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AfterWARds Exhibition

Spring has arrived and with it comes our afterWARds exhibition. AfterWARds is an intergenerational creative arts project designed to enhance public understanding of the impact of war on the lives of service personnel. Throughout the winter our Creative Practitioners have been hosting reminiscence and creative writing sessions to encourage veterans to share their experiences of serving in the armed forces. During these sessions a wide variety of short stories, video diaries and poetry have been created.

Independent Arts is now seeking local artists to volunteer their time to create visual art that reflects the one of the stories or poems. By reaching out to the arts community on the Island we aim to be able to bring these fascinating stories to life while also offering local artists the opportunity to have their work exhibited.

The afterWARds exhibition is being held at the Museum of Island History in Newport between Saturday 23rd April – Friday 6th May.
If you would like more information about the afterWARds exhibition please email or call 01983 822437
Volunteer Vacancies. 

We are currently looking for volunteers for the afterWARds exhibition at the Museum of Island History. Volunteers will be part of the team welcoming members of the public to the exhibition. We only ask volunteers to commit to a couple of hours on one of the exhibition days between Saturday 23rd April and Friday 6th May and in return we are happy to cover the cost of parking/travel expenses.

More information about our volunteering opportunities can also be found Click here.  

News from the Age Friendly Island Big Lottery Projects

SingAbout is springing into action with all SingAbout groups growing in numbers. The two new groups (Lake and East Cowes) adding additional members every week over the last few months and a plethora of new volunteers have joined too. The Ventnor Group has picked up new members due to its move to a more central location. The existing attendees at Byrnhill Grove now have a one-hour session and so can still benefit from SingAbout even if they can’t get in to town. Our Ryde group has also begun to expand with attendees coming from a local Care Home, providing a much enjoyed afternoon out and a good sing too!

Freshwater group has just celebrated it's 5th Birthday with Newport's fast approaching this April. The groups have grown from just a couple of people to a combined total of 100 between them 5 years later! Quite an achievement. So well done to all involved.
An especially big Thank You to all our fabulous volunteers who keep the groups running smoothly and providing those all-important cups of tea! And of course our talented practitioners who lead the sessions and find us great things to sing.
It was a truly special day, feeding the 5,000 at Freshwater with this beautiful cake by Miss Dotty's cakes. Watch out Newport you're next!

There are now more than 275 people singing with SingAbout each week, with new pop up sessions coming over the summer we’re hoping to reach more corners of the island.
We have also been asked if we could take on an existing singing group based at Sandown Library. This will begin again on the 5th May and will be a bi-weekly group  The group was under threat of closure because of cuts to the council funding. Thanks to new grant from the Headley Trust, we will be able to secure the groups future. 

Creative Futures

Creative Futures has begun it's second phase. The next group of volunteers have been trained and as soon as their paperwork is completed they will be out delivering sessions. We have also approached another 6 Care Homes to be involved in the project bringing the total to 12.
The first group of volunteers who began their sessions at the end of January are already reaping great rewards for both the volunteers and the clients. The sessions have included reminiscence, art and craft, scrapbooking, musical sessions (including introducing a small piano to all a bed bound client to play for the first time in many years), and sensory sessions – bringing touch and smell to a client with limited hearing and sight to help expand their horizons. Thank you to all our mentors for helping these early sessions run smoothly.
All the sessions are delivered on a one to one basis which gives the clients focused attention. However, we have found with one of our clients, that group setting has suited their needs better and we have set up the room with a few other residents to provide more of a ‘cosy pub’ style atmosphere.
We are always looking for more volunteers for Creative Futures. It is a great project to be involved in with and it can easily fit into your routine. The sessions require only a couple of hours per week. Full training and mentoring is given. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with the office for more details.

Hannah Griffiths Project Manager said

“It has been a busy first six months in post for me. I am so pleased about the AFI projects are doing, it is so nice to be able to see the effects of just a few sessions on both the clients and in the case of Creative Futures the volunteers too. A huge thank you to all the people who have helped get these projects off the ground and I can’t wait to see where the next 6 months take us.”
DanceMakers is Back! 

Thanks to funding from the Hedley Trust, Independent Arts popular Exercise for Wellbeing group 'DanceMakers' is back! We currently have two groups running in Newport on Friday mornings 10:45 - 12:15pm beginning again on the 8th April and Freshwater on Thursday mornings 10:30 - 12:00pm  beginning again on the 7th of April.
A third group will be staring 12th May and will be held bi-weekly on Thursdays from 3pm - 4:30pm at Sandown Library so watch this space for updates! 
DanceMakers is designed to Improve balance, co-ordination, muscle strength, breathing, memory and confidence through gentle exercise. It’s fun, FREE and an opportunity to get together and meet new people. All levels of mobility welcome with refreshments provided. The sessions include a warm up, movement to music and simple choreogtraphy then end with a cool down and a chance to chat over a cup of tea.

Michelle Hainsworth is running both the groups in Freshwater and Newport, and Zarah Groves will be running the group in Sandown.  Please visit our website for more information
Click here or call us 01983 822437.

Social Media

Did you know Independent Arts are on social media? Please like our pages and share our news. It really helps us spread the message of our work to new people.
Creative Writing with Henry Bear

Workshops have sprung into Spring this year with some very exciting new projects and activities.  Creative Writing has been taken up by many of our homes, and the results have been wonderful. Henry Bear visits care homes on the Isle of Wight inspiring story telling and has caused quite the stir in terms of the wonders of imagination.  Please follow the link to our website to read some of the poetry and creative writing produced by residents in our sample of five homes. Click here. 
Ann Emery our practitioner said 

"For me, it has been such a joy to meet so many engaging and enthusiastic people, so keen to create a Henry Bear story. For most, it was their first time at trying creative writing but all were undeterred! People contributed through words, actions, looks or song. The stories they created are wonderful, often exotic, always imaginative, fun, sometimes sad and with unexpected twists".

Ann Emery studied the value of creative writing for dementia sufferers at Stirling University and as the results from her workshops reveal, the lasting creative potential of people living with dementia can be vibrant and vivid.  Ann is beginning a new writing project at Solent Grange this month entitled ‘Magic Doors’. Once again Ann has emphasised that the project is not solely an act of reminiscence, but works also toward stimulating current thought. We will keep you posted with the results so please do follow us on Twitter and Facebook pages for regular updates!

We welcome two new practitioners this month Zarah Groves and Ian David Loydall who join both our music and movement teams with new workshops to offer.
Please follow the link to Zarah Groves, an accomplished musician with a training in classical ballet who will be offering ‘SoundMoves’ a blend of musical performance and chair based dance sessions, designed to help residents participate more fully in session
Click here.

Easter Bunnies & Spring Flower Baskets - Beautiful Arts and Craft created last week at 'Creative Cafe'. 

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Our mailing address is:
Independent Arts, Suite Three, 30 Quay Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5BA
01983 822437
Registered charity number: 297474.

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