Blog #13 - "What's New, Pussycat?"

Gill Simmons, 8th November 2018

The biggest new thing to happen  since we last wrote is that we our community arts centre Creative Workspace is now open weekly!  Tuesday to Friday, 9am-3pm a community cafe  called Cafe Joy has opened up within Creative Workspace. They do all sorts of tasty breakfasts, lunches and delicious home-made cakes, and have a great range of child-friendly options. If you haven't given them a go, we recommend you do!  We've added colouring in, toys, children's books, an adult book exchange,  a rolling exhibition of artwork by local young people on the walls and also there's new flooring in the cafe area  thanks to a grant from the John James Foundation.  As one mother said today "This is a great place! Really relaxed. Great for children! We'll be back."

We've taken full advantage of the fact that now we can make a weekly offer  to the local community by starting Crafternoons for the Under 5s on Wednesday afternoons. We've been running these   since October, and will hand the sessions over in January to the creative awesomeness that is Laura  of Colourful Minds. Even more newness will come next year, as we've recently  been awarded Bristol Ageing Better funding to run four months of weekly creative sessions for people aged 55+, also based within Cafe  Joy.

We  made a new family storytelling & improv show called Sticky Ends: the spooky edition which enjoyed a brief but successful tour to Junction 3 Library in Easton,  we popped down to Plymouth to play a sell-out show there as part of Above & Beyond, a children's theatre festival before finishing up with two shows on Halloween itself at Creative Workspace.

We had a fantastic Halloween  half term programme at Creative Workspace. People made stained glass window displays with Colourful Minds, had fun with Dandelion Music, learned ukulele with the Uke Lift Project, made an animation  with Chris Harrisson (illustrator), Dan Templeton (animator) and Jack Drewry (composer) and  learned about the Mexican festival of  El Día de los Muertos with Viva Los Muertos.

Between now and close of play on  21st December, we'll be working away at research for our exciting new show, Wonderland which we'll be making in the new year (kindly supported by Bristol Ageing Better, Quartet Community Foundation and Bid Clifton) and making sure everything's in place for a great New Year Family Arts Programme which is out now! Featuring Colourful Minds crafting, origami, Japanese drumming by Bristol Japan Cultural Showcase and Taiko Journey, circus skills by Can't Sit Still, and a performance of our award-winning family show Alf the Highwayman, you can see full details and buy cheaper advance tickets  via the Creative Workspace website here.

Finally, if you're reading this before 20th November 2018, please consider popping over to the Aviva Community Fund and cast some votes for us so we can hopefully create  a new pop-up community-led cinema at Creative Workspace in the new year. The whole process takes about 5 minutes and just requires an email. If you can, please also share the link with friends and family who might also be interested in supporting us. Thank you!