Saturday, 3 June 2017
May/June 2017- A Month of Events
May has been an exciting month for Anthos Arts. Specifically, it has been an exciting month for events. Since taking over the company in 2015, we have been lucky enough to run and be involved with a good deal of exciting events, such as our touring production of Romeo and Juliet, a linked project with Exeter University looking at memory and dementia, an interactive Christmas story-time with Friends of the Exeter Children's Library and, among others, our fantastic Anthos Young Company and Chameleon Groups, the latter of which we continue to run and absolutely love. However, May 2017 was a very special month for us as, after a long break from day-events, we had not just one, but two brilliant ones in Exeter.
The first of these was our wonderful 'Discover Storytelling' day at Exeter Library. This event was a monumental achievement for us, as it not only marked our first fully-fledged Arts Award project, but also our first ever joint Arts Award project. Working alongside the lovely team at Exeter Library, we were able to arrange a day for children 5-11 to come along, have fun doing some acting, puppetry and craft, and engage with the Discover level of the Arts Award.
What was wonderful about the workshops on May 20th was that we were able to offer everyone the chance to engage with their creativity. Many people attended and some people didn't like acting, some people didn't like drawing, and...well, everyone seemed to enjoy the craft. By being able to utilise the library's space we allowed children to connect with art forms that appealed to their preferences; nobody was forced to do anything. One of the best aspects to the Arts Award is that it can be adaptive and so everyone had the chance to enjoy something they loved and be rewarded for that with their Discover Arts Award.
The other lovely thing about the Discover Storytelling day at the library was that with such a large group of people attending we had an immense pool of creativity to swim about in. The focus of the workshops was on thinking about how we can tell stories in different ways. Sometimes this can be done through acting, sometimes through print or illustrations; and sometimes through puppetry, to name a few. The craft section of the workshop, where everyone had the chance to make their own puppets to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood with saw some fantastic creations!
Creativity glowed even bright when, after creating their puppets for the Red Riding Hood story, everyone had the chance to create their own character and a puppet to go with them! Using just simple craft supplies such as tissue paper and feathers, everyone managed to create some outstanding original characters and designs to go with them. Both workshops were a massive amount of fun for everyone and seemed to fly past. Upon reflection one of the best parts was that there was nothing too serious or intense about the day; everyone came, played games, had fun acting their stories through drama and with puppets, and earned their certificates while doing so.
Our second event followed a similar theme, exploring storytelling through puppetry, only without the Arts Award element. It was a rainy Friday in St Thomas Exeter, but inside the Family Garden a lot of fun was had, as we were joined by some new faces and some new ones. For those returning to Anthos Arts after being unable to join us for our regular Chameleon group sessions it was wonderful to catch up and work together again. We played many drama games and created some truly wild original stories, featuring a tale about a terrible storm and even one about a cat who lets her pet dragon loose on the world because they don't think she is cute.
Again we told each story through acting and then through illustration and puppetry. Our group for this workshop contained some very talented and very creative artists who produced some lovely illustrated work to share with the group. The illustrations then gave birth to ideas for the puppets and what they might look like. Everyone had a fun time creating adaptations of their stories in groups and watching each other's at the end.
All in all, it has been a wonderful month for us. Our Chameleon group and all of its wonderful members are working on their production of 'Alice in Wonderland' and we have also been lucky enough to work with some incredible children and witness their creativity unfold. It has felt incredible to be able to offer the Arts Award for their efforts as well. Over the coming months, probably once our 'Alice' project has finished, we hope to host more events such as this and offer more and more people the chance to come get creative and let their imaginations loose!
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