This year Independent Arts' tree in St Mary's Church, Brighstone was based on our SingAbout Christmas song, Nobody Should Be Alone at Christmas Time. Thanks to everyone who supported the festival.
As part of the Celebrating Age Festival we held a special pop up combined SingAbout at Newport Minster on October 5th. Thanks to all who joined in! Our next SingAbout Together had a festive feel and was on December 7th at the Methodist Church in Newport.
On Friday 23rd September 2016 Independent Arts was invited along to Southern Housing Group's annual awards event to provide arts and crafts workshops for residents and guests attending. The workshops proved to be extremely popular, and our team of four volunteers led by arts practitioner Liz Tate had a fabulous day supporting participants with a whole range of activities including creating lavender bags, tile painting, felting and badge making. The results were beautiful and we were all really pleased to have been part of the fun. Event coordinator Elaine Sheldrake wrote:
“Thank you again to Independent Arts for your involvement at this year’s SID event. All customers I have spoken to really enjoyed themselves; we hope you did too!”
Our thanks as ever to Liz Tate for putting on a grand show and to our lovely volunteers for coming along to support the day.
Happy 5th Birthday to Ryde SingAbout. What a lovely afternoon singing some old favourites and some new songs. Everyone left with a smile and there was even time for a bit of YMCA!! (September 2016)
We have created a short (two and a half minute) film showing some of our creativity in the Isle of Wight community. Watch it here.
On Monday 18th July “we all went down to the woods…” to Cornelia Heights care home in Ryde to find the children of Year 3, Dover Park Primary School, together with residents and staff from the home, enjoying a teddy bear’s picnic with our very own Henry Bear!
For some weeks the children and residents have been working on a series of stories with Independent Arts' community writer Ann Emery telling of Henry’s adventures, swishing above island roof tops in a hot air balloon, getting into bother with a ticket collector on the Isle of Wight steam train, falling through a space portal, trying out some old time dancing, and of course eating a great deal of cake on the way! At the end of the project the children were invited to the home to perform the stories and to enjoy a teddy bear’s picnic in the garden with the residents.
It was a wonderful visit, the sun shone, and Henry of course thoroughly enjoyed being the star of the event!
Many of the children brought along their own much-loved bears and several of the Cornelia Heights staff had bears in tow as well! Independent Arts' workshops coordinator Kerry Tindall-Guignard said, “We are so grateful to the staff at both Dover Park School and Cornelia Heights care home for all the work and effort they put into both the project itself, and to making the morning so special. Independent Arts really believes in the enduring power of the imagination, and the value of creative expression for both young and old. The stories, poems and paintings that have sprung from this project are a wonderful testament to the connections that have been made between two very different worlds.”
Our press release of 20 June 2016 sharing the good news
Independent Arts' popular singing for wellbeing group SingAbout secured second place at the Arts and Health South West Awards held at the Arnolfini in Bristol on 17 June.
The award praised Independent Arts' management of the group, which has allowed it to expand to reach over 300 people, through eight groups a week, held across the Island. SingAbout has been shown to improve mental and physical health though singing. Participants use a variety of music including traditional rounds and rhymes, songs from the shows and musical hall favourites as well as popular music and rock and roll.
SingAbout is a very inclusive project, sessions are free and all are welcome. Singing has been shown to help manage various long term conditions including dementia, cancer, respiratory and coronary illnesses as well as a boost to combat depression and other mental illnesses. SingAbout makes you feel good!
Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager said, “We were surprised and delighted to be recognised at these prestigious awards. SingAbout is changing the lives of many older people on the Isle of Wight, helping improve their health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation through singing. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the staff and volunteers who deliver SingAbout sessions and the funders who support the project."
SingAbout sessions are held weekly at venues across the Island.
Arts & Health South West is an information, support and advocacy organisation for everyone who believes in the value of creativity in enhancing health and wellbeing. The Arts & Health South West Prize celebrates inspirational arts and health projects and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field in the South West of England. For further information: www.ahsw.org.uk
See what AHSW said about Independent Arts' SingAbout project in their 2016 Prize Yearbook.
Thank you to Wightstream Hydrocleaning Services and all who signed up to have their windows cleaned by them on 2nd and 3rd July so that they could donate the proceeds to Independent Arts to fund purchase of an iPad for use during our Creative Futures sessions with isolated care home residents, and other creative sessions.
Hannah from Independent Arts and James from Wightstream Hydrocleaning Services popped into Vectis Radio on May 25th to talk about Window Wash the Wight. Listen again here.
The Museum of Island History at the Guildhall in Newport High Street hosted our art and reminiscence exhibition. More details here.
Freshwater SingAbout turned five in March, with some of the original participants and volunteers still involved as it has gone from strength to strength. Read more in this article on On the Wight. And Newport SingAbout has also turned five this Spring! Congratulations to both groups!
SingAbout: Singing for Breathing started up at the Riverside Centre in January 2016 (every Friday afternoon). Here's Sandy Kealty talking about the project to James and Judy on Vectis Radio (9 December). Click the arrow below to listen:
The Anon Writers, our group of young writers aged 16–25, have launched their first book, titled Anonthology, now on sale. (Sept 2016)
Thank you if you came along to our October SingAbout pop ups, which were:
Tuesday 18th October, 2–4pm, St Mary's Church Hall, BRADING.
Tuesday 4th October, 10.30am–12.30pm, Bembridge Methodist Church, Foreland Road, BEMBRIDGE
Wednesday 5th October, 1–2pm, Newport Minster, St James Square, NEWPORT.
SingAbout Together, in partnership with the Celebrating Age Festival.
Thursday 6th October, 10.30am–12.30pm, Community Hall of Yarmouth and District (CHOYD), St James St, YARMOUTH
7th December, SingAbout Together, Newport Methodist Church.
If you would like SingAbout to Pop Up in your community please get in touch.
SingAbout popped up in several towns and villages during Summer 2016:
Our first roving session was in Yarmouth on Thursday June 16th. That was followed by a Pop Up SingAbout at Brighstone Methodist Church on Wednesday July 6th.
On Monday July 18th SingAbout popped up in Brading at St Mary's Church Hall. That was followed by a pop up on Tuesday 26th July at Bembridge Village Hall.
We popped up in Yarmouth for a second time on Thursday 4th August.
Thanks to all who've attended so far to join in the fun!