The Creative Mendip Fund was set up to provide a welcome boost to the struggling creative sector, which was particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. The Fund better supports and invests in the many and varied creative industry organisations and venues across the district and reaches out to local communities and encourages grass roots arts and culture to grow and flourish.
Shepton Mallet Town Council have helped match local groups with funding opportunities and our town councillors consulted on proposals they believed would best benefit the local community. The council has opted to support a collaborative project between two of the towns leading arts-based community groups – Make the Sunshine CiC and the Art Bank.
Make the Sunshine and the Art Bank specialise in bringing communities together. They are highly experienced in delivering high quality arts experiences that really resonate with the local community and attract large audiences, having run a large range of programmes across Shepton Mallet and Mendip.
Louise Lappin-Cook, Director of Make the Sunshine said, “We are delighted to receive support from the Creative Mendip Fund and Shepton Mallet Town Council. The Art Bank and Make the Sunshine will be working in partnership to provide a range of creative opportunities for the whole community: from magical theatre for 0-2year olds, to accredited arts training for young people through Arts Ambassadors, from creative storytelling and poetry workshops through ‘Shepton Stories; to Shepton’s incredible Sheptopoly festival which this year will celebrate the internationalism of our community.”
The range of events seeks to bring Shepton’s wide ranging communities together to create life-affirming, creative opportunities for all ages of the community and build social connections.
Make the Sunshine with the Arts Ambassadors programme which enables young people to gain an Arts Award qualification from Trinity London are developing a two-year programme, giving young people an active voice in arts decision-making in our town. This group programmes Shepton’s annual festival – All the World’s Our Playground – the only festival in the UK programmed by young people. As part of the programme, an intergenerational workshop will also be run at Field House Care Home.
Monday 27th – Friday 31st March.
Shepton Stories will harness local voices recording people’s relationships to books and stories, with community storytellers and shadow puppet makers working in open sessions in local schools and with local community groups. These conversations and ideas will be recorded and used to create a ‘Shepton Stories’ narrative poem to be shared by young people and a professional performer at Once Upon a Dance Festival.
Friday 21st April.
Three performances of magical children’s show toooB are planned to take place, with performances and workshops for 6–24-month-olds which will be free for parents and children as well as opportunities for local nurseries to attend. It aims to introduce stories to the very smallest members of our community and to give them their first taste of theatre.
Saturday 22nd April
On World Earth Day, ‘Sheptopoly’ will see 100s of players turning Shepton into a giant board game focussed on celebrating Shepton’s multicultural community through professional and community performances and puzzles. Each square of the board will transport players to Romania, Poland, Portugal, the Philippines and other cultures that make our amazing town and encourages players to learn something new about other cultures through art, games, language and fun. At the end of the event there will be a street party in the town centre, where low-cost street food that reflects Shepton’s multicultural community will be served.