The Performance Group gets going !

Our first two sessions have gone really well. We are now a group of seven performers with three more to join soon. We have been spending time improvising, making movements, sounds, and stories up as we go along. We have been learning simple movements exercises using eastern dance forms such as Taiji Qigong and Butoh.

Yesterday we worked with ideas about simple things transforming and changing; a feather became a candle, a parrot, a fan, a toothbrush, sheeps wool, a gun, a sparkler,a nose tickler, even a cow ! The performers worked with these incredible changes that happened to the feather in their hands as they walked slowly across the studio floor.

3,2,1 Lift Off !

The Arty Party Performance Group

 begins on Monday 12th of April.

After two years of waiting we are finally going back into the studio,to move, to perform, to share our stories and stretch our imaginations.
Six performers will be starting this easter, Alison, Zoe,Rebecca,Samuel,Sean and Andrew. We will aim to become a group of ten once the college term is over.
We will be supported by artistic advocates Richard and Julie.
We are meeting every Monday and will be focusing on getting to know and trust each other, share stories and get comfortable with expressing ourselves through movement and voice.

Places are still available if anyone with a learning disability over school age wishes to join us, I’d be happy to arrange a taster visit, call me, Ray Jacobs on 07722802037

Arty Party Lets Them In

An award-winning local arts organisation, Arty Party, is premiering its new short film this week. The ten minute film called ‘Let Me In’ is a collaboration between participants on Arty Party’s Work and Play project and Shropshire-based professional animator Neil Webber. The free public screening is taking place at 7pm on Thursday 11th March in the theatre at Hadley Learning Centre, Crescent Road in Hadley. Drinks and refreshments will be laid on followed by a social reception.

Chairperson Julia Dean-Richards said: “This heralds a very exciting time for Arty Party as it becomes a lot more outward-facing in the distribution of its work. We hope the release of the film and the creation of the website are just the beginning of a new higher profile for the organisation and the inspiring work it does”.

‘Let Me In’ and the new website was commissioned by the Work and Play project which is funded by the Reaching Communities Fund of the Big Lottery. This is the first opportunity to see the new film before it tours national festivals in 2010. Arty Party’s Performance Group previously won the Best Film award for ‘I Saw a Girl’ at the Oska Bright Film Festival in 2007.

contact phone number for Julie Watson – social programme co-ordinator is 07970451933. worth putting this up on social page and in any contacts lists that may appear elsewhere on the site.

Work+Play 2010 Term Dates

Jan 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th,

Feb 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, half-term week off,  back 25th, 26th.

March 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, then break for Easter for 3 wks.

Back April 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th,

May 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th, half-term week off

Back June 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th,

July 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, break for summer.

Work+play: developing an appropriate culture of support

“We have a vague idea of what we want” – a quote by Arty Party member Adrian which became the focus for an Arty Party t-shirt in 2006.

It was a statement that brilliantly seemed to sum up the slightly out of focus, anarchic spirit of the collective. A collective that was held together by strong bonds of friendship, generosity and sociability. Some of the group were interested in art which was handy as that was where we got our funding from. But even those that weren’t interested in drawing or performing  seemed to share an extraordinary capacity for thinking and behaving ‘outside the box’.

Whilst no one would pretend a learning disability is a good thing, it does place an individual in an interesting place from which art is possible. Half the struggle of any artist is to find an original voice from which to speak from. The members of Arty Party have never seemed to have trouble with this.

We have spent many years since Arty Party’s inception attempting to improve the ways in which we can support people with learning disabilities to make work. The idea has always been if we can be really intelligent about the support we offer, then the ideas, the inspiration for work, can come exclusively from our members.

So Work+play is a collaboration between people with learning disabilities and those without in which the latter are ideally acting as critical friends and as silent partners in the work that is produced.

This is hugely challenging work that is massively rewarding when it goes well.

Kevin Hodgetts 2009. Work+Play Project Manager.