On Saturday 2nd April 2016 organisations, communities and individuals across the country celebrated a year of Get Creative – a campaign launched in February 2015 by the BBC and What Next? in partnership with key organisations including Voluntary Arts, 64 Million Artists, Fun Palaces, Into Film, Family Arts Campaign and the Crafts Council. Get Creative aims to encourage more people than ever to participate in culture and creativity.
To mark a year of the campaign we asked participants to have a go and either explore an existing creative passion or try something new. Whether it was to release your inner dancer, try you hand at life drawing, throw a pot or experiment with film, there was something for everyone with over 300 workshops and taster sessions happening all over the country.
What Next? Cardiff joined up with BBC Wales and Arts Council Wales to create a bumper Get Creative Weekend celebrating the country’s creativity with cultural and voluntary organisations, groups and societies hosting events across Wales between 1 – 3 April. This included a day of creativity at Galeri, Caernarfon where locals could have a go at everything from presenting to puppet making, coding, circus skills and animation workshops.
Venues including Sage Gateshead, Battersea Arts Centre, the Young Vic and mac Birmingham nominated themselves as ‘Creativity Welcome Here’ places, encouraging people to come in and use their cafes and foyers as spaces to get creative, from open mic sessions to mosaic making.
Northern Ireland’s creative community came together for a whole day of activities involving craft, dance, music, cartoon, minecraft, exhibitions, reading and printing as part of a huge ‘Createathon’ coordinated by Voluntary Arts Ireland in the Ulster Museum Belfast. Liverpool underlined its artistic credentials 8 years after being the European Capital of Culture by staging a host of free events from self-sewing carnival costumes to lessons in stand-up comedy, all in the name of Get Creative Day. In London the National Youth Dance Company invited audiences to join them for a group improvisation at Sadler’s Wells. In Preston, Curious Minds worked with partner organisation Blaze to open their doors for a creative visioning workshop to consult young people on what they want to see happening for cultural education in Preston. In Norwich, Norwich & Norfolk Community Arts and Norwich City Council hosted a Carnival Inspiration day with ideas for costume and float designs, talks on the history of the procession in Norwich and a panel discussion.
When we launched Get Creative last February, we only planned for the campaign to last a year. 15 months on and it is still going strong with well over a million visitors to the website and more than 1000 organisations signed up as Get Creative Champions. We wanted to shine a spotlight on the extraordinary creativity that exists and flourishes throughout the country – from the woman who knitted her own version of a ten pound note to the former tool maker who took up painting in his retirement and amazed us with his incredible reproduction of a Canaletto.
Get Creative Day / Weekend will return in 2017 – dates are being decided at the moment and will be announced soon. In the meantime, the campaign continues…
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Get in touch with Hannah Lambert who manages Get Creative for What Next?: firstname.lastname@example.org