Past projects by our Arts Development team.
Loughton Youth Theatre (LYT) was performing arts group for young people aged 9 to 16 years in Loughton. It was run by a 3-way partnership between Epping Forest District Council, Ignite (St Mary’s Church Community Group) and Community Arts at Roding Valley High School. The popularity of LYT grew that other smaller groups came to be. A backstage crew started to meet weekly to design and make the set, props and costumes for each performance. Musical Theatre played a big part of LYT too, with productions of Annie Junior and Seussical the Musical taking to the stage.LYT has developed a lot over the last few years and is now run as Epping Forest Community Theatre.
This project ran over 2 years and involved a wide range of groups and individuals across the district in a number of different art activities. The project was inspired by the ethos of post war make do and mend. Participants joined in with fashion workshops; changing old into new, Big Draw events, jive, lindy hop and swing dance classes and music workshops.All aspects of the project came together on display as an exhibition at Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey.Groups involved: Way 2000, Jessops Court, Limes Farm Youth Club, Loughton Youth Club, Oral History Participants, and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
The Meeting Point was made up of 2 different parts - an intergenerational project and to raise awareness of a conservation area in Chipping Ongar. Pupils from Chipping Ongar Primary School and residents of Finch Court, Ongar came together in a number of workshops to create a dance piece and film. Ideas for the dance came from poems the year 5 class had written about Cripsey Brook, Jubilee Nature Reserve. The project ended in a family fun day, run by our Countrycare team with a performance from the school and a screening of the film.Groups Involved: Chipping Ongar Primary School, Finch Court – Ongar, Ongar Town Council, and Countrycare.
Between 2011 and 2012 our Dance Development Artists, Vanessa Gayton and Vicky Quirke and musicians from Drake Music worked with over 700 people across the district, of all ages and abilities, to create an en-masse dance performance with a unique soundtrack.Participants included primary and secondary school classes, residential homes for older people and those with learning and physical disabilities and afterschool dance clubs.The final dance was performed at Waltham Abbey Town Show on 24 June 2012, as part of the London 2012 celebrations, Sparks Will Fly.Groups involved: Missy Movers (now All Saints) - Chipping Ongar Primary School, Healthworks Street Dance, PopDance UK, West Hatch High School, Shelley Primary School, Woodredon House, Nazeing Primary School, Finch Court, Epping Forest College, Flash Dancers and Mini Flash Dancers - Ivy Chimneys Primary School, Hereward Primary School, Upshire Primary School, Hyde Mead House, Pelly Court Evergreen Group.
Works Like a Charm was inspired by the artefacts from touring exhibition ‘China in the East’ at Epping Forest District Museum. The collection included many objects used for luck which became the basis for the art work of Works Like a Charm.The project was based at the Limes Farm estate, Chigwell to involve as many people (groups and individuals) from the area to have their input into the new community centre being built. Good luck sayings, actions and objects were transformed in to art pieces and installed in various parts of the hall. Look out for tiles, footpaths, boxes in the walls and words on the windows.Groups involved: The Eclub Youth Club, Limes Farm Infant School, Limes Farm Junior School, The Open Group – Craft group, Residents at Wickfields Home, Limes Farm Synagogue, The ESOL Group, Residents at Sherrell House, Limes Farm Youth Group, Tru Stars Parents & Toddlers Group, and Residents of Limes Farm estate.
As part of the Make a Move legacy, Map the Move was created as a digital community dance project. Groups learnt different routines (seated, basic or advanced) and filmed their performance. All the short films performances were edited together by videographer Erato Tzavara. The film takes you around the district to watch a small clip of each group perform their piece, including one from council staff!Groups involved: Finch Court, Shelley Dance Stars, Epping Forest College – Skills for Life group and Dance students, VAEF Befriending groups – North Weald and Buckhurst Hill, Flashdancers, EFDC staff, Woodredon House.
Transitions Epping Forest (Transitions EF) was a continuation of ‘Transitions’ a year-long development programme which happened from July 2007 to July 2008. The project paired artists and schools together to explore their own creativity, develop creative projects for their schools and explore new ideas.Transitions EF worked in the same but artists were paired with staff from Care Homes; activity coordinators and care assistants to develop creative ideas and activities for residents (focusing on those living with dementia) to take part in.Each activity was referred to as a ‘recipe,’ as the activity could be adapted to fit the needs of those participating and was made into a recipe book.Groups involved: Ashlar House – Epping, Marcris House – Theydon Bois, Paternoster House – Waltham Abbey, VAEF Befriending Group – Buckhurst Court, and Buckhurst Hill.
Transitions Essex followed the same set up as Transitions Epping Forest; pairing artists with care home staff to develop a range of activities for older people, focusing on those living with dementia. We worked more closely with Essex County Council on Transitions Essex, seeking advice on which care homes to work with. Homes within the Basildon area were selected and ‘journeys’ (each different activity) were made.Groups involved: Anisha Grange - Laindon, Beech House – Basildon, Evelyn May House – Langdon Hills, and Woodbury Court – Laindon.