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Rochester LitFest: Six Ways to Wellbeing Swale

An innovative new collaboration between Ideas Test, Swale CVS and ourselves is set to help teenagers in Swale boost their wellbeing.

6 Ways to Wellbeing Swale logos

Ideas Test and Swale CVS will be offering an exciting programme of free taster sessions and workshops through autumn as part of Kent County Council’s Six Ways to Wellbeing campaign. The events will explore how getting involved with something creative can improve health and wellbeing. If you’re a young person (age 13-19 or 25 SEN) this is your chance to have fun with poetry and spoken word, both writing and performing.

We’re delighted that the brilliant and exuberant Dan Simpson will be with us to run poetry and spoken word sessions, which will culminate in a short performance at a finale of the whole project. He’ll be kicking off the entire Ideas Test Six Ways project by crowdsourcing a poem from 10am on Monday morning, finishing on Friday 24th October. The finished result will be recorded for broadcast at the finale event. Read more about the poem here or join in on Twitter with #wellbeingpoem

The first of the LitFest hosted sessions is Capturing Stories – a digital storytelling workshop by Jaye to make the most of smart phones or tablets when attending events. Covering the basics of Twitter, Vine, Audio Boom and Storify, this session will help the participants capture and document their activities across all the different sessions they take part in, aiding them in their quest to obtain a Bronze Arts Award by having an easily accessible digital archive. Blogging will also be covered. (This and ‘Captured Stories’ are also available for those not doing an Arts Award or taking part in other sessions).

The workshop dates are as follows:

Saturday 25/10 12 – 4pm Capturing Stories. Pulse Cafe, Sittingbourne
Tuesday 4/11 6.30pm – 9pm Poetry/Spoken Word. Sheerness County Youth Centre
Thursday 13/11 6pm – 8.30pm Poetry/Spoken Word. New House Sports and Youth Centre, Sittingbourne
Saturday 15/11 11am – 3pm Poetry/Spoken Word. Sheerness County Youth Centre
Monday 17/11 5pm – 7.30pm Poetry/Spoken Word West Faversham Community Centre (disability group/all welcome)
Saturday 29/11 11am – 4pm Poetry/Spoken Word. Phoenix House, Sittingbourne (open workshop and final rehearsal)
Saturday 6/12 6pm – 8pm Finale Performance Avenue Theatre, Sittingbourne
Saturday 13/12 12noon – 2pm Captured Stories. Pulse Café, Sittingbourne
The finale performance will include activity from the other partners in the project overall. See the Ideas Test website for more information.

The ‘Captured Stories’ session on 13/12 will bring together and share all the media surrounding the project.

All sessions are completely free to attend and you can book on line here or by calling 07713 865955. Cassy will be delighted to send you all the information you need to know. Please note that photography and other media will be shared on line and in promotional material.

The Six Ways to Wellbeing are all about doing more of the things you enjoy, with research showing that this can help improve your moods, strengthen your relationships and even add seven years to your life! It can be something as small as having a dance around, meeting a new person or learning a new skill.

The Six Ways are:

Connect – with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours
Be active – walk, run, garden, dance
Take notice – be curious, reflect on experiences
Keep learning – try something new
Give – doing something for others
Grow your world – planet care for its sustainability
You can find ourselves, Ideas Test, Swale CVS and Six Ways to Wellbeing on Twitter @RochLitFest @IdeasTest @SwaleCVS and @liveitwelluk, all of whom will be tweeting about the project under #sixwaystowellbeing. Six Ways to Wellbeing is also on Facebook, please search for ‘liveitwellkent’.

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing at http://www.sixwaystowellbeing.org.uk.

This programme of arts events is being funded jointly by Kent County Council, Artswork and The Royal Opera House Bridge.

But will it be on the jelly box?

One of the most exciting programmes to hit Medway and Swale in recent times (quite a statement when you consider how much is going on) is Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway, a project determined to let local people shape their arts provision and give them the opportunity of taking part in activities they wouldn’t normally think were for them. Check out the awesome video and read on …

Great news then, that the first round of funding – the Small Experiment applications of up to £2000 – will open on June 17th. This is not your traditional project funding, mind, so you must be very clear about what you want to test and why, and how it will inspire a broader range of involvement from, and collaboration with, local residents and community and voluntary groups.

To find our more about the application process and eligibility, sign up at CreativePeoplePlace.info (scroll down to add your details, and to nominate a community catalyst or three) and drop in to one of the two informal events taking place this month, so you can meet new Creative Enabler and Programme Director, Steph Fuller, plus some more of the team.

Medway: Tuesday, June 18th from 7pm – 9pm at Gillingham Library, High St. ME7 1BG

Swale: Wednesday, June 26th from 7pm -9pm at Pulse Café, 29 Park Road, Sittingbourne. ME10 1DR

No booking required is required and some refreshments will be available.

If you can’t make the above dates, some one-to-one sessions with Steph will be available across Swale and Medway until at least mid-July. Check her diary and email to say “Hello, how lovely it will be to meet you.”

Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway was awarded funding by the Arts Council, after both areas were identified as having low arts engagement within their communities. It’s an action research programme aiming to engage and re-imagine the arts as a valued and integral part of local people’s everyday life.

So, if you’re a local resident, part of an arts organisation or a member of a community or voluntary group and have the motivation to make interesting things happen locally, they want to hear from you.

