We ran a two year creative project across the East of Sheffield (including Stannington and Bradfield, Penistone and Denby Dale), working with over 400 older people running free weekly art classes. At the end of each year we held a community celebration event to showcase the work, with over 300 local people attending. The events included exhibitions, poetry readings, guerrilla art trails, arts walks and local musicians performing. Three of the six groups have gone on to produce their own exhibition or poetry publications.
“… the other people at the group were great too - there was a supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere, despite the fact that, prior to the meetings I did not know any of the people involved (I live out of the village and I have just retired). A feeling of community developed - I have got involved in other things in the village through meetings at this group. The sense of teamwork and mutual support developed especially while we were doing the quilt project, we really did turn into the "Denby Dale Textile Girls" So to summarise - I went along not knowing anyone and thinking that I had no creative or artistic skills at all, and I came away with a whole bunch of new friends and the knowledge that playing can be fun, some skills are easy to learn with the right teacher, and enthusiastic beginners can produce something worth looking at….” (Participant, 60 years).
During the project we worked with a small group of the participants to create local poetry walks around their areas. This involved them plotting the routes, placing the poetry (created by local school children) in the appropriate areas and working with our designer to develop postcards showing the route.