News & Opportunities News Stoke-on-Trent Microgrants announced Eight new Get Creative At Home projects in Stoke-on-Trent awarded micro-grants to kick off the city’s local #GetCreativeAtHome campaign in lockdown. From Street Ceramics to Tele-poetry, nine creative and community organisations in Stoke-on-Trent have been awarded funding to bring communities together through creativity in lockdown. The micro-grants of up to £200 were provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, in collaboration with Voluntary Arts, to support organisations that want to help local people ease the stresses of lockdown together, by expressing themselves creatively. The funded projects will be featured on the Visit Stoke website, along with virtual local museum tours and other remote creative projects happening in the city under the banner of #GetCreativeAtHome and #MyStokeStory. All of the projects will of course be registered on the Get Creative website so that everyone has the opportunity to take part, regardless of where they are in the world. Let’s take a look at the 8 projects funded by the scheme: Community Clay The Collective Skills Project based in Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, works to reduce loneliness and isolation by bringing people together in the local community, to develop and share skills. Usually, the project runs a wide range of practical workshops and events within the community, which focus on learning and developing key life skills. Their #GetCreativeAtHome project will call on the Hartshill community to make clay decorations at home, to tie around the lampposts on Hartshill Road and Albany Road - a main route to the city’s hospital - to build a community street gallery of clay decorations. The group will put together packs of air-drying clay along with instructions and deliver them to households within the Hartshill community. This will encourage people to get creative by making decorations using clay in their home. The clay is air-drying, which means they wont need to fire it and can decorate it with paints or nail varnishes once air-dried. “Stoke-on-Trent is known for its pottery. Using clay as a medium to create the decorations allows us to pay tribute to our heritage.” - Gemma and Amanda, The Collective Skills Project. Instructions will be available soon on the Get Creative website so that you can inspire your street to open their own pop-up street gallery. Friends of the Spode Rose Garden The Friends of the Spode Rose Garden maintain and manage a community garden on a formerly abandoned part of the Spode Factory in Stoke-on-Trent. They volunteer their time to develop and maintain the garden and deliver community, family friendly events throughout the year. The volunteer group is currently unable to attend gardening activities, and visitors are largely unable to visit. As part of #GetCreativeAtHome, the group will deliver a skills-based tutorial on how to successfully grow at home. This will be in the form of a "Top Tips" from local experts. The group will then post seeds for edible plants to anyone in the local community who would like to grow something at home for the Rose Garden. The resulting seedlings, when ready can be split in two - one half to be kept by the recipient, and the other can be collected by the group, or be delivered to them, and will be introduced to the garden's Edible Border when it is possible. The group will also document The Spode Rose Garden with a short film, so that potential visitors can see and enjoy its beautiful Spring stage. “We hope that the activity might encourage more people to come to the Garden when possible, and see their seedlings as fully grown plants, and to inspire lots of new participants to do the same.” - Glen, Friends of The Spode Rose Garden. The groups ‘Top Tips’ will be available soon on the Get Creative website so that you can start growing plants at home, for yourself or your own local community garden. The Movie Mavericks The Movie Mavericks is a collective of 8 artists who usually screen pop up cinema events with wrap around creative development training for young emerging artists (18-25). Their second annual film festival, which was going to be based at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-trent’s City Centre in April, had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Their #GetCreativeAtHome project will see them host an online film making competition aimed at people to shoot on their phones, with a wrap around package of online tutorials, as well as Facebook events and watch parties across social media. The prize winner will receive a film poster of their work, a spot at their next film festival and gift vouchers. “This activity will support people to get creative with film making at home, probably for the first time.” - Holly, The Movie Mavericks. If you’re a budding film-maker, look out for the competition and tutorials on the Get Creative website later this month. Creativity for Carers North Staffs Carers is a small charity in Stoke-on-Trent, which has over 32 years of experience supporting Carers in North Staffordshire. They currently provide information, advice, guidance and support to Carers from the age of 5 upwards on a range of issues, offering monthly groups, one to one sessions and break activities whilst helping to access information to aid their caring role removing pressures which may force the Young and Adult Carer into Crisis. For #GetCreativeAtHome, North Staffs Carers will record on-line