Next week I will be starting a new project in Newark. I will be working alongside the National Civil War Museum, The Palace Theatre and Newark Castle to bring cultural engagement to local people. 

This is a huge opportunity to approach culture and heritage in a brand new way in Newark – especially considering the restrictions currently in place and the uncertainty within museums surrounding physical public engagement at the moment. 

The majority of the work will be planned and co-ordinated remotely, with occasional work happening on-site and the hope of physical events happening later in the project (which is currently due to end in March 2021). 

Thankfully, I will not be doing this alone. The team at each venue has been very welcoming throughout the application process and will be sure to help steer ideas and provide resources once we get started next week. 

I will also be working alongside fellow entrepreneur Jessica Collin. I met Jess through the Big House and she has such a love of Newark and some ideas to really inspire and provoke engagement from the community. She has a brilliant business called Cast and Found, which I am constantly showing people on Instagram (@castandfound) as it is such a great idea and combines two of Jess’ passions – nature and jewellery. 

I’d like to think there are a lot of similarities between myself and Jess – particularly the motivation and drive to see change in our communities. However, I also think we each offer valuable insights, experiences and expertise to help support each other. 

My focus will mainly be on bringing local heritage to life through the performing arts. I think it’s crucial to offer opportunities for people of all backgrounds to learn a bit more about their home town and interact with it through role-play. Especially considering the historical significance of the organisations we will be working with. This will hopefully be done with local actors and reenactments, but also make use of digital platforms to reach a wider audience in a safer and socially-distanced way.

Jess has a lot more to offer in terms of creative craft and nature projects. She also has a lot more local knowledge of the area and a better understanding of previous projects and events in the town.

Between the two of us, I believe we can offer a very diverse range of workshops, events and content for a wide group of people. 

It is still very early in the process. There are a lot of logistical challenges to overcome and research which needs to be done before we can begin properly, but I am delighted to have been chosen for the project and even happier to be working alongside Jess and the three partner organisations. 

Keep an eye out to see how it all unfolds!