Calderdale Council and Arts Council England are supporting Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in delivering some special neighbourhoods projects giving the opportunity for small groups to come together (online!) to express themselves creatively. Working with new partners across Calderdale, we feel this is invaluable work to connect and make the best of the situation during a pandemic.
It has been fantastically fulfilling for us at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival to listen to our community and explore creativity during COVID-19. It has been especially heartening to see how helpful online sessions can be, particularly during a lengthy period of lockdown.
The Groups who have taken part so far ...
1. Asylum Seekers & Refugees at St Augustine's Centre Halifax St Augustine’s is a centre which works with people seeking asylum and those with Refugee status. HBAF and St. Augustine’s having been working together to provide what people need both with physical equipment or materials and collaboratively as a group and 1-2-1 support. Many of the participants who joined the Creative Group speak little English, so encouragement, communication and support has been of upmost importance.
This project was participant led and includes a variety of fantastic talent and artistic skills and a huge amount of diverse work was created. The makers have explored ideas of community and creativity for wellbeing. They came together every fortnight for online sessions and shared updates with each other via Whatsapp.
Their creativity, ranging from photography, pottery, textiles, and woodwork, was displayed at our "Unhidden - Creative Neighbourhoods" micro-exhibition.
All participating mums gained new skills to capture their imaginations through the camera. The sessions allowed for social opportunities, the chance to share life and mothering experiences, and to be creative.
“I was really impressed by the outcomes that the women managed to achieve from their phones and the disposable cameras we gave them. I've learned that online workshops offer a lot more possibilities for connecting people when they're isolated” Rebecca Lupton
3. Young People from Calder Valley including Rastrick High School in Brighouse We wanted to reach out to more young people who live in Calderdale and talk with them about the arts. We asked lots of questions to capture some meaningful insights into how we at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival can better serve our young community and inspire each other.
We asked: Do you think arts and culture is important? Which artists to you like and admire? Are you interested in podcasts, workshops, carnivals, volunteering? What creative opportunities are available in your area? What artistic and creative skills would you like to learn?
This collection of audio interviews and doodle notes shareed their stories, voices, views, opinions, and thoughts about life here and now. The interviews were played at the "Unhidden - Creative Neighbourhoods" micro-exhibition at The Northlight Studio on 29, 30, 31 May 2021.
May 2021 News: We held our Unhidden - Creative Neighbourhoods micro-exhibition on Bank Holiday weekend at Northlight Arts Studio.
This micro-exhibition offered a celebratory glimpse into the creativity and ideas of just some of the Calderdale people who have not traditionally engaged with the festival. Group 1: Asylum Seekers & Refugees Group 2: New Mums Group 3: Young People
How refreshing it was to visit an arty venue again after so long in lockdown!