tutorials and activities for Young and Adult Carers from the age of 5 upwards, such Origami, Rock Painting, Recycling Creations, Bottle Art, Potato Painting, Mad Scientist and Finger Puppets. “We will reach community carers in a number of ways, via Zoom, Remind App, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our website and also utilising our already established social isolation wellbeing support group on Facebook, inviting new Carers to join in as well as existing Carers on our books.” - Julie, NSC. If you are a Carer and would appreciate the respite and support of like minded people at this particularly challenging time, connect with the Creativity for Carers project on the Get Creative website and on Carers First. Creator Packs for Mothers Restoke is a Community Interest Company (CIC) and not-for-profit arts organisation based in Stoke-on-Trent that puts local people at the heart of artistic adventures. “We produce performances in surprising locations - from pottery factories to disused chapels, from swimming pools to a working mens club. We work with professional and non-professional performers using dance, music and spoken-word to cocreate our performances and programmes, driven by the stories, talents and commitment of those who take part.” - Clare, Restoke. In January 2020, Restoke began working with mothers in Stoke-on-Trent on a new project culminating in a performance about motherhood in July 2020, now postponed until 2021. For their #GetCreativeAtHome project, Restoke would like to keep on engaging with mothers during this period of social distancing, encouraging them to creatively explore their experiences of motherhood. Restoke will send 100 'Creator Packs' by post to mothers that have already begun engaging with the project, including mothers affected by homelessness. The packs will include 5 specially designed postcards with creative tasks including creative writing, home photography and illustration. Digital versions of the creator packs will be available to print at home on the Get Creative website for mothers from around the country who would like to creatively contribute to this archive of motherhood during lockdown, which could go on to influence the performance scheduled for next year. Roaming Poets Formed in 2016, as part of Stoke Art Map project, The Roaming Poets are a group of writers who take to the streets to share their passion for poetry. This ad-hoc group of local writers have delighted pedestrians at Festival Stoke, The Etruria Canal Festival, as part of Poetry at Bus Stops and Stoke Christmas light switch-on. They have led an (Un)Official tour of Stoke, and they supported Stoke’s bid to become City of Culture 2021. At a time when everyone is tiring of excessive screen time, The Roaming Poets’ #GetCreativeAtHome project will encourage the sharing of poetry in Staffordshire using telephones. “This will be an accessible, auditory poetry experience between strangers, family or friends. We will lead two open online poetry workshops for the public to write short poems suitable to be texted (160 characters) and heard on a telephone or mobile phone.” - Gabriella, Roaming Poets On Telepoem Thursday (28th May 2020) people will be encouraged to share a poem with someone they know. This can be their own poem or their favourite poem. Poems can be texted too. The group aims to provide an 0800 number that people can call to hear poems read by The Roaming Poets during the week beginning the 25th of May. You can find details on the online poetry workshops and the 0800 number soon at getcreativeuk.com so you can help enrich the lives of isolated family members, friends and strangers through the sharing of poetry. So-Sew Women’s Institute So-Sew WI was set-up in 2014 in the Stoke-on-Trent village of Penkhull to bring together like-minded women in the area to share ideas, inspire other women, to make new friends and learn new skills. The group is part of the charity ‘The National Federation of Women's Institutes’ which was established in 1915 and has been inspiring women all over the Country through local networks ever since. So-Sew WI currently has 50 members, who range from their early twenties’ through to retirement age. Their meetings provide the chance for members to learn new skills and take part in activities they would not normally participate in, as well as acting as a social hub for members. Their #GetCreativeAtHome project will encourage their members to get creative at home with a Rainbow Cross Stitch Craft Pack. The pack will be delivered to each one of their members, so they can make the rainbow in their own time and display at home. The rainbow cross stitch pattern is designed to not only represent the spread of hope amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but also to give their members the chance to learn a new skill during lockdown, and the sense of coming together as So-Sew WI to create something inspiring. “One of our committee members Clare, is currently working as a nurse at the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospitals of North Midlands and we would like the craft activity to also represent our thanks to her and the rest of her team.” - Georgina, So-Sew WI. To join in with So-Sew WI’s campaign of hope and thanks, the embroidery instructions and materials list will be available on the Get Creative website. For more on the #GetCreativeAtHome campaign, see www.getcreativeuk.com and follow @GetCreativeUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.