Witney Gig-Arts 2018

Gig-Arts has partnered with Abingdon & Witney College to put on a Creative Enterprise Gig-Arts Event at the Langdale Hall in Witney on Wednesday 20th June, funded by Dare Investments.

Young people, of all abilities, who are looking for a job in the Creative Industries, will gather from all across Witney. They will take part in a dynamic day where they gain enterprise skills, create collaborative artworks and put on an improvised stage show for the local community.

There will be a special guest appearance from Alison Lapper MBE who is an artist, television presenter and well-known member of the mouth and foot painting artists. Alison has most kindly agreed to be the Patron of Gig-Arts.

Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts, who is running the 2018 Witney Gig-Arts Event said: "This project promises to be an excellent opportunity for young people in the Arts to build confidence and learn how to make a living and make a difference. We’re immensely grateful for our partners and sponsors for helping to bring this event together." 

Special thanks goes to the Witney Gig-Arts Event sponsor, Dare Investments. Martin Dare, Managing Director of Dare Investments, who commented, " Dare Investments and I are delighted to be part of the 2018 Witney Gig-Arts Event. Abingdon & Witney College provides an important role in the education ladder - Bridging the gap between skilled professionals, business and education - An area of the UK economy that the Government is enthusiastically promoting." 

Roger Dill-Russell, head of the Foundation Faculty at Abingdon & Witney College, intends to come and watch the Gig-Arts Show. The whole event will be an ideal opportunity for his students to develop their confidence and employment skills. 

Following the Witney  Gig-Arts Event, the impact of the day rolls on. The colourful artworks from the event will go on tour around Banbury from June to September 2018.  The first port of call for the outreach tour is the ICE Centre at the Langdale Hall. The following week, the artworks will be on display at the College in Witney.  

 Gathering at the Langdale Hall in Witney.

Gathering at the Langdale Hall in Witney.

 Teaming up to take part!

Teaming up to take part!

Alison Lapper MBE becomes the Patron of Gig-Arts

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Alison Lapper MBE is a British Artist. She is the subject of the sculpture ‘Alison Lapper Pregnant’ which was on display in London’s Trafalgar Square until late 2007.  She is also a full member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.

In May 2018, Alison Lapper agreed to become the distinguished Patron of Gig-Arts, a pioneering arts enterprise charity that helps young disadvantaged artists and musicians of all abilities to make a living and make a difference. www.gig-arts.org

Alison said, ”I’m delighted to become the Patron of Gig-Arts. I’m very passionate about inspiring young people to use their talents to make a difference in the world.” www.alilapper.com

In response, Abbie Cooke, Founder and CEO of Gig-Arts said, “It’s a great honour for Gig-Arts to be endorsed by Alison. She has enormous determination, enthusiasm and compassion for disadvantaged creative young people and the economic and social impact they can make.”

Abbie added, “ I see Alison as a brilliant role model to artistes of all abilities. She demonstrates that it is possible to overcome obstacles and make the world a better place through the beauty of the visual and performing arts. We’re absolutely thrilled to have the amazing Alison Lapper onboard!”

Alison’s role as Patron will involve her in taking part in Gig-Arts Events worldwide.  These creative collaborative enterprise events are held at universities, colleges, schools and day care centres for the disabled. Throughout 2018 and beyond, Alison will be supporting proposed Gig-Arts Events in Oxfordshire, East Sussex and the West Midlands.

Photograph:  Alison Lapper MBE with Gig-Arts Founder Abbie Cooke 

BLOXHAM GIG-ARTS GRAND FINALE!

From September to December 2017, the Gig-Arts Charity has been helping young disadvantaged and disabled artistes from Banbury and Bloxham. The Bloxham Gig-Arts Project, was generously sponsored by Bloxham Mill Business Centre.

Each month, the young people were encouraged to build their confidence and communication skills through art, music and dance. The group of amateur artistes delighted in painting an array of colourful canvases and developed their skills in creative clay modelling. They also bravely stepped forward to sing and dance in front of their peers.

As a grand finale, on Tuesday 5th December, everyone involved gathered at Bloxham Mill Business Centre for the highlight of the Project: The Gig-Arts Show! The group presented their stunning artworks; put on an extravaganza of festive tunes; and danced in front of an audience of more than eighty business professionals. What a triumph!

Following this exciting project of celebrating unique creative talents, the enthusiasm rolls on. Plans are now in place to hold a Gig-Arts gathering in Banbury once a month on a Monday throughout 2018. There will also be a grand tour of the mosaic painting created during the Project. 

Enormous thanks to Bloxham Mill Business Centre for their sponsorship and encouragement!

 The grand finale at Bloxham Mill Business Centre

The grand finale at Bloxham Mill Business Centre

 Warming up for the big Gig!

