ARTiculate artists and the Lovely Foundation were engaged to enhance Bodmin’s Christmas Lights event in November 2014, creating a festive event that would captivate and engage the entire community and fill the Folly Square for their big Switch-on moment.
Artists and singing leaders devised a programme of lantern making events, stained glass workshops and singing sessions that took place in local primary schools and Bodmin College, as well as a drop-in day for the local community, after consultation with the council, schools and community groups involved.
Classes in each primary school - Robartes, Berrycoombe, St Mary’s, The Beacon Infants and St Petroc's - made small coloured pyramid lanterns for the parade, and were also invited to take part in a number of singing assemblies. Classes from the infant schools also made more than 100 festive ‘stained glass’ scenes, which adorned the upper windows of the Shire Hall during the event. Lyrics were handed out to the public, enabling a massed choir to sing three carols together at the end of the night.
Other groups that took part included Kickback Street Dance Group, Bodmin College Art students, members of Bodmin Town Band, Bodmin College Jazz Band, and members of Youth Music & Cymaz groups Exchanging Notes programme, which is about providing opportunities for young people in challenging circumstances.
Artists included Caroline Cleave, Reg Payn, Karen Bessel, Clare Summerson, Emma Mansfield and Terry Mansfield, along with music leaders Giles Wooley, Kyle McGill and Ben Vincent.
The event and workshops were funded by Bodmin Town Council, FEAST and Cornwall Community Foundation, with sponsorship from Proper Cornish, Barnecutts and the Property Shop; support in kind came from Bodmin College via marketing, stewarding, musical direction and lighting & PA equipment.
The event was a success. Bodmin’s Mayor said: “The biggest turn out we’ve ever had.”
Other quotes from the workshops and event included:
“Lots of messy fun and enjoyed working with willow. Great craft level for parents to do with children, thanks a lot!”
“Fantastic session, very well organized and enjoyable, it’s lovely to see community events and so many people contributing to the success of the event, thank you”
“Thank you so much, the boys really loved it, you are all fantastic! Looking forward to next week” Sarah, Monty and Beau
“Thank you for a fab start to the festive season!”