Call out for an MA in Doing: Collaborative Research Group



CRATE are pleased to announce a call out for applicants for a Collaborative Research Group, an alternative education programme conceived of as an MA in Doing.

Collaborative Research Group will bring together a group of 6 regional arts practitioners (artists, curators, organisers, writers, researchers and thinkers) based in Kent who are interested in collaborative working and the pluralities of contemporary visual art practice (producing, curating, organising, writing, etc.). It is envisaged the researchers will already hold a qualification at degree level in a related subject, and have started to establish a practice post-University. This programme is proposed to be both an alternative and complimentary to post-graduate and research-based education, and places itself directly in the art-world and academia.

CRG will run from September 2013 until April 2015 and is generously funded by ICR European Regional Development Fund, Kent County Council and University of the Creative Arts.

Please refer to the website http://www.collaborativeresearchgroup.co.uk for further information about CRG and details for how to apply.

Henry V Needs YOU! Shakespeare-in-a-day for Faversham Creek

The Faversham Creek Trust is inviting people across Faversham and beyond to participate in a ‘Shakespeare-in-a-day’ production of Henry V.


Henry V in Faversham is a fundraising event for the Trust, which hopes to raise £1500-£2000, and involve lots of local people, either as cast, crew or helping out in some other way.

Daringly, they will do the whole thing – rehearse and perform – in one day, Saturday, June 15th. The script will be abridged, running at sixty minutes and the performance will take place at The Assembly Rooms (Drill Hall) in Faversham.

They are recruiting a full technical crew as well as the cast, and no previous experience is necessary. If you’ve dreamed of working in the theatre, this is your chance, as everyone attending the workshops and auditions will take part.

A donation of £20 (students £8) is required to confirm your involvement, with various benefits in return for your contribution: acting or photography workshops, reduced price tickets for family or friends, photographs of yourself on stage, references or other recognition as appropriate, and of course, the fun and learning involved in delivering the event. There will also be an extra activity immediately following the performance, a talk on Henry V by local author Stewart Ross.

HenryV poster

If you’d like to take part in this production, either as a cast member, backstage crew or front of house assistants, please pick up an application form from Lotty’s Flowers in Preston Street.

The ‘Acting Shakespeare’ and ‘Stage Photography’ Workshops will be held on May 11th, followed one week later (the 18th) by the Auditions and Casting Day. Then everyone will meet four weeks later to rehearse and perform the play. Full details can be found at http://henryvinfaversham.blogspot.co.uk/


Henry V had close ties with the town of Faversham. As a stopping point on the road from London to the coast, where his journeys to France began, Henry V often stayed at the MaisonDieu in Ospringe. On his final return journey, his body was laid to rest there before making its way back to London.

The Faversham Creek Trust is a charity dedicated to reviving the maritime traditions of Faversham Creek, including establishing training for young shipwrights and bringing traditional vessels back to the historic basin of the Port of Faversham. For more information, visit www.favershamcreektrust.com


Creative People and Places announce community engaging events

Swale and Medway residents are being invited to say how they’d like to spend their share of an arts grant totalling £1,476.000 at a series of events being held throughout both boroughs.

Last summer, Arts Council England awarded the grant to a consortium called Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway, who will ask locals for help in deciding how the money should be spent on art-based activities within the community. The aim of the grant is to inspire people and groups who don’t think the arts are for them to become more involved and the events will give them the chance to suggest what kind of art projects, events and activities they’d like to see staged to improve their local environment.

The first event will be on board LightVessel 21, the floating cultural facility moored at Gillingham Pier. Called ‘Hook Up’ it’s taking place between 11am – 4pm on Sunday, February 17th. You can drop by anytime to help create a “message in a bottle” installation, generate electricity by pedal power, star in a film about the day and enjoy a free soup lunch, tea and cake, subject to availability. Wear flat, non-slip shoes; access is limited due to steep stairs.


A clay modelling day has been organised at Castle Connections in Queenborough, by FrancisKnight Contemporary Arts Practice. It will take place on Saturday, February 23rd, from 11am until 4pm and you’ll be able to get your hands dirty, make stuff, play, chat and tell the FrancisKnight girls what you would like to get involved with. Flamboyant ceramic artist Duncan Hooson will coax the creativity out of you! To book a free place at the clay day, phone 01795 661277 or email castleconnections@btconnect.com

Castle Connections pottery snake

Castle Connections pottery snake

‘Flux’ will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, March 2, at Creek Creative, Abbey Street, Faversham. A stall in Market Square will showcase locally produced art and craft with live demonstrations, while performers will entice the gathering crowds along to Creek Creative’s premises, where an intriguing hub of activity with live musical experimentation awaits. Demonstrations, films and performances and surprising characters will delight and entertain.

Three more public events will be held in March, including a pop-up cinema, interactive performance and open discussions between active members of the arts and non arts communities.

Residents are also asked to nominate ‘community catalysts’ – prominent members of  local life who do a lot locally and will encourage others to become involved. Nominations can be made at the events and via the website (address below) from March.

Sign up to receive regular updates and newsletters about Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway at http://www.creativepeopleplace.info/

The Swale and Medway group was one of seven successful applicants across England and the only one in the South East. In total, just under £16 million has been awarded.