THE BIG RUG AND DREAM MACHINE Part of the See it! Say it! Do it! Project Delivered and inspired by Birds of Paradise Arts SUMMARY OF FULL PROJECT REPORT INTRODUCTION The Big Rug and Dream Machine project was produced by Birds of Paradise (Jo Egerton) and Lets Go Global, with the shared idea to develop a high profile programme of activity which enabled people in Sale West to celebrate themselves, exploring their hopes and dreams through accessible and engaging visual and digital artwork. LGG were commissioned by Trafford Council to support and inspire arts projects in a number of areas in the authority, including Sale West. Funded by the Arts Council and AGMA, delivered under the project name See it! Say it! Do it! The project was supported by a steering group: Diana Forrest, SWAP, Jayne Hargraves, Family Matters, Dan Shalston, Sale West community centre and Naomi Whitman from Lets Go Global who gave project management oversight. Chris Roberts from Lets Go Global also provided technical and digital support. It also secured additional funding from The Seedbed Trust and the Sale Community Panel budget, to support additional and follow on activity, to ensure sustainability of impact.
OBJECTIVES The objectives for the project were collective to Birds Of Paradise and Lets Go Globals’ values and the Greater Manchester Arts Vision’s four key priority outcome areas of: Prosperity, People, Place and Partnerships. •
To raise the profile of creative arts and cultural practise in the area
To increase the capacity of local artists and build on their ideas of creating dynamic and inclusive artwork in the area
A project that values and celebrates local people, unlocking their dreams and aspirations and reflected those back to each other •
To provide opportunities for local people to volunteer and develop their skills
THE PROJECT See it! Say it! Do it! began in October 2012, at the same time an arts strategy group was being formed in Sale West. They were keen to develop a coherent and connected arts presence in the area, as well as develop projects which engaged with residents not currently involved in provision. One member of the group was local resident and artist Jo Egerton, who runs an art therapy company Birds of Paradise and has lived and worked in Sale West as an artist for 2 years. Lets Go Global saw a perfect opportunity to partner with Jo in the development of her ideas for her Cherished project and to create an opportunity to celebrate people living in the area.
“The See it! Say it! Do it! project has given me a platform to fulfil my vision of using art for fun, education and health and has given the arts a presence in Sale West and a stronger platform to build from.” The project wanted to gather resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations in the form of a paper weave, which came together as The Big Rug and through the Dream Machine, capturing peoples’ voice-recordings. The project was promoted through SWAN, on websites, flyers and press releases and through social media. Jo also went to groups directly and held training sessions for people who could deliver it in their own groups.
Sessions took place at the Family Fun days, Dainwell Park, Ashton High School, Manor Court, Sale West Pre-school Nursery, Thursday club and Coppice Library. Jo also held drop in sessions at the children’s centre and longer project activity at Family Matters sessions. The paper weaves, recordings, photographs and artwork created was brought together in an interactive exhibition and celebration event “Time to Celebrate” at Sale West Youth Centre at the end of October 2013. We are now seeking to find alternative exhibition opportunities to promote the artwork further afield. All dream machine recordings, photos and films have been stored and shared on it’s website: www.bigrug.seeitsayitdoit.co.uk
Family Fun Days 63 sections made
38 Sessions & workshops delivered
Children return to the dream machine as they have become familiar to its presence and approached it more confidently. It was a great way to capture local peoples response to questionnaires for the SWAP area.
Friends of Dainewell Park 6 sections made
Traffordâ€™s Coppice Road Library Sale 6 sections made
Manor Court (Managed by Trafford Housing Trust) 2 sections contributed Sale West Pre-School Nursery 29 sections contributed
Thursday Club Manchester Ltd 9 sections contributed Ashton on Mersey School 40 sections made
Family Matters - Sale West Community Urban Trust
Jo has been working in partnership with Jayne Hargraves from Sale West Community Urban Trust since September 2012, to provide a creative element to the weekly Family Matters sessions. Through continued family consultation the group had expressed their interest in having arts as part of its focus.
The aim of The Big Rug was to celebrate, value and unlock the identity and release the dreams aspirations and destiny of Sale West and Ashton Residents.
Around 90 minutes of recordings were captured in the Dream Machine
170 Sections of the Big Rug were contributed
40 people attended Time to Celebrate
9 Volunteers worked with us on The Big Rug Project Offering over 200 volunteer hours Providing around ÂŁ2,500 wage replacement value
FINDINGS The Big Rug and Dream Machine was a creative and engaging way to connect with local people, using artistic activity for all abilities. Some simply created a paper weave, some recording their hopes and dreams in the dream machine and others developed larger more substantial pieces of artwork created at regular sessions and the final event.
