Anna designed, produced and delivered Spark Festival. This two month multi venue, cross art form festival focused on the cultural heritage of Slough based 18th century astronomical pioneers the Herschel family. This was a partnership project commissioned to Creative Junction by HOME and Slough Borough Council and involving communities through Slough Museum; Slough Libraries and The Curve, outdoor arts company Emergency Exit Arts, visual artist Lorna McNeill and young people’s visual arts collective Xtra Art.
Spark had over 500 people actively participate in community engagement activities and a large scale Light Parade finale with an audience of 1500+. The Light Parade from the Curve along Slough High Street involved the community creation of lanterns, site specific street theatre performances from local people alongside professional pyrotechnic performers and the ‘Star Man’ from Emergency Exit Arts. We also worked with 75+ community artists who created and performed/exhibited spoken word, street theatre, visual arts and music at Spark.
18th century Slough based pioneers the Herschel family developed the modern mathematical approach to astronomy and made discoveries including the planet Uranus, infra-red light and several comets, stars and nebulae.
(Spark was) “an engaging series of events reaching families and young people in the town. The overall response I witnessed to activities and the parade was very positive, I had several conversations with audiences and participants who were hugely appreciative and thankful for the activities.
The events were very well-judged and, in the engagement activities, there was a friendly atmosphere and I witnessed moments of satisfied achievement by different local Slough groups who led the workshops. The Finale Parade was a fantastic example of how the workshops and events during the day had engaged families as many turned up to participate with enthusiasm.
The team should feel really proud of their achievements, people had a wonderful day, and there was a great community spirit celebrated and nurtured by the Festival. This is very exciting for HOME Slough’s future events”. Critical Friend, Creative People and Places Slough
“Huge well done for Spark. You and the team put in a great deal of effort over the last few weeks and especially over the two finale days. The spoken word event, the fantastic Age UK choir and the outdoor event was great and I heard many appreciative voices throughout.” Curve Development Manager, Slough Borough Council
Spark Festival was part of the HOME Slough project, funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme and Slough Borough Council.
‘Everyone in #HOMESlough blown away by #sparkfestival’
Anna also created spoken word/performance poetry (see ‘Caroline‘) and connected chorus lyrics working with an intergenerational community choir
I’ve minded the heavens, but now I must,
Return to the universe, once more to star dust.
A century of this life for me is enough.
The cosmos is within us. We’re made of such stuff.