For coffee-lovers, creatives and countryside adventurers
The Places That Make Us
Coming spring 2023, The Places That Make Us, is a brand NEW community arts project engaging with 5 local schools across Weston Coyney, Bentilee, Adderly Green, Park Hall and further afield.
The Places That Make Us is about community, the stories we tell and a celebration of the commonality we find in the places we grow up in. The Places That Make Us aims to teach our selected youngsters about the power of the stories that shape our local landscape, thinking about the futures we are forging and the creative ways to express ourselves. We want to celebrate the people that we are, culminating in a collaborative piece of art at Bolton Gate Farm about what it means to be part of our local community.
The Places That Make Us will increase arts engagement in local communities and amongst our young people. We will offer opportunities outside of the city centre, to engage with local young people, who's families may not have the means to travel to access cultural activities.
The Place That Make Us will allow young people to learn about the history and cultural context of their local communities, and to empower them to identify with this and express themselves and their identities in creative ways.
So what have we achieved?
Part one of ‘The Places that Make Us’ was our half-day Storytelling workshop, delivered in our local schools. Students learnt about what makes a good story, how we use inspiration from our local area to write stories and how to tell their stories in engaging ways.
The students discussed their favourite stories and created their own dynamic characters. We also discussed 'What home means to you', and used this inspiration as well as tools taught in the workshop to create their own stories in small groups to perform at the end of the session.
Through the workshops they learnt about their local area and discovered what connected them all, gained confidence to perform in front of others and were inspired to find their own creative voices.
For part two of ‘The Places that Make Us’ the groups joined us for a full day at our farm, to have more FREE workshops with local artists.
The workshops involved different activities for each school, such as spray painting, woodwork, pottery painting, architectural design and willow crafts, during the morning session. They learnt about the practice of these local artists and how they are all inspired by our city.
The children had a fantastic time being able to be outside the classroom in a different environment and getting involved in lots of activities they otherwise would not get the opportunity to do.
We also took everyone on a tour of the farm and some groups got to meet our woolly farm residents!
'The Places that Make Us' was concluded with our unveiling event, to which participants and their families were be invited, along with all the artists involved in the project. We set up displays of photos from all the workshops, invited our artists to exhibit and cleared out the 'Stables' area where the mural has been installed to allow everyone to get a good look at the wonderful artwork.
Local singer / songwriter Steve Beardmore was commissioned to perform 2 sets. We shared a video produced by Belgrave St Bartholomew's about their experience, and students from Co-Op Academy Glebe shared a performance of their fabulous song, 'We Built this City on Clay and Coal'.
Some of the teachers from our partner schools gave short speaches about their experience of the project, as did our mural artist, Tom, and 'thank yous' were given to all those involved.
Finally, to close the event our commemorative plaque was unveiled by some of the children involved in the project.