Out There Festival: Engaging Migrant Communities Over Lockdown
100 multilingual craft packs, for 100 families...
In June 2020, SeaChange Arts with support from Without Walls created 100 craft packs to be given away to the local community during lockdown 2020. Working with a team of multilingual community connectors, SeaChange Arts approached various migrant communities and families, who are typically low engagers with the arts in Great Yarmouth, to create various bits of decor to be used at the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts.
Based on evaluation from previous festival audience data, we learned that the various diverse communities, particularly those of migrant background, faced two key issues that represented their lack of engagement with the festival.
- The weekends are typical working days for the migrant community
- Lack of awareness and a connection to the festivals content and marketing output.
Before the onset of COVID-19 in the UK and subsequent lockdown, SeaChange Arts planned to host workshops in three relevant areas in the town. The workshops were planned to involve social, cultural and creative participatory activities during the run-up to the festival. Culminating in ‘Community Takeovers’, community-led actions and participation at the Out There Festival 2020 which aimed to increase engagement, attendance and awareness from migrant and international communities who would no longer feel excluded from the town’s ownership of the festival.
Following the announcement of the national lockdown, SeaChange Arts had to adapt the project to fit the new restrictions and engage the community in a meaningful and safe way. By working with local Gorleston based artist Katy Kingston, SeaChange Arts assembled a craft pack of five activities centred on the theme of migration, heritage and future. With translations provided by our multilingual community connectors and their guidance in distributing to key audiences, SeaChange Arts delivered craft packs to 100 families during locked down and numerous more in a follow-up event following the end of the spring/summer lockdown.
To distribute the craft packs, SeaChange Arts worked with local networks, charities, food banks and other community or local authority services who are supporting families in need to ensure the craft packs reached people of every background. An effective approach in engaging with audiences who were not particularly familiar with the festival and the organisation was to host the crafts in popular shopfronts in the community and not share the exact location via social channels.
Over the June and July months, SeaChange Arts received an amazing response to the project with the community returning many designs and decor, each reflecting the community’s unique interests, their memories and experience of their own culture.
“SeaChange Arts worked with local networks, charities, food banks and other community or local authority services who are supporting families in need to ensure the craft packs reached people of every background.”
An evaluation was carried out and included in each craft pack. From the feedback received, 44% of the participating families had not heard of the Out There Festival before, 33% had heard of the festival but not been and 100% of all responses plan to attend the festival in 2021.
Without Walls is incredibly proud to have supported this project to reach local families in Great Yarmouth during the pandemic.
Explore Out There’s community craft packs and images from the project below.