Sunday, 1 September 2013

Engaging the people of Lincolnshire with creativity

The lovely Carole Miles
Over the past couple of months I have been working with Carole Miles over in Lincolnshire for an organization called Transported Art funded by the Creative People and Places fund. Their focus is investing in parts of the country where people’s involvement in the arts is significantly low.  The idea is to increase the likelihood of participation by the local community and those hard to reach people who wouldn't normally access the arts.

During May, June and July 2013, Phase One began which was a consultation to gather information in order find out what arts activities the community would like to see in their area using commissioned artists in a variety of areas including dance, acting and visual art, throughout Boston Borough and South Holland.  Carole and I joined forces and became the "Eloquent Fold" and worked on the project providing a number of engagement activities in a variety of public places including libraries, community centres and pop-up shops.

"Wish you Were here" workshop in Boston in full swing

The activities we provided during July and August were Pin a Petal, Sewing the Seeds, Origami Fleet and Wish you Were Here  and we did our best to encourage many different age groups to get involved.  I was interested at the response we got.  When presented with a craft actvitiy, Mums and Dads seem to often discount themselves seeing it as an opportunity to keep a child occupied.  What can quite often happen is the parent, helps the child to the point of taking over their project.  At this point, I find it is alway good to entice the parent to make something of their own, working alongside their child so they share each others creativity.

Can we come and join you?
Other people often reply, I don't do this sort of thing or I'm no good at it.  This makes me wonder if somewhere along the way they have been told this.  Statements made in childhood often stick with us then we start to believe these negative mantras.  Carole and I were exceeding good at generating conversations which quite often led to a little dabble of our engagement activities.  The people we met proved very interesting, we loved the stories that were shared with us and we have both been inspired by the people and places in Lincolnshire. We both know in our hearts that we will be returning to this inspiring county in the future.

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