Do you consider yourself disabled
Working with Lets Go Global’s evaluation tool kit to capture and examine some quantative data from participants, around 146 people responded and complete all or some part of an initial questionnaire.
No response 65%
Prefer Not to say 2%
Qualatative data was collected through the dream machine recordings and conversation with Jo and her volunteers directly. Of those who responded:
Not Stated 25%
Ethnic Origin 55 + 5% 41 -‐ 55 4% 26 -‐ 40 5% 16 -‐ 25 5%
0 -‐15 56%
No Respons e 31%
Gender Male 21%
Mixed -‐ White & Black Caribbean
Mixed -‐ White & Black African
The information below demonstrates that: • • • • •
Taking time to reflect on life and being curious to some people is very important and for others fairly important. No one felt it was not important. A sense of community and people feeling connected to where they live is also very and fairly important to people. Giving and belonging to a community is fairly important to everyone and very important to a few. Some people know how to access arts experiences and activities, other find it harder. A low number of people find the area to have creative and cultural opportunities.
How did people hear about the project?
Strongly Disagree / Not Imporatant
Strongly Agree/Very Important
Taking time to reflect on life, and being curious and aeare of the world around me is… A sense of community and people feeling connected to they live is… Giving, helping the community, joining local groups and/or volunteering are… I know how to access arts exerpiences/activities when I want to… The area/neighbourhood I live in is full of creative and culutral opportunities…
How do people enjoy expressing themselves creatively?
What kinds of groups, clubs or organisations are people involved in during their free time?
Health and Well-Being Increased capacity of Sale West artists Volunteering opportunities generated Skills developed Awareness of arts projects raised Local voices shared and celebrated, through creative consultation methods
Provision of regular activity enabled and secured
The findings have been drawn from immediate observations and outcomes. Some work to measure the deferred value and impact, may be useful and possible through other projects by Birds of Paradise, See it! Say it! Do it! or other Sale West partners. The project sought to support the Health and Wellbeing, Children and Young People and Employment and Skills agendas.
“Public health is everyone’s business. We will reduce health inequalities through working with communities and residents to improve opportunities for adults and children to enjoy a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.” The Big Rug Project was about celebrating local people, providing safe and enjoyable experiences for this to happen; an embodiment of this vision. Activities gave a space for children and adults to voice their hopes and aspiration, reflecting on the positive aspects of their life and looking to the future. As an art therapist, Jo was able to use her skills when working with participants to support positive mental health, such as self esteem, emotional resilience, positive thinking, problemsolving and social skills. Although it’s hard to measure the extent to which this project will impact on an individual, it sought to provide an environment for this to happen.
Children and Young People
Employment and Skills
Localities - Engaging families and the community The most effective sessions took place where parent and child were able to take part alongside each other. The project provided a non-threatening environment for families to enjoy activity together. Provision of a regular art club was expressed, which was taken on board, and has now been established.
Support and access to local services The Big Rug project provided residents with a supportive space and environment for people to learn about what other services were available in the area.
Prepare for Adulthood - More activities for children and young people in the area 56% of those engaged in the project were 0 – 15 year olds, demonstrating the appeal for children and young people in the project. Prepare for Adulthood - Encourage Independence This project was designed to encourage personal expression and reflection. The pre-school observed that it provided an opportunity to personalise what they did and work independently, at this young age.
Skills development The project gave volunteering opportunities to residents. One of who has developed a number of skills in leadership and creativity. In turn supporting her to have increased access to employment opportunities. She now has an additional qualification, clearer direction for career developments and a positive reference. Neighbourhood work It is hoped that the findings from the project can be used to inform the design of programmes and strategies adopted for Our Sale West (Big Local programme)
WHAT WAS SPENT? Total Project Budget See it! Say it! Do it! - ACE & AGMA Technical support from LGG: website & editing Birds of Paradise artists time - Workshops Volunteer expenses Materials and resources Sale Community Panel Budget - THT Birds of Paradise artists time – Big Art Club Room hire and refreshments Materials and resources Seedbed Trust Art Therapy Sessions & Arts Award Costs
This doesn’t include in kind support from SWAP, Sale West Community Urban Trust staff and Lets Go Global in project management.
