We Are People-Powered

Recently we’ve been looking back on the projects we have done in the past, and who we have collaborated with. This is why we are dedicating a #YouSaidWeDid campaign this month to the people who have approached us with a seed of an idea that blossomed into the events and projects we have seen since Made In Corby started.

Before projects kicked off in 2014 we held lots of Community Conversations around the town with many different groups to find out what sort of things local people were interested in getting involved in. All three of our big projects from 2014-2017 were born from this process, with community groups taking the lead on the direction they wanted their projects to go. Over a thousand people attended the ‘Big Summer Night Out’ at Corby Town Football Ground in 2014 when a local choir – Deep Roots Tall Trees – sang their own original songs inspired by Corby’s rich history, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Our brand new musical, ‘Danny Hero’  (also inspired by Corby) was produced to be performed at the Core at Corby Cube in 2016, incorporating a local cast and production team working with West End mentors. The show played to great acclaim and has since been performed by other companies in other towns across the country!

“At the start of Made In Corby, I never imagined we would get to do this!”

Janis Young, Corby Amateur Theatrical Society about Danny Hero

Other projects highlighted in the #YouSaidWeDid campaign come from an open call-out to local groups in 2015. Several groups responded with ambitious ideas to enhance their area or get their community involved in the arts, which led to the creation of the KHL Field Day Festival, Corby Mardi Gras and the sculpture trails in both Oakley Vale and Priors Hall that reflect the abundant local wildlife. Both Mardi Gras and KHL Field Day Festival have become regular events in the cultural calendar, and the sculptures are a source of pride to both of these new communities.

The learning disabled community also invited us to work with them at Oakley Grange and produced ‘Corby In Pictures’ an incredible visual arts project with digital artist Jason Wilsher-Mills. An amazing relationship was formed between the artist and the group themselves which has gone on to outlive the project in the form of ‘Corby Totems’.

” We approached Made In Corby about the possibility of setting up a community festival and were offered support and guidance in creating the Field Day Festival, which is now in it’s 4th year!”

George Hill, KHL Big Local

More recently, Corby’s business community has come to us with ideas to promote the unique identity of the town and a wonderful project called ‘Living Legends: Hidden Histories’ was developed in collaboration with Love Corby, with member businesses sponsoring the resulting book and exhibition at Rooftop Arts Centre.

Through our ongoing conversations with local residents at all of our events and feedback gathered through surveys, we’ve found some common themes in what people want to see in Corby. These ideas gathered from local people led to the creation of ‘Grow Festival’ – a large-scale community event to bring everyone together to enjoy the arts in the heart of the town. Guided by a community panel made up of local residents representing a wide range of people, we delivered the first ‘Grow Festival’ in July 2018 along with the Core at Corby Cube, which was hugely successful and brought over 15,000 people to the town centre and the boating lake.

“I remember the feeling when we were talking about the first Grow, we had to impress Corby and leave them wanting more.”

Ann-Marie Leonard, Grow Community Panel member

We continue to talk with Corby’s communities in our community panels and gatherings, as well as holding a monthly ‘Open Access’ session in Corby Library, where anyone can approach us to give us ideas or to just see what we’re up to now.

The best part is, this is down to you. Made In Corby is funded by the Arts Council, through the National Lottery, so what we do is provided by you, with you, for you. We love a hashtag so, #ThanksToYou.

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