The Narrativium Project – what happened & what next?
Eight people, including myself, sat around my kitchen table last Monday evening. Before we began to eat the curries and rice I’d prepared, we talked about our Arts Council project they’d been involved in, the show at the MAC they’d created . . . and what possibilities it has all generated . . .
In terms of the Arts Council, the project has been a success: Four young people, Sipho Eric Dube, Katherine Hannaford, Jenny Lee and Carl Sealeaf plus musician David Austin Grey devised, wrote and performed a show in front of 70 people in the Foyle Studio Theatre at the MAC on 29th September. There’s a video of all 50 minutes of it, and soon there will be more useful short clips of particular episodes.
The people who made that happen were Dan Whitehouse, the Next Generation Producer at the MAC, theatre director Graeme Rose and producer Jo Carr, along with project manager Norman Leet keeping the whole shebang happening on time and to budget.
What’s exciting for me isn’t the show, nor the journey to get there, great though it was to be involved in all of that and how it all confirmed my belief that it’s a really good idea to use the arts to communicate info-dense science stuff.
For me, the really exciting aspect of this project what will come out of it all.
Here are the ideas generated over lovely grub last Monday:
- A proposal that an arts centre (yes, we are thinking the MAC!) has a ‘scientist in residence’.
- One-to-one meetings between young artists and individual scientists in the scientist’s workplace. We’ll be working up a brief to ensure this produces something by the artist and is a worthwhile activity for the scientists.
- We explore how our existing formats (video interviews, essays, blogposts etc — notably video) could be developed artistically.
- Artists to sit in as observers on New Optimists Forum events — or to play a part as a participant if relevant (e.g. as a reporter), and then report back to us on that experience, both to improve what we do and to contribute to the artists’ professional output.
- Bring next generation artists into our work with next generation scientists.
Exciting stuff! Now to make it happen . . .