I've had a lovely year working for other companies on their projects which I have enjoyed immensely, but it was time to start something of my own and I am extremely lucky and pleased to have received funding from Arts Council and the Road to 2021 Fund (Heart of England, City of Culture 2021) to undertake a pilot project ready for City of Culture year.
The project fundamentally looks to tackle isolation and loneliness by bringing people together who feel like they are not engaging. As someone who mainly works from home on my own (the cat isn't much of a conversationalist) I understand how easy it is to become isolated.
This pilot stage we are working with Midland Heart housing and will recruit 10 participants who are tenants. For 10 weeks the group will meet and learn how to tap dance as well as sharing stories and generally having a nice time. All of which will be feed into a sharing which will take place at the Belgrade Theatre.
As well as funding we have received sponsorship from Roch Valley who provide dance wear. They are donating tap shoes to the project. I also used to work in their shop, Showstoppers in Blackpool as my Saturday job so I'm delighted at the connection. Asda will also provide refreshments for us so when all that tapping is done we can have a nice cup of tea and a cake.
If all goes well with this stage we hope to create the same experience with 10 different groups in the year 2021 and culminate in a super spangly extravaganza. I usually make work which looks at quite tricky subjects and cant wait to get involved in what will hopefully will be a joyous experience.