Co-creating artistic work with communities in each of the locations we collaborate with, is an essential part of what we do.
The SpareParts participation programme aims to inspire and engage local communities in a wide range of participative activities. In developing skills, confidence and the interests of local children, young people and adults, the aim is to leave a lasting legacy associated with the increased capacity and ambitions of local communities to deliver high quality work and experiences.
In recent years this has included pop-up performances throughout the programme, as well as a significant role within our SpareParts Parade that features at many of the festivals we work with.
We work with a range of fantastic participation partners to deliver bespoke programmes at each of the locations; organisations who have established knowledge and networks on the ground and are able to respond to local interests and priorities.
Over the years we have gained a huge amount of valuable feedback regarding our Participation Programme.
Here are just some key insights, observations and feedback from our 2019 festival, that highlights our impact, reach and just how valuable involvement in quality, local, place-making arts activity and events can be.
- In 2019 more than 5,050 participants actively took part in the SpareParts participation programmes
- Over 2,500 local school children participated from across the demographic spectrum; 1 in 3 were from communities ranked amongst the most deprived decile nationally and, 1 in 2 were from segments characterised as being amongst the least engaged with arts and culture
- Sessions were delivered in arts and community centres, retirement homes, libraries, schools and churches
- Activities included theatre and dance workshops, alongside a wide range of crafts such as puppet making, rocket building, hot air balloon workshops, model plane and ship making, building geese bikes and decorating mobility scooters; most of which were subsequently paraded at the festivals
Positive outcomes reported include:
- Developing new creative skills and the confidence to use these
- Working as part of a team
- Meeting new people
- Developing new friendships
- Enjoyment through getting more involved in community activities
- Excited, inspired and proud of showcasing their work within the SpareParts programme and parades
“It's been so good, I loved taking part in something with my kids it's a really rare opportunity and it really brought the community together- smiles all round”
Participant from Fleetwood
There are many examples of how the programme has engaged people who would otherwise find it difficult to get involved in such activities. As one 90-year-old parade veteran at Tram Sunday reported
“It’s been great…I’ve had fun. I used to get up to all kinds of things when I was younger. I want to keep doing things, but my body won’t let me”.
Adelaide School in Crewe
15 students from Adelaide School, a special school in Crewe that provides education for pupils with social, emotional and mental difficulties, took part in our participation programme. Over two days, the students worked with an Artist to co-create a dragon that features in the SpareParts parade at TrAction. The schools feedback about the experience was highly positive, suggesting that all the children really enjoyed working alongside the artist and developing new skills. It was noted that one student with ADHD and can’t typically maintain interest in activities for long, stayed involved for the whole two days. As the teacher indicated “I haven’t seen him engage like that with something before”.
Young Carers group in Oldham
26 young Carers from Oldham took part in creating costumes and masks for the geese bikes parade. Their feedback outlined that they had developed a range of skills through the process and enjoyed creating and trying out the bikes and improvising their own accessories. Despite poor weather on the day, all but 2 children attended the parade, taking great pride in their creations and making lots of noise with their honking horns.
We will be announcing the programme and dates for our 2021 Festivals shortly, – check back soon.