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.

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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.

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Draw inspiration from Croquis dancers

Traditionally, Croquis is quick sketches drawn by artists watching a model who occasionally changes position. However, the Croqis being introduced to Medway is a collaboration between Rebecca Ashton of The Right Step Dance Company and Richard Squarecube of Squarecube Artisans, who’ve taken it a step further by incorporating dancers.

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The artists are inspired in many different ways and are encouraged to explore the concept using their own techniques. Mostly, they’ll sketch with pencil or charcoal, but already one enterprising soul has used an iPad and others using different forms such as sculpting or modelling are also welcome.

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Taster sessions will be held in November, with the official launch in January 2015. It’s an intriguing add to the creative pot of Medway events, so why not go along and try it out?

Sunday 16th November, 2-3.30pm ‘An Introduction to Croquis Events’

Sunday 23rd November, 2-3.30pm ‘Explore Croquis Your Own way’

Sunday 30th November, 2-3.30pm ‘What Can We Do With This?’

All held at Sun Pier House Gallery and Tea Room, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF

Just £15/session or £10/session if you bring your own materials.

Book one of the limited places now, by email to: info@therightstepdc.co.uk

An invitation only promo session was held, for which there is an archive with images and feedback – the blog about it can be found here:

http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/2014/09/17/croquis-event-promo/

The artists also gave verbal feedback and that’s on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/croquisevents

There’s more information online…

Website: http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/organisations/croquis-events/

Twitter: @Croquis_Events

GEEK – Meet, make and play in Medway

Ideas Test and Margate’s GEEK Play team are bringing three days of creative play to Medway on the final weekend in August.

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At the Oast House, Rainham, on Friday and Saturday, August 29-30, the event will open with music and a video gaming carnival on the Friday night.

On the Saturday, all three floors of the venue will be filled with games and play. The top floor is being taken over by the Robot Arena, where you can find making workshops and Mega Battles. In the digital and analogue section, come and play the games you love and learn to play and make new ones. Also on hand: chip tune music, meet Indie Devs, make robot costumes and play Laser Pong.

On Sunday 31st, the game play continues in Rochester, where the Guildhall Museum becomes the hub for a day of play.

Join Dr Sketchy and the GEEK team for some museum based playing before heading out to discover Tourist Trap, Stream the Streets, Special Guests and other games and workshops in and around Rochester High Street. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.geek-play.com.

Ideas Test is a local funding body to which anyone with a great idea to increase arts participation can apply to. They can be found at www.ideastest.co.uk.

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.