On Wednesday 9th May, the Cramphorn Studio played host to over 80 creative minds celebrating the launch of Ignite Chelmsford, the city’s new cultural form.
Opening the meetup was new Front of House manager at Chelmsford Theatres, Amy Worsdale, who introduced the local brewery team now supplying the theatres’ bar with their unique products. Fallen Angel Brewery’s Martin and Gillian introduced their range of ciders and beers, including their popular golden ale which is being rebranded especially for the theatres – name suggestions are being taken, the punnier the better… (!)
Marc De’ath, event organiser, then gave a welcome, explaining the role he hopes the forum will play in shaping local arts and culture. Initially led by a selected representative panel (all to be revealed soon), the panel positions will later be democratically elected by members of Ignite Chelmsford with yearly rotations, keeping the panel fresh with ideas and accessible to all. A call was also put out for volunteers to help run the monthly meetups, who will need to help promote the meetup, chat to new members and run the event on the night.
The meetup’s second speaker was Councillor Philip Wilson, who is part of the team behind the new local initiative, The Essex Crowd. A local crowdfunding platform, it provides a portal where people with ideas for projects that enhance their local area can pitch for funding and support from their community – and potentially receive a funding contribution from Essex County Council, who have a total of £500,000 (spread over 3 years) to help support suitable projects. Watch this space for Chelmsford-based projects that you can get involved in.
Katy Forkings, local singer-songwriter, played an extremely well-received set, including her latest release, Room to Grow. Live and unplugged, members of the meetup were wowed by the skill and maturity of her performance and songwriting.
Taking Ignite Chelmsford into the night was DJ Denholm Ellis (on decks provided by Jon from Bassment – thanks again) whose sounds provided the perfect atmosphere for our first meetup.