Seasonal showers couldn’t dampen people’s spirits as Lincoln Road came to life with live art, music, theatre and poetry performed from a fantastic mobile bandstand on Saturday 28th April.
The moving stage travelled from north to south from The Lounge to Chaiwalla and this trial and procession down the road really celebrated the diversity and uniqueness of the area and people loved it: cars tooted and people danced to dhol drummers, sang with the sitar player and huddled under the awnings to watch street theatre outside Madina Grill, Sado Bar and Carla’s Cafe - this was a sight to behold and a unexpected spectacle!
With local project manager Katy Hawkins, we bought together a team of Peterborough artists and creative industry professionals to work in an research and develop project from November 2017 - April 2018. The team were challenged to develop ideas which would playfully encourage people to explore and become curious about the Millfield area and My Lincoln Road, a community placemaking project, was born.
Throughout the project, the team which consisted of artists, architects, software developers, designers and makers spoke with lots of residents, business owners and community group leaders to gather stories and memories. These stories are a wonderful snapshot of thoughts and opinions from people on the road today.
A total of 7 businesses participated in the project, actively giving out cards with people’s stories of the road and hosting a lantern made at Allia Future Business Centre which was specifically designed to represent their business and culture. People were actively encouraged to collect the story cards from each business and connect to lantern to access the stories online at mylincolnroad.org
Crowds of people including entire families and groups of friends came out from shops and cafes to enjoy this vibrant and unusual project, whether they stayed to watch just one act or joined us for the whole trail their joy and delight in what they were seeing was clear, made the experience truly unforgettable. ‘It was very nice to see the road used in this way - you should close the road next time!’ said one Peterborough resident while another commented ‘we need more like this here.’
It was fantastic that over 180 people joined the trail and by bringing the acts to the road meant that people who would not go to the theatre or concerts were able to enjoy and interact with live art in this way. Collusion’s co-director Simon Poulter says “We were delighted to see the many faces along Lincoln Road enjoying the spontaneous arrival of the bandstand and associated acts. As the project has evolved over the last few months, the team of artists has brilliantly devised 'My Lincoln Road', a simple way to celebrate the diversity and energy of the area. This has involved lanterns, local businesses, sharing stories and working together to change perceptions of the area. We now look forward to working on the next stage of the programme this year, to build on what has been achieved.”
It is of no surprise that Collusion are working on how build on this project - watch this space!
In the meantime, they’ve produced a short film which captures the energy and enthusiasm of the R&D Challenge. Watch it here; www.collusion.org.uk/peterborough
Special thanks to the team; Amanda Rigby, Faisal Hussain, Lee Mason, Mark Richardson, Aleksander Michonski, Galya Georgieva, Adam Craggs, Michael Duggan, Paul Fox. And the participating businesses; The Lounge, Rotana, Madina Grill, Sado Bar, Carla Coffee, Tazze and Chaiwalla.
Want to find out more about Collusion? This activity is part of the in_collusion programme, a three year talent development programme, that is helping creative people and businesses to develop new skills and ideas around three emerging technologies - artificial intelligence, data culture, and virtual/augmented/mixed reality. Collusion is working in Peterborough alongside four other hubs across the region: Wisbech, King’s Lynn, Huntingdon and Bury St Edmunds.
The programme is supported by Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence fund, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, and tech partners, Arm and Cambridge Consultants. In addition, this project in Peterborough is supported by Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council and Allia Future Business Centre.