Warming up for the big Gig!

 All dressed in red for the grand finale.

All dressed in red for the grand finale.

 The Bloxham Gig-Arts exhibition of artworks will go in tour around Banbury in esrly 2018.

The Bloxham Gig-Arts exhibition of artworks will go in tour around Banbury in esrly 2018.

BLOXHAM GIG-ARTS

Our Bloxham Gig-Arts Programme of Events is underway! With generous sponsorship from Bloxham Mill Business Centre, we have been able to establish a once-a-month Gig-Arts event in Banbury in September, October, November and December 2017. Welcoming local people of all abilities, this programme is designed to foster creative confidence and enterprise skills.

Abbie Cooke, Founder of the Gig-Arts Charity said, "We are overjoyed about receiving sponsorship from Bloxham Mill. This generous support will enable more than twenty young people to build their confidence and creative skills. It will also enable them to showcase their creativity at a grand showcase finale at Bloxham Mill on Tuesday 5th December." 

Gig-Arts Sponsor, Ray Avery, who is the Managing Director at Bloxham Mill Business Centre said, “When I first met this inspirational group of talented people I was overwhelmed with admiration and emotion. I know that our December showcase will be no exception. As a notable contributor to our local community, Bloxham Mill is somewhat inundated with requests for sponsorship. However, I can honestly say that sponsoring Gig-Arts is one of the quickest and easiest decisions I’ve ever made.”

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Summer into Autumn at Gig-Arts

Gig-Arts had a sensational summer to autumn season of fun. We launched our summertime activities at Witney Gig-Arts in July. This was an outstanding event that united young people of all abilities from Abingdon and Witney College, Base 33, the ICE Centre and Banbury Style Acre. It was an amazing mix of creativity with a magnificent finale of art, music and dance.

The enthusiastic outreach from the Witney Gig-Arts overflowed into the following months. Throughout August and September a series of summer fun arts and crafts classes took place in Carterton.  Everyone was delighted by a host of creative themes ranging from butterflies and bees to beaches and BBQs! And as the Autumn leaves now turn red, gold and bronze there's a continued flourish of colour in our popular weekly art classes. 

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Wonderful Witney Gig-Arts

The Wonderful Witney Gig-Arts Event was an outstanding success! Wearing their purple t-shirts sponsored by Dare Investments, the 40 participants from Abingdon and Witney College, the ICE Centre in Carterton, the Base 33 Charity in Witney and the Banbury Style Acre joined forces to take part in the creative enterprise day.

The event was held at the Corn Exchange in Witney and kicked off with rock star musician, Jem Tyler, who is the Head of Music at Gig-Arts. He got everyone out of their seats, clapping and cheering as they sang along with him playing the guitar. Fully enthused, everyone was inspired, listened to stories of enterprising adventures and created colourful artworks for their local community.

In the afternoon, we almost raised the roof with an electric atmosphere of cheering as we welcomed on stage the beautiful and brilliant dancer, Grace Willlow, who is soon to become Head of Dance at Gig-Arts.  Grace captured everyone’s heart and trained everyone’s arms to wave along with the fast beat of the music. She was sensational! Everyone loved her Bollywood Dance Session.

Fully warmed up, we then launched into the finale of the event, the grand Gig-Arts Show. With musician Jem and dancer Grace leading the performance, all the participants came into the limelight showcasing their talent for singing and creative movement. With red, yellow, green and blue banners waving, everyone got involved and gained confidence.  It was a resounding success.

The whole event was brilliantly captured on film by Maggie Boyd who has produced a video of the day. Do check out the video section of the Gig-Arts website to have a closer look at what happened at the wonderful Witney Gig-Arts Event.  Sincere thanks go to everyone who helped to make this event possible.

 Jem Tyler launches the Wonderful Witney Gig-Arts Event.

Jem Tyler launches the Wonderful Witney Gig-Arts Event.

 Meet the Gig-Arts Team - Abbie, Jem, Ryan and Grace.

Meet the Gig-Arts Team - Abbie, Jem, Ryan and Grace.

 

 

 Creating artworks for the community.

Creating artworks for the community.

 Grace and Abbie work with the teams to create love heart artworks to give to the community.

Grace and Abbie work with the teams to create love heart artworks to give to the community.

 Grace gets everybody up and dancing - Bollywood style!

Grace gets everybody up and dancing - Bollywood style!

 Live singing in the grand Gig-Arts Show.

Live singing in the grand Gig-Arts Show.

 Ryan and Jem enjoy the Gig-Arts Show

Ryan and Jem enjoy the Gig-Arts Show

 Having fun in teams.

Having fun in teams.

 Team spirit at Gig-Arts.

