The focus of August’s “Ignite Chelmsford” meet-up was “Art for Everyone”. For someone who has been known to utter the words “I can’t draw”, this might not have been a promising title, but my mind has been changed recently and the event convinced me further of the key role of the Arts in bringing people together and allowing them to explore their talents. On an inclement night in holiday season, a gathering at The Transition showed how many others feel the same.
Our first presenter was Scotty from Brave Arts sharing the story of how he’s turned his lifelong interest in graffiti art into a thriving enterprise. A key focus of his work is in transforming spaces by engaging the people that use them as well as working in schools and undertaking large scale commissions. Next Helena from City of Chelmsford Mencap gave us a flavour of the huge variety of art forms the charity and its social enterprise uses to nurture and showcase its students’ talents and allow them to reach out into the local community
For the first time at Ignite Chelmsford the gathered audience was also given the opportunity to briefly share information about their own projects or those they are involved with. After a slightly tentative start the ideas began to flow, including:
- A call out for people to become involved in bringing the Big Draw to Chelmsford this Autumn
- Chelmsford Creative Collective inviting us all to join them in their monthly pub meetup
- An opportunity to take part in regular Life Drawing sessions coordinated by the Ideas Hub and Chelmsford Creative Collective
- Sharing ideas of how the highly unusual 1591 Walker map of Chelmsford held at Essex Record Office could be used as a stimulus for community arts projects
- An invitation to “Air Your Dirty Laundry” on 9th September – an exhibition of art from those who have suffered abuse
- An opportunity for local artists to contribute to a “Travelling Sketchbook”
- Activate Chelmsford inviting us to join their regular meetups and offering offcuts of polystyrene for other projects.
- Sharing details of the Heritage Open Days in September, being coordinated by Chelmsford Civic Society
- And a reminder to keep an eye on the growing calendar of Arts and other community events at The Transition
As usual, the evening concluded with free time for conversation, sharing ideas and building new connections.
I’m sure all are now looking forward to the next event on 13th September where we’ll be moving on to look at the Future of Museums. The Ignite community is growing so we look forward to seeing you there!