One Costa coffee later, Carlos and I were ready to take on the most active part of the session! With workshop plan in hand and eager participants to show their styles, it was off we go go go!
The first half of the session was extremely lively. Even when running my parts, I was taken a-back at how much energy I suddenly feeling (nothing to do with the coffee, honest) We ran the workshop like it was aimed at a focus group in the community of young people. We checked in, stating 1-10 (1 being low 10 being great) seeing how everyone was feeling in the room but without disclosing personal information. It really is crucial, especially if you’re working in a vulnerable group.
I got the heart racing with a quick thinking name game and focus game called “Mosquito”, which I felt we played for quite a long time. We were all very determined to win the game as it was a team effort. The frustration of losing focus was too much, but, we got there eventually!
We then had a very special workshop lead by Sharlyn. She had run this workshop before back in her hometown of Singapore, dealing with the theme of ‘separation’. She put us through our paces (and really gave us a good work out!) by using her own version of a ‘walk-around-the-space’ exercise, followed by abstract sound and movement improvisations.
It was pretty fun, having to make noise rather than use dialogue for a change. You could really tell that a lot of thought and consideration had been put into her workshop as every moment related to her theme and built confidence up steadily. Everything had a meaning, a purpose, a goal, and a good sense of team-work. Good work, I highly recommend giving her workshop a try! We all got something from it.
For the end of the session, it was time for a sit down and a ponder to yourself. Music to relax the body was playing softly in the background and it was now time to think about the day in hand – why should we celebrate World Community Arts Day as future artisits/practitioners?
I love to draw. And I love to make theatre. So what better way to combine the two to explore our most inner thoughts? Firstly we drew our own expression of our response to today, and then had a go at replicating this with others. It was pretty tricky, because at first nobody could see each other’s drawings, we had to describe it to them whilst the other had a go at re-creating the vision. It was pretty frustrating to watch, and certainly frustrating for the person to draw it out!
The pictures were then transformed into theatre performances, demonstrating our interpretations of what we could see. There was no discussion into why everybody chose to draw what they did – it wasn’t important to anyone but the individual. To share this expression in this illustrative way was natural, and to have someone interpret this without knowing any back history was really organic. See what you can see in the expression presented here:
Finally, we rounded the day off by looking towards the future. We gathered our drawings and work from the walls and placed them into our time capsule. Each of us contributed a ‘final word’ to our future bubble, which stated how we wish to continue to contribute to community arts, and what we expect from working in our field in the future. Some really beautiful things were said actually
And that’s a wrap! What a wonderful day of meeting new faces, exploring different ideas and practices and thinking about our future! We hope to do this again next year, we hope that the time capsule gets opened, and we hope that everybody around the world had a marvelous day doing creative arts!