Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director at Made With Many
Published 7th November 2022
Seven and a half years ago, almost to the day, I walked into an office in Corby town centre. It had little more than a few desks, one other member of staff and a major project launching in six weeks’ time. This week, I’ll leave that building for the last time, from an office full of an amazing team, hundreds of community collaborators and memories of countless creative workshops, joyful meetings and incredible events.
So, before I head off for new pastures, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve learnt together:
- Artistic talent really is everywhere, often where you least expect it. It has been my greatest joy to help discover it and to encourage people to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.
- People can’t consider cultural activities when they are hungry, cold, stressed, anxious, tired etc etc. We’ve needed to work with community partners who address those issues alongside the creative activity. As we face the toughest winter many of us will have ever known, this is becoming even more important.
- Places and communities are constantly changing. ‘Getting to know our community’ has been a constant job not a one-time research task at the beginning of the programme. ‘Meeting people where they are’ is about so much more than geography. It’s been about making new friendships and joining together in our joy, pain and the nitty gritty of everyday life. That’s included sharing my own too.
- Art and creativity can transform people and their places. I’ve seen it in happen at festivals, through the creation of community murals and in the quiet corner of a workshop. It’s truly magical.
And lastly, a word of thanks. There’s been so many people who have welcomed and encouraged me, listened to my craziest ideas without judgement, made me smile on a tough day and generally been fantastic human beings. In fact, there’s far too many to list, but hopefully they all know who they are. The community that has built around Made With Many is truly amazing and each of you deserve a massive pat on the back, or knowing us, a cup of tea and piece of cake!
We’ll miss @HelWillmott very much and wish her all the best in her new role within the #CreativePeopleAndPlaces family.— Made With Many (@MadeWithMany_) November 11, 2022
We had a fantastic day celebrating Helen’s time at @MadeWithMany_ and reminiscing over the past 7 & a half years 🥳😊#OnwardsAndUpwards #MissingYouAlready https://t.co/v21JdhG9No
This was our “last” CKHL meeting with @HelWillmott and @STUDIO_MORISON Thanks for all you have done. We will continue on wee this journey. @TimMorton2 @TheOtherBriggs @CorbyCommArts @JoeFlavin4 @LocalTrust @MadeWithMany_ @1979Films It has been a wonderful journey. @gracebremner pic.twitter.com/5L5Jfm5MHc— KHL Big Local (@KHLbiglocal2012) November 7, 2022
So…. I have a little bit of news. In November I’ll be leaving @MadeWithMany_ to take up the role of Executive Director @RevolutonArts— Helen Willmott (@HelWillmott) September 22, 2022
Exciting new adventures ahead for me, after over 7 amazing years working with communities across North Northants.
Published 7th November 2022