Communities will come together for jubilee arts celebrations with Dorset Community Foundation grants

£112,000 funding for groups to mark Queen's 70th year

Communities will come together for jubilee arts celebrations with Dorset Community Foundation grants

MORE than £112,000 has been awarded to 16 arts projects and events across Dorset celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.

Music, dance, artwork, theatre and poetry will bring communities together all through the month to make lasting memories and provide a creative legacy to mark the 70th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

Dorset Community Foundation has used Arts Council England funding, bolstered by a donation from manufacturing company Superior Seals, to fund the projects. The foundation is one of the network of UK community foundations supporting the Lets Create Jubilee Fund, a £5 million programme to develop creative and cultural activities as part of the celebrations.

Among the successful recipients is The Power House in Poole, which will use a £10,000 grant for a series of events in the run-up to and during the jubilee celebrations involving hundreds of school pupils and the wider community. It will work with Hamworthy Park Junior School and Twin Sails School pupils to create seven mosaics portraying decades in the Queen’s life to be displayed at the schools.

Pupils from Longfleet School will work with ceramic artists from The Clayshack in Poole to create jubilee globes and artist Amanda Waite will collaborate with 20 art GCSE students from Hamworthy and Poole secondary schools to create a mosaic-style portrait of the Queen.

The group will work with arts charity CoCreate on a jubilee street party for schools on May 25, which will feature drama and song as well as a Be A Queen throne for selfies, which will then be displayed at the Poole Lighthouse.

The Power House will also be taking part in Poole’s jubilee celebrations with a pop-up gazebo in the High Street featuring music, art and drama.

Project manager Alix Digby-West said: “This is a real opportunity to bring everyone together for a once-in-a-lifetime event and create some fantastic artwork.”

BPC Indian Association and Music Lovers Bollywood will use £5,000 funding towards a day of dance, food and music for members of the county’s South Asian population – and the wider community.

Ramesh Lal, chairman of Music Lovers Bollywood, said the event will be the first chance since the pandemic to bring the community together. “We consider it a good omen and an honour to be able to participate in the jubilee celebrations,” he said. “The toast will be to the Queen but with the added colour and splendour of Bollywood.”

The event, at the Bournemouth Hilton on June 25, will feature workshops, poetry and traditional and Bollywood-style dancing.

Townsend Community Association in Bournemouth will use a £3,400 grant to organise dance workshops for children aged seven to 11 with Dance For All in June, to culminate in a dance performance to mark the jubilee.

Staff member Ambarene Ibrar said the project could lead to regular dance lessons and performances for the young people from low income families on the estate. “We are also teaming up with Arts By The Sea who helped us partner up with Dance For All and they are also interested in working with our community in the future so this is a perfect event to get started and could really benefit the community in the long term,” she said.

Borough Harmony Centre, which provides support for adults with mental health difficulties, has been awarded £2,980 to work with Bridport Arts Centre and run a series of writing and story-telling workshops with artists to allow members to tell their stories through drama, poetry and artwork.

The project will culminate in a performance on a specially constructed sensory stage at the arts centre as part of its jubilee celebrations. Trustee Ali Cliffe said: “We want to give members and staff an opportunity to celebrate this event by highlighting people struggling with their mental health, their creativity, their perspective on life and raising their profile in the community.”

This is a real opportunity to bring everyone together for a once-in-a-lifetime event and create some fantastic artwork

Stalbridge History Society has been given £5,000 to bring the whole town together for a celebration that will include a community jubilee lunch on June 12. It will be preceded by a procession featuring town groups to the church for a celebration service and then on the playing fields for a lunch.

The day before the high street will host a street festival with music, family entertainment and food.

In the run-up community workshops will make decorations and floral displays to add colour to the high street.

“The whole event is aimed at the widest possible group of Stalbridge residents, to be fully inclusive. Involving all generations – older people, families, pre-school and primary, as well as teenagers and young people,” said history society committee member Judith Ralph.

Island Community Action on Portland has been awarded £9,750 to run, with arts group b-side, a community project involving residents decorating hundreds of ceramic cups, plates, jugs and bowls with photographs that mean something to them – lost loved ones, the homes they grew up in or the landscape of the island.

The pictures will be digitally transferred to the ceramics, which will then form part of displays around the community over the course of the jubilee.

ICA chief executive Kim Wilcocks said: “Souvenirs of Place and Love will not only provide a stepping-stone for enabling islanders to get to know more about each other through participatory and visual workshops and exhibitions, it will also add to the incredible sense of community pride that has been powerfully put into practice during the pandemic.”

Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “We have been blown away by the variety and creativity of the projects that have come forward. Not only will they showcase the fantastic depth of artistic talent in Dorset but they will bring together communities for celebrations that will make memories that last.

“We are very proud to have brought this money into Dorset from Arts Council England, which has used its National Lottery funding for this programme. It is very gratifying that we are seen as the most effective way of bringing this money into the community because of our close relationship with the grass roots groups here.

“And of course we are incredibly thankful to Superior Seals for its wonderful support in enabling us to find as many projects as possible.”

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