Community Arts Projects
Community Arts projects are an important part of my work and so I was delighted to work with Rose Tinted Rags (RTR) for the 2019 Ledbury Poetry Festival. We held ten poetry workshops at RTR’s colourful headquarters in Union Street, Hereford. RTR is a social enterprise that provides creative arts projects, textile up-cycling and training opportunities for adults with learning difficulties.
Developing Skills, Realising Potential
This year new members joined us and we all had a lot of fun as we tried out vocabulary building activities and experimented with different poetic forms. Inspired by Pablo Neruda, we then selected a cherished object to celebrate in heart-felt poems. We spent time preparing to share this work at the Community Showcase because many of the group hadn’t read in front of an audience before.
Regular meetings create a lot of satisfaction and pleasure as people get to know each other and relax. I observe noticeable improvements in literacy skills and in self-confidence as well . The sense of purpose, along with supporting and helping one another, is also a precious element of community arts work.
The RTR portraits looked amazing on display at the ‘Mappa Ledbury’ exhibition in the Panelled Room. This exhibition was curated by Jeanette McCulloch, with work by local groups that explored maps, memory and identity.
I really enjoy working with local groups to explore creativity and to help develop voices on and off the page. It’s a privilege to hear about people’s lives and gain insights into the things that are important to them, and also the challenges they face. I’m grateful for the support given to this project by RTR, the Ledbury Poetry Festival, and the funders.