The Creative Playground project began in April 2022. From the announcement of the funding from Arts Council England in Dec 2021 to the end of 2022, the Core Consortium and Creative Crawley worked hard to finalise the funding agreement with Arts Council England and prepare the detailed documents that form part of the agreement.
In 2022, recruitment of a Project Director took longer than planned after an initial appointment didn’t work out. We held a pre-launch event in September 2022 which you can watch short film about here.
In March 2023, Project Co-Directors Louise Blackwell and Sophie Eustace began leading the project. You can find out more on the About page. Recruitment continued and by the end of June 2023 the Community Producer, Community Engagement Manager and Head of Learning and Production were all in place.
In March and April 2023 we ran a series of workshops led by Lisa Baxter from the Experience Business with 18 local people who developed a Creative Playground People’s Theory of Change where the values and purpose were created by those involved.
In 2023 we are hosting the test programme and exploring a range of partnerships with local organisations who are already doing great things, spending time meeting people and listening to what they want and need and developing the Playmakers group of volunteers who will help determine what the programme is.
In May 2023 we worked with Seymour Primary School, Broadfield and Brighton Festival to present Beeja dance company’s show Choogh Choogh about a train journey around India at the school. The whole school saw the show and some children took part in workshops before another performance in the playground at pick up time for parents, carers and their children. Local actor and dancer Saaj Raja then hosted a Bollywood dance workshop in the playground while the Creative Playground team talked to the children and parents about the project.
In June 2023 we worked with Broadfield Community Centre to support the Broadfield Arts Festival. Alongside the activities by the community centre community, we introduced the team at the centre to artist Alice Roots (Figs in Wigs) who worked with the Swallows elders group to develop the Bank of Hope, Mimbre’s show Lifted which we presented on Broadfield Barton Shopping Parade and Simple Cypher presented the world premiere of their new show Roll Model in the basketball court in the community centre grounds. You can watch a film about the festival here.
The project runs until March 2025. We have developed a business plan (a public version will be available soon) that we are working to and we will be raising money to continue the programme for at least another three years from April 2025. It’s a long term vision.
Images by Ian Greenland and Kaleido Shoots