Round Six round-up emphasizes creative diversity in Swale and Medway

Dance for the disabled and a foray into the natural world are just two of the latest innovative projects funded by Ideas Test.

Small Experiments

Deborah Cottingham – ‘Late Developers’

Inspired by two of our Community Catalyst projects, Siobhan Timoney’s ‘Neighbours’ and Mary Eddowes’s ‘Soup Festival’, residents at The Almshouses in Faversham will prove to themselves they are still capable of dancing in public, working with professionals to create a performance piece, make them smile again and help them to keep moving.

Laura King and Heather Burgess – ‘Winter:_______’

A collaborative community arts project between Look Kloser: Creative and Performing Arts and Sun Pier House in Chatham. Adults with learning disabilities are being given an opportunity to work alongside professional artists to explore their creative boundaries and what winter brings to them, and to show their work. Workshops are underway, contact Sun Pier House for details.


JB Walsh (Impact member) – ‘Hip Hop Hooray’

JB Walsh is an experienced street dancer and already teaching. Inspired by his own experience when using crutches, he wants to give disabled people the chance to learn this style of dance.

Jane Trowell – ‘The Body Electric: Arts, Community and Activism’

A course exploring the role of art in change, held in Medway for artists, community activists, campaigners or concerned individuals who want to make a difference. It will create a space to learn, but also to make sense, to feel safe to talk about doubts and difficulties as well as when/how/why things work. ‘Art’ can be controversial for some people; there are issues of privilege, as well as liberating potential.

Julie Davies – #WinterDoor

In the run up to the festive season our houses and streets are transformed into art galleries as the decorations go up. #winterdoor will capitalise on this public art by using homemade door wreaths to act as a focal point for communities, with workshops aimed at flower arranging newbies and taking flower arranging out of the vase. Workshops begin on December 9 – find full details on the website here.

Winter's door

Kate Linforth – ‘Hive’

Beekeepers and the general public will be brought together to share secrets and create a temporary mobile installation using loaned beeswax and small objects or notes from local communities. It will be a sensory experience as the wax smells beautiful, feels wonderful and has a quieting effect on sound.

Louise Downham (Impact member) – ‘Battle of the Games’

Bringing together robotic dancing with video gaming, design, music and electronics to create a 3D live version of a game and get more boys involved in dance.

Sarah Hehir – ‘The ID Project’

The ID Project is for teenage girls and young women to gain confidence in writing plays that explore their world in Medway in 2015. The project will introduce them to contemporary female playwrights and give them an opportunity to write for the local community and see their work produced.

Scaling Up and Moving On

Tamara Gummer – River Voice Choir

Following the success of their sustainability and skills building Small Experiment last year, River Voice Community Choir will take a series of vocal workshops and performances to young people’s and other community groups across Medway to foster collaborative music making and friendships between non-disabled and disabled people and to encourage a positive shift in perspective regarding the contribution disabled people make to culture and the arts. Featured image above by Pete Holland.

River Voice will be performing at various supermarkets over the next two weeks:

Thursday 4th December, 6PM to 8PM at Asda in Chatham.
Saturday 6th December, 2PM to 4PM at Morrisons in Strood.
Thursday 11th December, 6PM to 8PM at Asda in Chatham.
Saturday 13th December, 10.30AM to 12.30PM at Morrisons in Strood.

And why not come along to their Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 13 at the St.George’s Centre in Chatham, 3pm – 5pm. Entry is free but donations are welcome. Refreshments provided.

Ellie from Davey Jones Locker. Photo Darren Hollister (1)

Tania Holland Williams – Davy Jones’ Locker – TOOLKIT DEVELOPMENT’

After the success of the ‘Davy Jones’ Locker’ pilot which took contemporary classical music into people’s homes in Medway, Tania will be creating a toolkit for the development of audiences that is relevant and accessible to sole-trader musicians and non-professional promoters, as well as taking contemporary music practice to homes in Swale, working closely with a smaller group of homeowners to develop their skills as music promoters. Image above: Darren Hollister