Team spirit at Gig-Arts.

 " Thank you everyone for making this such a wonderful event!"  Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts

" Thank you everyone for making this such a wonderful event!"  Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts

Banbury Gig-Arts' Grand Finale at Bloxham Mill Business Centre

The grand finale of the Banbury Gig-Arts Project was an outstanding success! Participants of all abilities who are seeking employment flocked to be a part of their final day of outreach experience which was held at the Bloxham Mill Business Centre. 

With Bloxham Mill’s newly furbish state of the art Oak Room full to capacity, the Gig-Arts teams took their seats and waited in nervous anticipation as they were each invited to leap into the limelight and present themselves. It wasn’t long before each participant plucked up the courage to step forward and acknowledge their learning journey. Many had started the course of Banbury Gig-Arts Events as long as six months ago and along the way had gained confidence and more self-esteem. Boldly they took the microphone and shared their achievements. For some, there were tears of emotion while others basked in the joy of receiving a rapturous applause.

The Gig-Arts participants were very fortunate to receive pearls of wisdom from three business professionals at Bloxham Mill; Ray Avery, Graham Hickman and Jan Burnett. The Q&A session was highly engaging and everyone felt encouraged and supported by the friendly atmosphere.

A highlight of the event was an announcement from Ray Avery, Managing Director of Bloxham Mill Business Centre, who said that each participant on the Banbury Gig-Arts Project was invited to come back and gain further work experience at the Business Centre: Some individuals will assist with arranging flowers in the office foyer; others will learn about deep cleaning techniques; some will assist with filing papers and many will create artworks and songs to inspire and entertain the business professionals at Bloxham Mill’s Christmas Luncheon  on Tuesday 5th December 2017.

Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts and Leader of the Banbury Gig-Arts Project said, “Congratulations to everyone who took part! The Banbury Gig-Arts Project was funded by the Skills Funding Agency, Futures and the European Social Fund and it simply would not have been possible without their support – We are all incredibly grateful.”

Moving forward there is much opportunity on the horizon. The 30 or more participants will each continue to be trained by the Gig-Arts Charity on a monthly basis with the highlight being the Bloxham Mill Business Centre's Christmas Luncheon in December 2017. This new venture will be sponsored by Bloxham Mill Ltd. An enormous thank you to everyone!

 Tears of joy from the Gig-Arts participants at the Bloxham Mill Business Centre when the offer of work experience is announced by Ray Avery Managing Director of Bloxham Mill Ltd.

Tears of joy from the Gig-Arts participants at the Bloxham Mill Business Centre when the offer of work experience is announced by Ray Avery Managing Director of Bloxham Mill Ltd.

 The finale of the Banbury Gig-Arts Project at Bloxham Mill Business Centre

The finale of the Banbury Gig-Arts Project at Bloxham Mill Business Centre

 Bloxham Mill's Graham Hickman offers work experience to the Gig-Arts participants

Bloxham Mill's Graham Hickman offers work experience to the Gig-Arts participants

 Bloxham Mill's Jan Burnett shakes hands with the participants

Bloxham Mill's Jan Burnett shakes hands with the participants

 (Left to right) The Gig-Arts Team - Jem Tyer, Abbie Cooke and Rex Boyd

(Left to right) The Gig-Arts Team - Jem Tyer, Abbie Cooke and Rex Boyd

 The Gig-Arts Banbury Horse Head displayed at Bloxham Mill Business Centre 

The Gig-Arts Banbury Horse Head displayed at Bloxham Mill Business Centre 

Banbury Gig-Arts Visits West Bar Vets

The Banbury Gig-Arts Project is in full swing with a highlight visit to the newly refurbished West Bar Veterinary Hospital in Banbury. The visit was designed to inspire young people of all abilities to gain confidence, develop employability skills and find work experience opportunities.

During their visit, participants enjoyed a tour of the veterinary hospital where they met two dogs and a cat. They also gained inspiration from the veterinary staff who encouraged them to work hard and reach for their dreams.

This visit follows a series of monthly gatherings across Banbury at the Mill Arts Centre, the Frank Wise School, Second Time Around, Redlands Day Care Centre and Banbury Style Acre. The Banbury Gig-Arts participants have gained enormously from the Project. They have also enjoyed helping to make a beautiful life-sized clay horse head sculpture with the master sculptor, Carl Payne, who sculpted the famous Banbury Horse Sculpture at Banbury Cross. The horse head has been toured around Banbury over the past five months.

Sophie Hanmer, Veterinary Surgeon and Partner at West Bar Veterinary Hospital said: “ This is an exciting project! We care for a full range of domestic pets and large farm animals, so it is highly appropriate that we should host the stunning Banbury Horse Head Sculpture.”

