It’s the thing we’re all looking for. You have an idea for a project, you’ve identified groups you want to work with. You may even have a sense of what it will look like but for some reason it doesn’t quite feel right.
With our previous projects, we’ve always tried to find that special element that will make a project really sing. This is important to be able to sell the idea to potential participants but also to potential funders. We know we can deliver an excellent set of workshops – but what is the secret that makes it more than just a set of workshops? Why would participants want to take part in it? Why would someone invest in it? Our first project Hollerbox was about bringing Southwark residents together but it was the live one-on-one experience performances that drew our brilliant community performers to it. Fast Moving Consumables was a simple piece of invisible theatre until we introduced the live streaming.
We’re currently working hard to prepare some projects for delivery in our third year. And for each project we have to find that magic ingredient. One particular project we are looking at is a way of engaging individuals of diverse cultures and different ages. I believe we can do this with the methods we have used previously. But what will it be that will surprise those individuals and exciting enough to persuade a funder to support the work? I suppose that deep down in there also, it needs to be exciting enough for us. Doing the kind of work we do is hard. Emotionally challenging and, at times, physically draining. It has to have the spirit of adventure for everyone to take the journey.
So what will the magic ingredient be this time? We’re already talking about some sort of culture cafe where exchanges of stories and food is on the menu. But then perhaps it’s in the route to get there – a shared experience on public transport perhaps?
It’s no surprise to me that this has so blog has so many question marks. We’re still asking ourselves how to make it work. And once we’ve worked it out, we’ll be desperate to share the magic ingredient that got it over the line.