What Wellingborough Wants
By Helen Willmott, Programme Director at Made With Many.
Over the last few months we’ve been asking people in Wellingborough what they want the new programme there to look like. Both online and in person, we’ve asked residents, community groups and local organisations a range of questions about what is most important to them and their communities, and what attracts them to events.
It’s really important to us that the new programme of cultural activities, that we will begin delivering in Wellingborough this year, is led by the thoughts of local people, and whilst we will be continuing to ask these key questions over the next few years, we thought this was a good time to stop and consider what local people have said to us.
There’s a few keys themes that have come out of these discussions. There have been lots of requests for activities that bring people together, both locally within specific areas of the town and across the entire borough. As part of this, residents have asked for activities that draw upon the diversity of the borough and celebrate different cultures, especially with accompanying food. Our discussions have also highlighted the many great spaces that already exist across the borough and asked for us to put new activities into these. We’re working on a plan to do all of this through creative activities, working with residents in both the spaces and groups that people normally gather in, and creating moments for the borough to come together. We’ll also be creating new art, with local people, inspired by the stories and experiences of local people.
We’ve also had some really interesting discussions about what counts as art and culture – Are video games a form of art? What about sewing? Cake decorating? We have an informal motto in the office ‘Art is anything we can get away with’, and whilst we do have to draw a line somewhere, we’re looking forward to working alongside the people of Wellingborough to bring a broad variety of creative activities to the area over the coming years.
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