Learning provided an opportunity for a Kent-based artist at the start of their career to spend time with the other artists and learn about their practice. Solo performer Phoebe Marsh learnt directly from a host of artists and applied these learnings to her own practice.
Phoebe created two podcasts during her time with People United, each exploring ideas around participatory arts and meaningful interaction stemming from conversations and experiments that took place during her commission.
Beach Hut 136
For over seven years, People Unite, in collaboration with Canterbury City Council, welcomed individuals, organisations and community groups to Hut 136 in Herne Bay to contemplate, create or simply get away from it all.
The beach hut – located on Herne Bay’s West Beach – provided space for artists, writers and community groups to collaborate, develop new ideas and finish existing projects in a beautiful setting.
Residencies at Beach Hut 136 over the years have inspired myriad projects from creatives based in Herne Bay and beyond.
We All Do Good Things: Town
We All Do Good Things: Town brought a town together by using the arts to share and celebrate the good things people do. It took place in Herne Bay, East Kent in 2009 and 2010.
The project aimed to increase participation in the arts, trust, neighbourliness and community connections. Artists worked with every section of the community to uncover and celebrate positive stories; working from bingo halls and beach huts to schools and residential homes.
We All Do Good Things: Town prompted a grassroots artistic response in the area, inspiring tens of other community-led initiatives including a comic book, a new play and a giant picnic attended by over 1,000 people. One in six of the population of Herne Bay participated in the project which then went on to win the Culture Community Award from Canterbury City Council.
We All Do Good Things: Schools
We All Do Good Things: Schools was an arts programme celebrating the value of kindness in schools. Professional arts practitioners worked across three primary schools, collaborating with every pupil and member of staff over the course of a whole school year to celebrate acts of kindness in creative ways.
The project inspired a season of regional radio items, an original book, a magazine, public performances and three community exhibitions. Research from the University of Kent found that children who took part in the project were significantly more willing to care for and help members of their community.
Following its success, We All Do Good Things: Schools was supported by Kent County Council who reproduced our creative model to be shared with primary schools across the country.