Join us at Umbrella Fair Organisation to celebrate the past 50 years of Northampton!
You are invited to share your personal stories of our town and to experience new performances by local artists about Northampton as part of Heritage Open Days.
Sunday 16th September:
1 – 1.30 Browse our unique collection of Northampton books, photographs and rare documents about Northampton’s New Town designation.
1.30 – 1.45 Cellist Milena will play her own compositions based on Northamptonshire folk tunes
1.45 – 2.00 ‘60 Miles by Road or Rail’ Creative Director Andy Routledge will give an overview of the project and the production that will be arriving at Royal & Derngate on Friday 28th September: https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whats-on/generate-60-miles-road-rail/
2.00 – 2.15 Councillor Dennis Meredith, one of the first people to move up from London into the Eastern District, will share his experiences of arriving in the town
2.15 – 4 ‘The 60 Miles by Road or Rail’ team will lead a workshop in which you will be invited to share your experiences of Northampton in groups over free tea, coffee and biscuits.
’60 Miles by Road or Rail’ is an arts, community & heritage project centred around the 50th anniversary of Northampton’s ‘New Town’ designation in 1968. You can find out more about the project, and share your own story of Northampton, on their website: www.60milesbyroadorrail.co.uk
60 Miles by Road or Rail is supported using public funding from Arts Council England. Their partners are Umbrella Fair Organisation, Royal & Derngate, Warts and All Theatre and Northampton Past.
Umbrella Fair Organisation, Racecourse Pavilion, Kettering Road, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 4LG
Creative Director Andy Routledge will be talking about the project on Saturday 15th September at Milton Keynes as part of Situating the Groundwork Panel Seven.
Tracing the Pathway host Situating the Groundwork: Initiatives, Infrastructures and Interventions; a 3-day symposium presenting multiple perspectives from artists, cultural organisers, policy makers, urban geographers, town planners to reflect on the value, role, impact and future of socially-engaged, site-responsive arts practice in urban development. Situating the Groundwork will offer 25 provocations on how policy, labour, resources, arts practice and research are integral to cities developing fertile artistic and cultural infrastructures. The range of speakers will give particular consideration to the examination of:
- Cultural Infrastructures: asking what are the necessary components for developing a city with a strong artistic identity.
- Artistic Networks: looking at methods for establishing, supporting and developing the growth of creative communities within urban areas.
- Grassroots/artist-led/artist-centred: what types of approaches can different stakeholders adopt when working with residents and community groups.
- The Impact of Participation: assessing cultural demographics, market analysis and evaluating the impact of arts on urban societies and alternative strategies for creating programmes and facilities that attend to these people’s needs and interests.
- Cultural Migration: reflecting on why artists leave their hometowns to seek communities in major cities, making enquires into the phenomena of cultural drain, and contemplating how can we plug this drain.
- Identity Crises: How do maligned towns overcome a sense of negativity and build an identity as an artistically vibrant place?
- Art and Culture in New Towns: Plans for art provision in the development of new towns, artistic provision in new towns today, and the future of new towns in the artistic landscape.
- Art vs Heritage: The relationship between art, culture, heritage and urban or suburban landscapes.
- Social Explorations and Interventions: Examples of political, architectural and performance interventions that activate sites or invite residents to engage with sites.
On Friday 14th September the symposium will be held at MK Gallery, where we invite you to join our gathering of speakers as they share their experiences, knowledge, methodologies and anecdotes for implementing creative initiatives and interventions across the UK.
Presentations, panels and debates will then continue in multiple locations on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th as the symposium moves in line with The Groundwork Weekender festival’s journey across the city of Milton Keynes. Conversation will be sited and contextualised in response, and at times in counter-point, to the Groundwork artists’ artworks, offering audiences the opportunity to simultaneously examine the initiatives and interventions one might make in order to situate the groundwork for a thriving cultural infrastructure, whilst visiting many of Milton Keynes’ cultural and artistic hotspots that are at the heart of this cities’ artistic network.
Andy Routledge and Subika Anwar-Khan spent an afternoon with 15 members of Dostiyo Asian Women and Girls Network. As part of this, the group discussed their homes, their arrival to Northampton, and how Northampton has changed during their lifetime.