Community Creativity at Christmas

By December 12, 2016 Features No Comments

There’s been lots going on with our community creativity project Exe-Arts. The sessions have ended for the Christmas break now but we’ll be back in spring with more affordable creative taster sessions for all in Exeter. Meanwhile, here’s a run-down of our recent workshops:

Christmas Craft at St. Sidwell’s: English as a Second Language Beginner group

Last week local artists Fliss Shillingford & Patsy Lang ran a Christmas Craft making session for the Beginner English class held at St. Sidwell’s Community Centre. Dave Wright, the Centre Manager, felt after the success of last week’s Willow session at the Centre that we should work with the beginner group as well. There were people there from all over the world who were just beginning to learn English so communication was challenging. Sitting around a table making things seems to be a very good way of engaging the learners as a group and gives them opportunities to connect and talk to each other.

Christmas Craft – Exeter Community Centre 

The ECC Family Saturday series continued in December with a Christmas Craft making session. We had both families and individuals come out to partake in 6 different activities and enjoy some Christmas refreshments. The variety of choice contributed to the festive atmosphere, and was also helpful with children’s attention spans.

“Really Great! Kids 6yrs & 8yrs were fully engaged and could have stayed longer. Helpful support when needed.”

There were 6 activities: card and bunting making, bauble decorating, felt decoration making, tile painting, and Christmas biscuit decorating – the most delicious of the activities! People happily rotated around the activities so were able to take home a collection of Christmassy items.

There were 25 or so people there and though demonstrating the techniques took a little time everyone got stuck in and had a very entertaining and enjoyable time.

Gabriel House and Morwenna Court 

In addition to our sessions at St. Petrock’s Homeless shelter we are starting to deliver art sessions to the residents of Gabriel House and Morwenna Court. These are temporary housing facilities for people whose lives are challenging, such as homeless people and ex-offenders. The Centre is run by Bournemouth Churches & Housing Association.

As with St. Petrock’s sessions, we are aiming provide a time of calm where participants can focus on the positive and hopefully be energised and inspired. Sabine Schmidt is delivering some experimental painting sessions aimed at freeing peoples’ creativity. We have moved the sessions to Morwenna Court where residents are a bit more settled and we had 4-5 turn out yesterday to try their hand at painting.

We will pick up on these sessions in the new year as we would like this to become a regular thing that participants can depend on for a weekly uplifting afternoon.  Next week we will be running a filming workshop at Gabriel House in hopes of creating a documentary about the renovations coming to the residence in the new year.

Sadly this is the end of our Autumn Exe-Arts sessions but we will be back in the New Year so watch out for announcements of new workshops to come soon on our facebook page.