about 7 miles west of Scarborough. The hotel provides comfortable surroundings for our meeting as well as a good amount of car parking. Many members come along early to have coffee and chat with friends. Lunch can also be had at the hotel after the lecture.
In addition to the lectures we also have a number of other activities. Once or twice a year we try to arrange a study day. These are usually held in the afternoon after a lecture when the lecturer will stay on to spend more time exploring a subject in greater depth. We also arrange tours and visits to houses, museums and exhibitions and other places of interest for our members. There is usually one trip a year involving a couple of nights away and two or three day excursions to more local sites. In recent years overnight visits have included Highgrove House, Highclere Castle, Dumfries House and Drumlanrig Castle. Examples of day visits include Birdsall House, Richmond’s Georgian Theatre, Shandy Hall and Wentworth Castle.
We also have a Young Arts Project which helps provide art materials for children in the Duke of Kent’s Ward of Scarborough Hospital.
In addition membership gives access to benefits provided by the Arts Society nationally, such as a quarterly magazine and discounted admission to certain museums and galleries.
The Society is managed by a committee of up to 12 members including a Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. The committee determines the programme for the year and is responsible for organising visits and tours as well as any social activity.
The membership year runs from November to October and an AGM is held in October each year immediately before the October lecture. The current membership fee is £54 per year. Study days and visits incur additional charges. You can initially attend a lecture as a guest for a fee of £7. Please contact us to arrange this.
Please note that due to the current pandemic we are not able to meet physically for lectures but we are running our lecture programme online by zoom. You can view a zoom lecture as a guest for a fee of £5 per lecture. Again please contact us to arrange this.