 

 Gig-Arts at West Bar Vets 

Gig-Arts at West Bar Vets 

 Unveiling the Horse Head Sculpture at West Bar Vets in Banbury 

Unveiling the Horse Head Sculpture at West Bar Vets in Banbury 

 Meeting the cats at West Bar Vets 

Meeting the cats at West Bar Vets 

 Gig-Arts Participants at West Bar Vets in Banbury

Gig-Arts Participants at West Bar Vets in Banbury

 Meeting the veterinary surgeon and her dog at West Bar Vets 

Meeting the veterinary surgeon and her dog at West Bar Vets 

 Learning about caring for animals at West Bar Vets 

Learning about caring for animals at West Bar Vets 

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Oxford Gig-Arts

Gig-Arts held a dynamic Creative Enterprise Gig-Arts Event at the City of Oxford College Dance Studio on Thursday 16th March 2017. More than forty creative college students, of all abilities, took part. The students teamed up to gain enterprise skills, create colourful artworks and put on an exciting stage show for the local community. The theme for this event was 'Dance' - And to celebrate this genre of the Arts there was a glittering showcase from world-class Tango Dancers, Miriam Orcutt and Dante Culcuy, founders of the Oxford Tango Academy.  

Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts said: "Gig-Arts Events are an excellent opportunity for young people in the Arts to learn how to develop their talents and forge a career in the Creative Industries.”  Miriam Orcutt and Dante Culcuy were delighted to be the guest stars at the event and exclaimed, “It is a pleasure to inspire young people to express themselves through dance and encourage them to follow their dreams."

Chris Hyde, Director at the City of Oxford College, and Co-organiser of the event added: "The Oxford Gig-Arts Event is an ideal opportunity for our creative arts students to gain the confidence and expertise required to gain employment. The combination of enterprise training and community outreach offered by Gig-Arts fits well with our objective to ensure our students are employment ready."

Special thanks goes to the Oxford Gig-Arts Event sponsor, Dare Investments. Martin Dare, Managing Director of Dare Investments, who commented, " Dare Investments and I are delighted to be part of Oxford Gig-Arts. The City of Oxford College provides an important role in the education ladder - Bridging the gap between skilled professionals, business and education - An area of the UK economy that the Government is enthusiastically promoting." 

Following the Oxford Gig-Arts Event, the impact of the day rolls on. Dance inspired artworks from the event have been presented to Oxford-based charity Yellow Submarine. And the colourful wooden sculptures that the students collaboratively made on the day, are being presented to a local school. 

This Oxford Gig-Arts Event marks the grand finale of a trio of events held in partnership with Activate Learning - Events have been held over the past four months at Banbury and Bicester College and at Reading College. A huge thank you to everyone involved!

 Gig-Arts Team ( left to right) - Tango Dancers Dante & Miriam, Abbie Cooke Founder and CEO of Gig-Arts , Chris Hyde Director at The City of Oxford College, Martin Dare event sponsor and Jem Tyler Head of Music at Gig-Arts.

Gig-Arts Team ( left to right) - Tango Dancers Dante & Miriam, Abbie Cooke Founder and CEO of Gig-Arts , Chris Hyde Director at The City of Oxford College, Martin Dare event sponsor and Jem Tyler Head of Music at Gig-Arts.

 Performing Arts Students from the City of Oxford College creating colourful artworks to give to a local school.

Performing Arts Students from the City of Oxford College creating colourful artworks to give to a local school.

 Great collaboration - Students creating colourful artworks for the community.

Great collaboration - Students creating colourful artworks for the community.

 A performing arts student gaining creative enterprise skills and advice.

A performing arts student gaining creative enterprise skills and advice.

 The Gig-Arts teams creating Tango Dance inspired artworks to give to the Yellow Submarine Charity in Oxford.

The Gig-Arts teams creating Tango Dance inspired artworks to give to the Yellow Submarine Charity in Oxford.

 The Oxford Gig-Arts Show!

The Oxford Gig-Arts Show!

 Great dances moves in the Oxford Gig-Arts Show!

Great dances moves in the Oxford Gig-Arts Show!

 Jem Tyler, Head of Music at Gig-Arts, inspires the audience

Jem Tyler, Head of Music at Gig-Arts, inspires the audience

 Gig-Arts Sponsor, Martin Dare, shakes hands with Directors from the City of Oxford College

Gig-Arts Sponsor, Martin Dare, shakes hands with Directors from the City of Oxford College

 Miriam & Dante, Special Guest Tango Dancers, perform and then enjoy the rest of the Gig-Arts Show. 

Miriam & Dante, Special Guest Tango Dancers, perform and then enjoy the rest of the Gig-Arts Show.