Community arts group stays connected

High Peak Community Arts, a charity based in New Mills, brings people together to create art collectively,  so lockdown has presented a challenge – one the charity met head on, with projects aimed at keeping people feeling connected.

Within two weeks of the lockdown HPCA were testing ideas to continue collaborating on artwork remotely in both their youth and adult programmes.

Project eARTh, an arts and health programme for adults experiencing mental distress, found that many of its participants, did not have access to the internet or use computers, so instead of using internet platforms, projects have been posted or hand delivered.

One of the first projects was Postcards – an interactive way for people to have fun, be creative and think of each other.  Everyone taking part was sent blank postcards to decorate in any way they chose and return to be posted out to the others.

The posted packs included written instructions, photos and materials, and artist Deb Rogers also made some ‘how to’ films available at www.highpeakarts.org/pompoms.

An  embroidery project, initiated by artist Amanda Whewell, is creating a quilt to give to the Glossop-based charity Reuben’s Retreat.  Participants have been sent a kit with which they can design and embroider calico pieces of the quilt on the theme of The Ugly Bug Ball.

Amanda said “We have had over 70 pieces so far. The bugs are still flying in, this project has been amazing!  I love opening the package to see what’s going to crawl out.”

Film Cuts Club, for young people with additional needs is currently producing a lockdown magazine film – The Here, There and Everywhere Show – which will be released online in July.  They are also working on pre-production for a spoof police drama idea they had created before lockdown, hoping to film it in September.

The youth programme has also re-launched the Tall Tales performing arts project with young people from Fairfield in Buxton and Gamesley in Glossop working together online.

To find out more about the various projects you can email sophie@highpeakarts.org or alison@highpeakarts.org, or find High Peak Community Arts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.