The Old Fire Station, Gipton
Tuesday 7 September, 6 – 8pm
What better way to summarise our summer party than in a soundscape created by Sophie Okonkwo, perfectly capturing the evening in under four minutes:
We also thought rather than sum up a party we organised and were busy making sure ran as smoothly as possible, we’d ask some of the attendees to write a few words. And we think the following four paragraphs give a lovely overview of a jam-packed couple of hours, on a hot summer evening, getting together after a year and a half apart, alongside some fantastic pictures from Tom Arber.
Thanks so much to everyone who came along, got involved, performed and helped out at the event.
Alice & Tiph
It was wonderful to see and connect with people from Arts Together as glorious sunshine flooded in to Gipton Fire Station. The smell of fruit from Sangria, the sound of gentle conversation and a tree with paper leaves bearing poems gently rustling in the breeze all felt so much more valued for their sensory qualities after the last eighteen months of digital overwhelm. Having those little side chats of ‘How have you been?’ felt so vital away from the formality of the zoom screen and I was able to have some really in depth conversations that have sparked all sorts of ideas for future collaboration. As a freelancer the free food and wine was very much appreciated from The Real Junk Food project. The event felt full of care at a time when slowness, warmth and hospitality feel more needed than ever. Having a place to bridge possible divides between larger organisations, freelancers and participants is important to keep things feeling open and welcoming; to bear witness to our grief or struggles and to celebrate our achievements. I’m already looking forward to the next meeting.
Ellie Harrison, The Grief Series
Me and a new member of the Cloth Cat staff attended the Arts Together party at The Old Fire Station in Gipton last week and it was such a delight to be there and catch up with people after so long. It was a lovely spacious venue but full of character. As well as enjoying the party we were able to do some networking in a relaxed and friendly environment, and it looks like we’ve got some great opportunities ahead of us now in the near future. We also managed to write a haiku! Thank you!
Shelly Johnson, Cloth Cat
Attending the Arts together party at the Old Fire Station Gipton was the highlight of my year so far. It was great to meet new people and catch up with old friends. The atmosphere was uplifting and inspiring helped by the Music from Opera North and the youth Jazz band. A Haiku workshop and tree grew in the garden where people were encouraged to write a haiku and hang it on a branch by local poet, Joe Williams. The food was exceptional made from items saved from landfill by The Real Junk Food Project a local caterer. The drink flowed copiously and although I only partook of the non alcoholic variety, it contributed to the overall friendly vibe. A good night was had by all.
Kath Rowland, Standfast Productions
After so long spent interacting as 2D, pixelated boxes, it was such a treat to reconnect to the Arts Together network in person. The evening was full of fun; from Mafwa Theatre-led games, to incredible performances from Opera North and the ChapelFM Jazz Collective, to a Haiku writing workshop, the wealth and breadth of arts activities and opportunities in Leeds was on full display. Meeting and re-meeting colleagues from arts and community organisations across the city has left me full of excitement and positivity for all the things we can create together over the months ahead.
Ione Barton, Youth and Community Dance Manager, Yorkshire Dance
All photos by Tom Arber.