The Banbury Gig-Arts Project

Gig-Arts partnered with Banbury & Bicester College to put on a Creative Enterprise Gig-Arts Event at the Mill Arts Centre on Tuesday 24th January, which was funded by the Skills Funding Agency, Futures and the European Social Fund.

Young people, of all abilities, who are looking for a job in the Creative Industries, gathered from across the college from disciplines including performing arts, fashion, visual art and media. Being a fully inclusive event, the students were accompanied by young people from Style Acre SABRe, the Redlands Centre and the Frank Wise School Sixth Form.

The Banbury Gig-Arts Event was a dynamic day where participants teamed up to gain enterprise skills, create a collaborative artwork and put on an improvised stage show for the local community. There was a special guest appearance from the sculptor of the famous Banbury Cross Horse Sculpture, Carl Payne, who orchestrated a teamwork game where all the participants collaboratively made their own Banbury horse head out of air-drying clay.

Abbie Cooke, Founder of Gig-Arts, who is running the Banbury Gig-Arts Project 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 and to the wider support of the Banbury business community for helping to bring this project together. 

Iain Landles, Director for Creative Arts at Activate Learning, the organisation which runs Banbury College, said: "The Banbury Gig-Arts Project is an ideal opportunity for our creative arts students to develop their confidence, technical and employment skills. The combination of enterprise training and community outreach offered by Gig-Arts fits well with our objective to ensure our students are well equipped for their future careers."

Following the launch Banbury Gig-Arts Event, the impact of the day rolls on. The Banbury Horse Sculpture from the event will go on tour around Banbury from February to June 2017. This tour will introduce the Gig-Arts participants from Banbury College, Style Acre SABRe, the Redlands Centre and the Frank Wise School Sixth Form to a wide range of work experience opportunities.

The first port of call for the outreach tour is the Frank Wise School Sixth Form on the 21st February.  Then on the 21st March, the students will present their horse sculpture to Second Time Around, a local furniture restoration charity in Banbury. The tour then continues with a visit to Ellacotts Chartered Accountants on the 25th April; followed by a presentation of the horse head sculpture to the West Bar Veterinary Surgery on the 23rd May; and concludes with a grand finale at the Bloxham Mill Business Centre on the 6th June. 

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Abbie Cooke introduces the Banbury Gig-Arts Project. 

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Participants took part in a teamwork games and enjoyed making a Banbury Horse Head sculpture. 

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Participants at the Banbury Gig-Arts Event. 

 Rehearsing for the Gig-Arts Show with students from Banbury College.

Rehearsing for the Gig-Arts Show with students from Banbury College.

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Musical entertainment at the event. 

 The Gig-Arts Giving Ceremony - Abbie Cooke presents the Banbury Horse Head to Dean Cooke from the Frank Wise School Sixth Form. 

The Gig-Arts Giving Ceremony - Abbie Cooke presents the Banbury Horse Head to Dean Cooke from the Frank Wise School Sixth Form.