CONCLUSION Successes The most effective use of the project was when groups could use the project as a starting point for further explorations, e.g. Ashton on Mersey High School integrated it into their year 8 challenge. The Family Matters sessions were able to use the concept of hopes and dreams and created additional pieces of artwork. The pre-school nursery was able to work with their children at their own pace, developing social, emotional and motor skills. The dream machine and paper weaving became a featured activity within the Family Fun days, harnessing the audiences at the events and providing another creative outlet for the families attending these popular days. It has proven a successful way of building relationships with families, to refer them into the new Big Family Art Club. (Our first referral child is well on her way to achieving her Discover Arts Award) Using digital approach’s to capture and document the project as it unfolded worked well. This support has developed Jo’s own creative and technical skills, and shown the possibility of using technology in this kind of project.
The “drop-in” sessions were unfortunately poorly attended, however were instead used for volunteer mentoring and planning. When these sessions were
moved to a more populated environment it had greater impact and engagement of people. One of the aims of the project was for individuals to take the ideas of the Big Rug home with them, and develop the project independently, encouraging creativity in the home, as well as at events. Although this may have happened, there isn’t evidence of this, as paper weaves were not submitted. The Time to Celebrate event captured the energy, essence and creativity of the project in a really inclusive way. Unfortunately the level of people who attended was much lower than was hoped for. The anticipation was that those who were involved in producing the artwork would have wanted to see it displayed. Although there were a large number of flyers distributed, perhaps a clearer description and understanding could have helped. It could also have been branded under the family fun day banner, as this is a trusted event.
The Big Rug Project was born out of the ideas and developments of Sale West residents and partners, to use arts and culture to engage people who might not connect with community life in other ways. Art is a non-threatening, culturally friendly, successful way of doing this. The project demonstrated that local people need to be able to access art for different purposes fun, education and health and it provides useful tools in supporting and fulfilling key Trafford wide strategies This project has been a building block; on successful previous partnerships and projects, as well as setting new ground for other creative works to happen. Including more on-going arts provision for families in the area, as well as recognising local peoples’ enjoyment of events and celebrations.
This report has been compiled and written by:
The See it! Say it! Do it! project will continue until 2015, exploring and nurturing creativity, building the capacity and vision of local artists and residents and providing quality arts experiences for people in Sale West. Using art as a vehicle for community engagement and change.
Naomi Whitman, See it! Say it! Do it! Project Manager Lets Go Global Naomi@letsgoglobal.tv Jo Egerton, Birds Of Paradise email@example.com
Seedbed Community Trust
CASE STUDY Creatively Engaging Families One of the families who attended the Family Matters group was a mum and her four children aged 2, 6, 7 and 8. Through her dream board Mum captured her love for cooking. Her aspiration was to spend more time doing art and so she combined her interest in developing her art skills with her interest in cooking. She created three sculptures that show you three dishes that she likes to cook for her family. To achieve her artwork she attended family matters group weekly with the children. She also attended a one to one session with Jo at the community centre and later the newly formed Big Rug Art club held in the Sunshine Cafe to complete her family’s artwork for the exhibition. She learnt new art skills, which open up a new way for her to express and communicate to other people, as well as developing her computer skills when she designed a recipe for each sculpture for display at the exhibition. Another aspect of the Big Rug Project was The Dream Machine, here local people could record their voices answering some simple questions, from what makes them laugh to what they hope for their future. Family Matters members were asked what the dream machine might look like? The eldest of our mums children painted a picture and described it: “This is two doors the pink door is one window, the orange door is two windows and there’s lots of rooms inside and you can play around in there and record your dreams in there as well. There’s colour all around it” His design was then taken by Jo and made into reality, used and enjoyed at the Family Fun days.
Mums reaction: “He’s overwhelmed with it, he loves it to bits. … That’s what made him a lot more proud as well, seeing people go into it…. something that he had created”
A CONVERSATION WITH MUM (transcribed from recording) W hat h ave y ou c rea ted or h ope to c rea te? Sausage and bean casserole, which is basically sausage, beans, potatoes, onions. Recipes from home and just a model of what it is. H ow are y ou doi ng th at? ! Papier-mâché and cardboard! H ow h as th is proj ec t al low ed y ou to w ork w ith y our ow n passi on s an d in te re sts ?
The youngest two children loved painting within close proximity of each other over the weeks at Family Matters. The 6 year old painted her dream to go to Lego Land. The youngest sibling used similar colours and was happy painting week by week, developing creative confidence. The second eldest (aged 7) independently created a football sculpture to celebrate his enjoyment of the game. Which was exhibited at Time to Celebrate. The whole family embraced the project and found many ways to celebrate and affirm their identity and dreams. They developed their creativity, communication and interests. It was something positive to do together as a family and share with the wider community.
