Empowering people to improve their green spaces, enhance their environment, and boost wellbeing.
We want to run a four month program of regular, small events featuring public-space arts. We'll invite locals to get involved and support them to design and run their own similar events. We'll make the streets a place of collaborative artistic expression featuring interactive street entertainments that we've developed over the years, and invent new ones with locals. We hope to bring the streets to life with arts and creativity, breaking down social divides and isolation as we do so. Our network helps people organise their own events by giving them guidance and support, and through our online platform. Supporting citizens to participate in creative street gatherings reaches the widest range of people. Our vision is that cities across the country, starting with London, eventually have a steady stream of events occurring, run by self-sustaining volunteer networks, such that people are regularly welcomed to inclusive street gatherings, and know where to go if they want to find one.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It’s high summer on Friday evening in the great, big village of London. You want some fun but you want something different. Well I suggest you head for the streets and speak to the strangers there. We’ve been doing this for years. It brings laughter, surprise and a sense that anyone could be a new friend. There’s something special about the streets. Almost everyone from every background and mindset walks the streets at some point. Wonderful things happen when they become a meeting place for all these people who would otherwise never meet. 100s of passers-by have embraced the project over the years, so now we hold events regularly and build a network of people to help run them. What if little street happenings were so common, you could always count on there being a street somewhere with friendly strangers to welcome you? We're creating a self-sustaining network designed to give people the skills and confidence as well as the contacts to collaboratively host events in future.
Steps to get it done:
What sort of scenes do we run? We simply set up a small activity on an unused patch of pavement and chat to friends and passing strangers. “Hi there, would you like to play a drawing game/sign our guest book/smell this plant?”… A Street Scene can really take on any shape but we have some of our own tried and tested favourite activities. From patch-work, to letter writing, they keep us entertained, but they’re also interactive and easy to share with all those passing by. Some are classic past-times or crafts. Patchwork, with bobbles and other extras for sewing on to garments is a big one. Drawing challenges are a favourite. Other activities are more unusual, such as “hair-comb-therapy” where we just offer to gently comb people's hair, or The Smellery where we simply share glorious smells like flowers, and Blind Mate where we invite strangers to meet whilst blind-folded. Street Scenes sees public space as a unique medium for bringing people together in wonderful ways.
About the space
Hackney, Bethnal Green, Leyton, East London and other parts of the city as our network grows.
London Borough of Hackney