In June we held our Creative Citizens Fair at Birmingham’s wonderful Impact Hub. The talks are now available on our Youtube channel, with more video to come, and we had great feedback and photos from the event too. We just wanted to take a moment though to reflect on some of the talks and experiences, and rather than write it up ourselves, we asked some of the attendees to write up the talks for us:
Mil was one of our furthest travelling visitors, coming down from Chester (although that award may have to go to Sean Brady from Formby Village): Pamela Pinski on how good Digbeth can get – Pam gave a fascinating talk and Q&A on the Digbeth is Good hyperlocal website. Digbeth is a particularly challenging area to create hyperlocal community, as much of its population is daily and moving – and as the site indicates is prone to multiple cases of the “regenerations”. Yet Pam and her contributors have managed not only to maintain the website’s attractiveness but also increase its utility and reach. A wonderful example in both spirit and implementation for anyone interested in hyperlocal and its current practice, rightly given a warm welcome at the Creative Citizens’ fair.
Yemisi Akinbobola found James Clarke’s talk both inspiring but also very personally useful:
James Clarke delivered a presentation about The Hub, a newly refurbished community facility in Ashmore Park, Wolverhampton which houses a community centre, library and fitness centre. His presentation was timely as I came to the event with my husband, Akin, who recently bought the Premier Sports Wolverhampton franchise, and has been looking for venues to host extra-curricular sporting clubs and camps for kids aged 5-12. After the presentation, I man-handled James downstairs to meet Akin, who was looking after our 3 year-old daughter in the stall area of the event venue. James and Akin spoke extensively for at least 30 minutes, exchanged business cards, and they have since had meetings and have started working towards developing a relationship between the Hub and Premier Sports Wolverhampton. James needed a sports provider to cater for young kids, and Akin needed a suitable venue. Perfect match!
And finally one of our youngest attendees, at just 4 years old, Eliza Hart reports from the Bread2Share breadmaking workshop:
A really nice man and lady were teaching everyone how to make bread. We put honey and water in some flour and added a little bit of yeast. We mixed them together in a bowl with our hands to make dough. We kneaded it for aaages. It was sticky wicky. Then me and Daddy put it in a bag to take home. We baked it in the oven and had it for our tea. It was yummy!!
In all seriousness though, this is what we were aiming for – an event that focused on our research themes of creative citizenship and community activism, but in a way that didn’t primarily seem too overtly academic. In our feedback forms a lot of people commented on their interest in the theme of creative citizenship but also that they were drawn to the event because it was free, on a Saturday and advertised as family friendly, so we can’t underestimate the contribution of such funded events (Thanks to the AHRC’s Connected Communities programme in this instance).