Submission from Kirsty Mead, Rhubarb Theatre

Why do you think people in the South Holland and Boston areas don’t get more involved in the arts?

Money / lack of venues / also I think that a large percentage hasn’t been brought up with a flourishing arts scene and therefore it’s not particularly something they think of becoming involved in – it’s a drip feed thing.

What do you think should happen to encourage people to get more involved in the arts locally?

Make it much more part of our culture and link in with areas where people go – schools, supermarkets, pubs, shopping centres, parks, markets, etc.  Bring the art to the people.

Invite a well known personality to kick start a project and generate press interest.

What ideas do you have for exciting, innovative ways to get more people involved in the arts in the area? Please also estimate how much it might cost.

Big pieces of art in fields next to the roads – as you drive into Spalding & Boston there are fields that have lots of flags to keep birds away – we could work with the farmers to create something that does the same job, but arouses interest as a piece of art.

Shopping centres and supermarkets are a good place to generate interest as everyone goes there.  We could masked characters stacking shelves, dancing ladies behind the cheese counter, musicians playing vegetables and when you pay you’re given a counter (like the ones at Waitrose where you can choose which tube to put it in) and the counter is added to a piece of visual art that every customer adds to

Then as there is so much in the way of haulage, what about works of art on the trucks that drive around.  Or maybe we can somehow work with the companies to ‘borrow’ one that goes into lots of venues bringing an arts team (like the old travelling players) – I was also thinking we should attach ice-cream van music to it, so that we could bring everyone out to see what was going on!

Other ideas: modern Mystery Play/Canterbury Tales idea, where different communities produce different parts of the play – they are all filmed and performed consecutively, so you can travel from place to place to see all parts or just watch a single part.  The story links into the community, using their environment, history, skills, etc. and is performed in ‘unusual’ spaces

I keep coming back to the travelling players idea, a different community everyday

Or a community festival that travels from Spalding to Boston, it could be like a treasure hunt, where there are clues to find the next piece of art or performance.

Maybe some sort of Olympic storytelling ‘passing of the creative baton’, where an artist starts a story and then the listeners have to decide how the story continues, which is then taken into a new venue and continued…

Also, found this recently, might be worth considering as it could add additional funds to the project:

Create a local film, maybe a documentary (or mockumentary), Lincolnshire based, where the film not only involves loads of locals, but also promotes arts and exciting things happening in South Holland/Boston.  Electric Egg (Digital film makers based in Lincoln) have made a lovely documentary recently, so we have the skills.

We could run script writing sessions, have different scenes involving different areas of the community, etc.