Connecting Communities: a bold new project begins

Connecting Communities: a new project by Extraordinary Bodies

Lockdowns are tough on communities that rely on face to face arts services. Connecting Communities from Extraordinary Bodies is filling gaps shown by Covid-19. It links groups from across the country in shared, digital creative experiences, performance as well as leadership.

Why Connecting Communities matters

Funky Llama and Our Space in Plymouth, Skylight in Rochdale and also Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists in Poole have been on an great creative adventure with us. The groups are a mix of elders, adults and young people. All have huge talents, but Covid has shut them out from in-person work. However, Connecting Communities lifts this isolation and builds a network of new stories, people and ideas.

National Lottery’s Emergency Fund supports Connecting Communities, because that’s what we think this is: an emergency. Progress in social justice is painfully slow and hard-won steps are in danger of slipping away. We must take this moment to shape the world the way it should be. Cultural recovery must include everyone and communities that might be left behind are key.

Connecting Communities: it’s about placemaking

Connecting Communities is about placemaking. It is about creating long term relationships with groups and individuals in locations where we will be touring in the future to develop deep, positive impact. The participants from all three groups are taking part in building our new show in the making, Human (working title). The show will start touring this Autumn, stopping at each one of our strategic partner venues. These include Theatre Royal Plymouth, home of Funky Llama and Our Space, and The Lighthouse Poole, where Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists are based.

Part of change is making sure that people make change for their own communities. Long-lasting change needs equal representation in all power structures, decision making and creative expression. Connecting Communities coaches people not usually seen in charge, into decision making roles as Unexpected Leaders. This leaves new, confident advocates for communities, in positions with long term influence on policy as well as programming.

Finally, thank you to the National Lottery and to all ticket buyers. You are all part of a movement to make the world more fair as it gets back on its feet.

The Connecting Communities team all waving on Zoom.
The Connecting Communities team waving on Zoom.

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Like this? You might be interested in our two latest opportunities: we are looking for a Jerwood Creative Fellow as well as for an Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists Technical Manager.

Extraordinary Bodies is the collaboration between Diverse City and Cirque Bijou.