It’s something to do basically, spare time. Art is something I have always wanted to do anyway so its something I have managed to carry out. Do y ou th in k y ou h ave le arn t n ew sk il ls from it ? Yeah definitely! An d is it e asie r be cau se y ou’ re doi ng it abou t some th in g y ou k now abou t, w ith y our in te re st in food? Yeah it’s good to share stuff. It’s good to show people what you can do! H as it be en n ic e to do as a famil y? Yeah because it gets the kids involved and they’re enjoying what there doing. H ave y ou be en in v olv ed in an art proj ec t be for e? No never this is the first one I have ever been involved in. I think it should be done again because it affects a lot of people together.
CASE STUDY – Widening Volunteer Opportunities and Skills Progression
Our lead volunteer for the Big Rug Project was Lucy. She had volunteered at past Sale West SWAP Family Fun days and progressed onto volunteering at the Family Matters (SWCUT) Thursday group when it first started in September 2012. With the context of the Big Rug Project and through some additional funding from Seedbed Trust to covers Jo’s time, this became the perfect opportunity for Lucy to get more involved, who wasn't in employment or education (NEET). Through working alongside Jo on the project, Lucy was able to do a Silver Arts Award. This is a Level 2 qualification, with two units – Unit 1: arts practice and Unit 2: arts leadership. Employers, universities and colleges know Arts Award and shows young people’s level of commitment and progress in the arts and in developing new skills. Young people need to plan their work with an adviser and keep a record in an Arts Award portfolio. Jo was able to advise Lucy for 11, 1-hour sessions at the Sale west Community Centre.
“For m y arts challenge, I would like to be able to m ake and present m y own fancy dress costum e, including any m akeup. I chose to do this because I've been interested in costum e for years, and I also enjoy wearing costum e and attending events. I have already m ade several costum es/outfits before, which were based on characters from series I enjoy, which is where I get m ost o f m y inspiration. After I've com pleted this project, I'd like to be m ore skillful with sewing and m aking m y own patterns for m y costum es. I would also like to gain som e experience with sewing m achines, because I've never used one before, and I would like m y costum es to be com pleted to a better standard than m y previous ones. I'd also like to get som e m ore practice using m akeup, especially special effects m akeup”. Jayne Hargraves from Family Matters assisted Lucy in developing her special effects make up skills by supplying special make up that Lucy and the families could experiment with. Lucy’s role as lead volunteer fulfilled her unit 2 arts leadership role.
She was able to take the lead on making sure all the materials were updated, organised and ready for all the Big Rug workshops. She influenced and took the lead on setting up at different venues that the workshops went to. Within Lucy’s leadership role she also helped individuals at workshops understand the elements of making their section of the rug. At the Family Matters group she assisted many of the children make there own Big Rug art pieces. She also encouraged the children to make a start on achieving their Discover Arts Awards. She collected feedback on her contribution of the project and created posters to advertise workshops. One of the aims of the Arts Awards is to widen your knowledge of the arts and cultural sector, this can be achieved by attending arts events and meeting local arts organisations. Lucy broadened her knowledge of arts organisations when interviewing Karen Shannon from Lets Go Global and Helen Mark from The Audience Agency who came to the Family Matters group to do some market research. Lucy attended the Do It exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, which was part of Manchester International Festival. She went with Jo and some friends, it was part of a See it! Say it! Do it! event.
“At the gallery we were introduced to different com m unity groups who were all taking part in different art projects around our local areas. This was a brand new experience for m e, because I had never been to or taken part in any kind of exhibition before so I was pretty excited! I feel that the exhibition helped m e becom e m ore creative with lots of different activities and it also helped inform m e about lots of different local arts projects that I can get involved with.” Alongside the Arts Award, Lucy had 11 sessions of Art Therapy by Jo (a Registered Art Therapist) to assist her personal development. Lucy has continued to volunteer at the newly established Big Family Art Club (funded through Sale Community Panel) once a week for 3 hours. Lucy has shown 100% commitment in her Arts Award and we cant wait for her to receive her Award for all the hard work she put in. She has shown dedication and creative talent. The Big Rug Project was about valuing and celebrating local people and unlocking their dream s and aspirations. It’s been a privilege to work with Lucy on her own journey in this.