The Finale - We Are Ashfield - Emerge 2019

by Olivia Wheeler (The Mighty Creatives)



The Final Lead Up:
The last month building up to the festival saw a great collaboration of everyone pulling together to make the project successful. We had a wonderful team of people who cared strongly about making a positive impact within the communities of Ashfield and with 33,000 views from our Poem Premier by Georgina Wilding we were absolutely buzzing to get the festival underway.


The Big Day:
On Saturday the 6th April the Idlewell's shopping centre was taken over by all things Shakespeare, from Buskers to face painters we ensured to offer a wide variety of activities and performances to cater to all ages and interests.
The Indoor Market place was transformed into a family friendly experience full of arts and crafts activities along with performances from local musicians and actors. Not forgetting the fabulous hand painted bunting created by local primary school children.

The IKON Centre provided us with the perfect backdrop to create a magical forest ready for a jam packed schedule of performances by our young labs and local youth and community groups.

We had a vast amount of activities provided throughout the shopping centre and streets of Ashfield some of these included virtual reality experiences, Photo Booth, Photography Exhibition and plenty of street performances to keep the shoppers of Idlewell's entertained.

Overall it was a jam packed day of creative activities and we received great support from the Ashfield community.

Reflections:
The wonderful realisation of how this project has helped young individuals gain confidence and develop social skills has been humbling. We had a fantastic response from those who attended the festival, people were pleased to see something happening in their home town and were keen to participate and offer advice for future events in Ashfield.

Fountaindale performed really well at the Festival and their performance opened the stage at the IKON Centre. The group had the opportunity to perform their piece in front of their peers at a school assembly which helped ease their nerves.

The group opened with the warm up that they were used to doing each session and this was led by Alex (one of the actors) who included the audience. This was the perfect chance for them to relax into being in front of an audience in a new space, and for the audience to see their charismatic personalities. Audience feedback was very positive and they felt that the gentle approach to a Shakespeare adaptation was well pitched for the group - allowing each person to contribute to the performance.

The indoor market saw it's biggest footfall in months with brilliant feedback from the market traders and those that took part throughout the day.

It's been an absolute pleasure working on this project. A huge thank you to everyone behind the scenes and to those that came and took part, enjoyed and supported the festival. We had a blast!!!


Here's a little snippet of what went down;