The Encounters Arts project will be coming to Andover and taking over the pop-up shop at 91 High Street for five weeks from 13th May to 16th June.
The project aims to bring together local people and encourage them to think about Andover past, present and future and express these thoughts in a variety of creative and informal ways. The ideas, experiences and stories generated will then be brought together to help inform how the town is shaped for the future.
Look out for ‘invitations to join in’ which will be sent out in the next few weeks. All visitors to the shop will be welcomed and encouraged to take part in a range of activities relating to Andover and how people connect and engage with the town. The outcome of the individual activities will form a dynamic display of photography, visual art and text, which will change and evolve over the weeks.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for those who live and work in and around Andover to participate in an event where everyone can join in.”
“The Encounters project creates a meeting place at the heart of the town to engage directly with local people; inspiring them through creative activities to share their experience of living and working in Andover. This will contribute to shaping the town’s future.”
“The information gathered in the shop will feed into a programme of public art for the town, funded by Section 106 developer contributions from the Andover Business Park and other new developments around the town.”
“The aim is to enhance the environment in which we live and work and supports the Andover Summit initiative to improve the town by feeding into the future vision for the High Street.”
As part of the project there will be a series of one-off events devised by local artists. The shop will also be available for community groups to use for their own events in consultation with the Project Coordinator from Encounters Arts, Ruth Ben-Tovim.
Ruth said: “I am delighted to be working with the local community and artists in Andover in what will be the 10th Encounters shop set up. We have run shops all over the UK including in Liverpool, Sheffield and London.”
“Our experience in Dewsbury saw 4,000 visitors taking part in a creative programme of activities. In this way people of all ages and cultures were able to feed into the development and regeneration of the town. The outputs from the project were equally participatory, with a performance and a presentation of our findings and insights to residents and many other key stakeholders.”
“I am very much looking forward to exchanging ideas with the people of Andover, and the chance to share what we have learnt from running creative projects in other communities around the UK.”