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Priceless Experiences of the Week

At CICCIC we see and experience so many lovely stories, peoples experiences, individual responses to events and community building bonds with each other and much more.

So, we have decided to highlight some that we believe reinforces what we are about and what intangible things happen here when people come to our centre.

For instance, in the last ten days (13th-22nd Jan 2020), we had 13 events and included:

  1. Dementia art class
  2. Creative Club
  3. Mental Health Perspective film and discussion
  4. Print making workshop
  5. Textiles workshop
  6. Painting workshop
  7. Drawing workshop
  8. Pink Floyd night
  9. Meaningful music night with Darren Hodge
  10. Sunday big band jazz
  11. Big noise band rehearsal
  12. Hullabaloo improv night
  13. Daytime rock and roll dance

A story about rock and roll daytime dance event

This was the first of many daytime event experiments that we are doing as part of our ‘Night to Day’ programme. We expected very few people as it was new and on the day a lady from Bathpool area said “I’ve had your email newsletter for years but have never come to an event, and when I saw the rock and roll event during the day I was so pleased. I don’t like to go out at night as I am on my own and here today because I love that type of music”.

Our Night to Day programme was designed for many reasons and what this lady said was one of them. Fortifying that what we try to do at CICCIC is in response to such issues and matters.

Next came along a man in his 70’s who lived near Glastonbury and though he does not have email or subscribe to our email newsletter he found us by searching the internet for ‘rock and roll’. Being a lover of this type of music he came along on his own and ended up dancing with the lady from Bathpool. And it doesn’t stop there…

Then another man arrived, and he too sat with this lady and man. Neither had met each other before and by the end of the event they were all exchanging mobile phone numbers and made a promise to all meet again when we have our next rock and roll event. The lady even promised to text the Glastonbury man when she gets notified of the next event, as he does not have email.

Moral of the story is that we had very few people attend (though there were others there) as it was a new concept. In fact, we lost money on this event but hope it grows so it pays for itself. But when three elderly strangers get together, make connections, support each other and become more connected to their community, we know you cannot put a price on this. It is priceless and what we stand for at CICCIC.

A story about film and discussion event

This too was a daytime event and we weren’t sure if anyone would attend. But 12 people did. Some had been to CICCIC before, and others for the first time and enjoyed the documentary ‘Finding Joe’. This was part of new programme called ‘Mental Health Perspective’.

Afterwards we had a voluntary group discussion about what we had learnt from the film and how these lessons resonate with our own lives or how we see mental health.

One lady had said that she came because she had been helping a male friend of hers who had serious mental health problems, but she felt that she had exhausted all ideas to help him. But after watching the film she felt she had more ideas and avenues to try and was pleased that she came.

Another had said that it was hard to face the negative things that have happened in their life, but after watching the film she was reminded that when we embrace or accept these negative elements our coping mechanisms become stronger, and she too felt better from watching and discussing the film.

Others expressed their thoughts and opinions and though this event made no money the impact it had on all in the room was priceless.

Meaningful Music event with Darren Hodge

Darren is 24 years old and a gifted musician but over the past few months he has struggled to step out of a creative slumber, take positive action, and make use of his musical talents. He told director Andrew Knutt “When you asked me to play a solo gig; it was just what I needed to push me. I’ve been through my music; rehearsed new songs and now feel I can concentrate on my solo career if I am to make a proper living from it”.

This is priceless to us at CICCIC because creativity and enabling others to follow a creative path (especially the young) is one step to good mental health and self-expression. It makes communities, builds self-esteem and allows us to provide performance experience. But it didn’t stop there…

After Darren’s amazing performance, a middle aged man went up to him and said “That was an amazing performance. For years I have been threatening to take up guitar lessons, even my wife has nagged me to do it. But after watching you tonight you have inspired me to take these lessons, and I wanted to thank you for that”. Priceless.

A story about Pink Floyd Night

James Hollingsworth is a talented musician and had played at CICCIC 3 years ago, performing his own material. Director, Andrew Knutt talked to James before the Pink Floyd gig and encouraged him to squeeze in a couple of his own songs, which James had pre-meditated anyway.

On this night James gave the most amazing performance of Pink Floyd music, but what astounded us at CICCIC and James was when he finished his first set with two of his own songs. The audience clapped louder and cheered more than his Pink Floyd covers.

This in turn elated James and indeed us at CICCIC as we pride ourselves in promoting and delivering original music. James went away feeling that he had been appreciated by the audience (musicians love this the most) and felt more enthused to finish his new album, that had been on the backburner for a while.

From the musician’s perspective, and ours as a venue, it was priceless, and we hope to see James again.

Summary

These are just some of the things we see and hear at CICCIC. It reflects the social enterprise element of who we are and what impact our activities have on people of all ages.

Admittedly, we struggle financially as we are not funded like most art centres. But when we see the impact like those described above it is all worth it, and we hope too that you believe CICCIC is worth it.

You can’t put a price on people’s happiness or the value that creativity offers in building individual self-worth and connecting communities.

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