In January 2018, we announced that we had received funding from Dundee Social Enterprise Network's Dundee Futures Fund to take our dance and spoken word workshops to the next level in Dundee. That feasibility grant has funded three new projects.
Yesterday saw our final session with the Our Flow! Stroke Survivors group. We partnered up with Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust and Dundee Stroke Exercise Group to offer ten weekly sessions of dance and spoken word for those who had suffered a stroke. Participants were introduced to The Artifact's techniques in dance and spoken word, and created three new pieces of speech and movement inspired by their experiences of stroke. An invited audience was treated to a sharing of these new works at the final session. We've very proud to see how far all of the participants have come, and particularly enthused to hear how they have developed cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally as a direct result of the project.
We're also currently working with INFORM Theatre in a similar manner. INFORM Theatre are a group of young adults with learning disabilities who rehearse at Dundee Rep. Their group is managed by the fantastic team over at Tayberry Enterprise. We've had two sessions with the group so far, who will be using dance and spoken word to create a piece about disability hate crime. We hope that, through the workshops, participants can define what disability hate crime means to them, and eventually create a collaborative educational film that promotes awareness of it.
The final element that was funded by Dundee Social Enterprise Network, was our public dance and spoken word workshops. This is the first time we have opened these workshops up to the public, since we started delivering them back in July 2016. The final session took place in Scottish Dance Theatre's studio at Dundee Rep on Saturday 7th April. We had participants from a variety of different backgrounds - dancers, poets, drama workers and those just looking to try something a bit different! Each participant was given a whistle stop tour of how we use words to choreograph movement, and all were given opportunities to create their own mini pieces.
We've had a ball leading on each of these projects, and although we're still at the beginning of our journey with INFORM Theatre, we really wanted to share how this was going with all of our supporters. On that note, we'll finish this blog post with something that one of the public workshop participants wrote on their feedback form. This message was in answer to the question "How would you describe what you have just learnt?"
"You can be yourself and be accepted by others."