Ken Kennett Centre art project wins £31,000 in funding

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More than £31,000 has been secured for a new 18 month art project at Stratford’s Ken Kennett Centre, designed to bring residents closer together.

The money, which has come from developer section 106 contributions, will be used to host workshops at the centre, though they may not traditionally be seen as artistic pursuits.

According to interdisciplinary artist Helen Kilby Nelson, the art part is actually about bringing people together and the actual subjects of the workshops will be decided through consulting local residents.

Helen said: “We’re hoping these workshops will give people the chance to get involved with things that they wouldn’t normally. When people are working on things in a room together it’s easier to talk to one another, people don’t feel as pressured, it’s less intimidating than just sitting around a table making conversation.

“We’re really keen to find out what local people want out of these workshops and while we may cover more traditional subjects like painting, we could do different things that people wouldn’t necessarily consider to be arts based. For example we could plant a herb garden or maybe offer technology-based workshops such as video editing, the kind of thing you may otherwise have to take a college course for, so there may be some skills-based workshops.

“We could also host workshops on writing, photography or music.”

Cllr Jason Fojtik, who as part of the Clopton Community Action Group, secured the cash for the project, said: “This whole thing is about people, although it is aimed at the whole community, we really want to get people involved who would not normally be able to gain access to these opportunities.

“Particularly at the moment with the pandemic, we don’t want to see people being left behind. As District Councillor for Clopton Ward I’m really happy that we’ve gained this funding.”

Jason added that some of the money would also go towards arts based projects at Bishopton Primary School and the Bishopton Community Centre.