Despite the understandable doom and gloom surrounding us on all sides (funding cuts, redundancies, uncertain future, closure of services, etc.) we're currently so engulfed in a whirlwind of work that we're managing to not let the gloom get to us TOO much! Hurray!
What are Frilly working on at the moment?
- CFWO carries on until the end of March. As part of this, we're supporting the planning of a number of events and also developing some youth 'panels' (for want of a better description) to lead on the project management within those events
- We're deep into two PiCL (Creative Partnerships) projects in Stoke. As mentioned earlier, they revolve around the transformation of 'creative learning enironments' indoors and outdoors. We've been photographing our progress throughout, so will inevitably do a gigantic photo-filled blog once they are ready to be unveiled! (As a small hint - the work so far could not have happened if it weren't for the amazingness of SCARF in Wolverhampton - their recycled materials and amazingly knowledgeable and helpful staff are an asset to the REGION - particularly now that most other scrap stores have closed down!)
- We're about to start our third PiCL project - this time focusing on using digital tools to enhance learning in an SEN school in Stoke. This will be particularly challenging given the extraordinarily diverse needs and abilities of the young people in the school. The staff have been overwhelmingly supportive and keen though, so we're very excited about the project! It's likely to involve some stop frame animation as a tool to explore Macbeth - but we're still ironing out some of the finer details!
- Last - but by no means least - we're soon to begin work on our first Telford & Shropshire project! Yes, Frilly can roam the country for ANY project! We're going to be working closely with two sets of young people - one from each area - on a visual arts project called "Watch this Space" which they will shape and lead, and will be linked to Arts Award at Bronze level. I'm extremely excited to finally be running with an Arts Award project! And am even more excited that as part of the project, we're going on a weekend retreat to Wales where we will devise a weekend's worth of creative instigations to get the young people busily making and doing.
In addition to these projects which are filling every moment of every day, we're also attempting to raise our heads up (with strategic hats on) to get better at forward planning and staying on top of the various political agendas which are impacting upon the arts and cultural climate of the region. As part of this, we're really pleased to be involved in the beginnings of a possible West Midlands branch/development/coalition/collective/networking group/other misc descriptor of EMPAF (likely to be referred to as 'WMPAF', although I can't say I'm hugely keen on that name as it makes me think of wombs) (not that there's anything wrong with wombs, mind..!). The first structured meeting has taken place, and was very well attended by passionate and informed people - so I feel positive about the direction this could take!
So that this post isn't just a fairly rambling to-do list, I'll finish now with a quick pic taken after the "We ♥ Wolverhampton" workshop - it's my house according to Google Map's Streetview (although we haven't had a gravel drive for a longlong time..) traced using carbon paper, and painted with watercolours. I love playing with line and colour.