As part of the festival’s engagement and participation programme, many students, young people and community groups from across Bournemouth have been given key roles in the 2018 diverse arts programme. This year also sees the festival go ‘on tour’ to engage with new audiences and offer university level students with practical and valuable work opportunities.
Highlights in the calendar of Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea festival (29th Sept – 6th Oct), will come to life thanks to the help of young people, students and community groups from Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. Students from Glenmoor & Winton Academy have designed elements of the festival’s opening spectacular ‘Silicon Shores’– a unique 3D projection mapping on Bournemouth Town Hall; Avonbourne Girls School plus members of the 22nd Bournemouth Guide Group will take part in the ‘Circus Folly’ night carnival, and Dorset’s Funky Little Choir are set to take their contemporary sounds to residents at Boscombe’s Fairways Care Home.
Since its conception in 2011, Arts by the Sea has rolled out various engagement programmes for local schools and community groups to be part of festival’s core entertainment programme. Leigh Hayler, Senior Business Support Officer at Bournemouth Borough Council explained:
“Each year we run engagement projects for young people, which are supported by the festival, either with artists delivering community-based projects, or by working with partners such as the Cultural Hub. This year we were keen to involve those living in the Boscombe West, Boscombe East, East Cliff, and Springbourne areas, so working with Glenmoor & Winton, Avonbourne Trust and the 22nd Bournemouth Guide Group, fitted the bill. Whilst it’s fantastic for Bournemouth that our home-grown festival now has national profile, we want it to celebrate and, remain connected to, its local community. Some of these groups, the older age groups in particular, may not ordinarily have access to a festival of this nature, so it’s our role to ensure there is opportunity for everyone.”
A highlight for this year’s Arts by the Sea festival is the internationally acclaimed Colour Project which will bring Bournemouth Town Hall to life like never before, with a colossal 3D projection mapping show titled ‘Silicon Shores’, which includes some delightful creatures designed by children from Glenmoor & Winton Academy. Over one hundred students from Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) designed an octopus or robot, based on templates provided by The Colour Project around the ‘New Frontiers’ theme of the show, with some then selected to be transformed into computer graphics for the performance.
Anna Abraham, a teacher at Glenmoor & Winton Academy said: “It was a great opportunity to be involved in the project. I think it is important for schools and students to collaborate with artists and engage with community art projects. Our students enjoyed the challenge of creating these characters and were interested in how their designs would be processed into moving graphics by The Colour Project”.
This ten-minute audio-visual experience references the influence of digital technology on society through the unlikely prism of the ocean and is a completely unique premiere for the 2018 event. It will take place at various times on the evenings of Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September.
‘Circus Folly: A Night Carnival’ (6th October) is another key part in the festival’s engagement programme. Produced by the UK’s leading carnival creators, Shademakers, the rebellious creatures appearing in the parade will be created in association with students from Avonbourne Girls School, and Guides and Rangers from the 22nd Bournemouth Guide Unit, in a series of lantern and costume making workshops, taking place during the festival. Many of the students and Guides will also take part in the closing parade itself alongside professional performers, in their self-designed Circus Runaways costumes.
Supported by Arts by the Sea, Shademakers have also provided opportunity for the Umoja Arts Network – Bournemouth and Poole’s local African and Caribbean cultural organization – offering mentoring in carnival parade creation. Performers from Umoja will also be taking part in the parade, further showcasing the all-inclusive nature of this event.
From engagement activity to offering key work experience, the night carnival also involves students studying Events Management at Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth University. Alongside Shademakers and the Arts by the Sea logistical team, students will be stewarding the parade, gaining valuable, practical experience for their chosen courses.
New for 2018 is a pilot activity that sees Arts by the Sea take its programme on tour to engage with audiences who may find it difficult to attend the festival or have access to the arts in general. Funky Little Choir will make a special performance at Fairways Residential Care Home in Boscombe at 6pm on Wednesday 3rd October. With several TV appearances including Gareth Malone’s Best in Britain 2016 and CBBC Glee, this professional sounding choir will bring a taste of Arts by the Sea direct to the home of the Fairways’ residents.
As it approaches its 8th annual event, Arts by the Sea remains as diverse and inspirational as ever. The all-encompassing projects rolled out by the festival to engage with local groups are key to the curation of the event, giving opportunity to, and celebrating, the young and creative talent on its doorstep.