Imagineer was pleased to launch the Creative Explorers programme on 25 October in a special event in Nuneaton town centre, as part of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s new Cultural Strategy.
Creative Explorers is an 18-month cultural programme led by Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC), in partnership with Imagineer, Warwickshire County Council and Artichoke.
Local artists and communities in Nuneaton and Bedworth will come together for a programme of cultural events during 2023-2025. The hope is to give profile to an existing and often hidden network of artists and creative activity, engage all sectors of the community and inspire people to value and embed creativity into their lives.
The Creative Explorers programme will see many strands of activity, beginning this autumn with:
Imagine Bamboo is an international project exploring the potential of bamboo – widely held to be the future sustainable building material for the planet. Artists, designers, engineers, and communities from across the UK, and internationally, are coming together to see what can be imagined and created with this remarkable material.
Communities in Nuneaton and Bedworth will have the opportunity to be involved in more creative activity with bamboo.
This work started with an Imagine Bamboo event at Bedworth Miners Park on Saturday 29 July 2023. We ran away with the bamboo circus, made music with bamboo and made our own creations in the bamboo crafting zone.
During autumn 2023, Bamboo Creative Labs will link artists from Nuneaton and Bedworth with those from the Global South, working with and exploring bamboo as a creative material.
We are also collaborating with the UK’s leading contemporary circus company, NoFit State, to explore ideas for a new outdoor circus performance using UK-grown bamboo.
Teach-Make is a professional development programme for teachers in primary schools. In Nuneaton and Bedworth, teachers will be supported by artists and educationalists to develop their skills, so that they can lead innovative arts-engineering projects for children in Key Stage 2.
Teach-Make supports teachers to design schemes of work in a way that is different to the norm, informed by the design processes of art-makers. The partnership allows teachers to develop their competences in art-making, design, technology and science, with real-world related learning.
Teach-Make work takes place in Nuneaton and Bedworth schools during autumn 2023.
GRIT – Art in the Streets
GRIT is a Nuneaton-based artist-led group. For Creative Explorers, GRIT lead a programme of creative collaborations with the local community, called Arts in the Streets. They will work out of Grit Art Central, an artist-led space in a former shop unit, in Nuneaton city centre.
In Convoy, locally-based artist Alisha Miller will create large-scale vinyl artworks onto working lorries, inspired by innovative industries and people in Nuneaton today. Portrait of a Town invites people who have grit to be painted, taking a snapshot in time. Street art workshops will take place, as will performance workshops and physical theatre performances.
The work culminates in a major event in summer 2024, a showcase of creativity from the communities of Nuneaton and Bedworth.
We have more exciting activities planned for summer 2024, and will reveal details closer to the time.
Cllr Sue Markham, Portfolio Holder for Public Services at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:
“Adopting a Cultural Strategy is so important, especially as the effects of Covid are still being felt.
“The Borough Council recognises the contribution of the arts to the quality of life of both the individual and the community, and feedback we received during the Towns Fund bid showed that our residents felt the same.
“People need to feel connected, and our aim is to promote access to, and participation in, the arts for all members of the Nuneaton and Bedworth community.
“This value of cultural activity will help us to safeguard existing resources and identify routes to further investment for the future.”
Jane Hytch, Director of Imagineer, added:
“We can’t wait to get started with our exciting programme of activity in Nuneaton and Bedworth.
“Imagineer has been involved with the borough for some years now, most recently with the major outdoor arts project Sanctuary, where we worked alongside Artichoke to make a visible and tangible memorial to the Covid pandemic.
“Creative Explorers allows us to be at the heart of the community for a prolonged period of time, and make creative activities that are relevant and meaningful to the wonderful people of Nuneaton and Bedworth.”
Creative Explorers is supported by Arts Council England, The May 1961 Charitable Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Trust.