As I write this, Helen Simpson and Steve Arlene are broadcasting on Future Radio about tomorrow's Magdalen Street and St.Augustine's Street Celebration.
Celebration has always been a key ingredient to transition work. So has collaboration. Both are very much in evidence in the 2012 event, as so many people and organisations from contrasting backgrounds come together to celebrate the wonderful streets we know on the North of the City, so much an area which has been neglected over decades.
In the build up to this year's event I find it remarkable that so many people from all corners of the NR3 area have come together - there are no warring factions, the artists are not competing with the historians or the political parties, the businesses are contributing a lot more than their shop premises on the day, the supporting organisations are all in it together promoting away. All this in what is described in official language as a 'deprived area'. And yet the talent coming out of this area is oozing out everywhere. It appears to me that there is something about not seeing talent and skill in deprived areas - that they sometimes, through labeling, get ignored, assumptions being made, and become regarded as too challenging to work amongst.
The Magdalen Street celebration event over the years - and all the collaborative work that goes into it over a period of 5 or 6 months - is evidence to me that skill and talent exists everywhere, and it is a matter of opening a few doors, inviting people to come forward, and...yes...collaborate. And this is all volunteer work. No money, no resources, except people and their willingness. It's about appreciating what is already there, appreciating what people are already doing. What is this but a celebration of community resilience?
Off now to do my stint in the preparations for tomorrow..... that might involve practicing with that stick of chalk I mentioned in the last blog....hmmmm.
For an update in all the latest acts in the celebration, see : here
Or visit us at Facebook: Updates are being made by the hour as more and more people come forward!