Three annual outdoor community events have taken root in Roehampton: activities and performance as part of Wandsworth Arts Festival in May, a summer festival funday, and a Christmas lantern parade with carols.
High Street businesses will be supported to creatively connect with these events and the wider community. For example, an artist will work with local school children to create little ‘teaser’ installations to be placed intriguingly in shop windows in the run-up to the event, building anticipation, and using curiosity factor to make event ‘ambassadors’ out of the businesses.
This and other ‘Spills’ will create a vibrant, characterful sense of place that will attract more visitors and encourage them to linger. Led by a local outdoor art stakeholder group, they will also activate greater social cohesion. The group will work in collaboration with arts organisation Emergency Exit Arts, who set it up as part of on-going creative engagement in the area over the past three years.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The project uses creative expertise to take people beyond what they can already imagine. It will introduce simple new possibilities and relationships that can be self-led in the future.
This is a critical moment of change in Roehampton, and opportunity to knit place and people together in a new momentum of positive feeling. Major physical redevelopment is imminent, the area scores high in deprivation indices and a need to also renew social fabric is recognised. Creative engagement, integrated through partnerships across business and community, is an effective tool.
The project builds on excellent groundwork of engagement to date and invests in local stewardship over long term change. The stakeholder group consists of committed local residents and representatives who will grow in capacity and skill through delivery of ‘Spills’ across the three outdoor events. The distinct character of Roehampton will come more confidently into focus alongside its physical improvements.
Steps to get it done:
Overall the area masterplan proposes: 750-800 new homes; 5,000sqm of retail space; 400sqm of workspace; 5,500sqm community uses; a new focus at the town centre green, with café linked to an extended library/ community offer; and a new public square. New job and training opportunities will underpin social renewal.
• This project accommodates and opens up new growth opportunities within this landscape, such as night time economies eg. around the Christmas Lantern Parade.
At previous events local businesses have said they would like to be ‘part of it rather than cheering from the side lines as we lock up’.
• This project builds trust and inspires better more engaged management through demonstration of what can be achieved.
One of the ‘Spills’ will use a creative ‘tweeter-in-residence’ to proactively link across collaborations, visitors and residents.
• Strengthening the function of existing events hosted on the town centre green to inspire positive and lasting ground-up social change.
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