Remember Somerset Day? Remember we wrote some community blogs and discovered some amazing things happening in our local communities that really make a difference? Well to be honest, we got the bug for it! There’s so much awesome stuff going on that we’ve decided to do community features more regularly .
To kick us off, this week’s Four Thoughts is dedicated to the community arts, as we chat to Molly-Rose Brace, Associate Community Artist at Actiontrack. If you haven’t heard of them, read on - as we ask four questions we thought you’d love to know the answers to!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about Actiontrack and what you guys do?
Actiontrack Performance Company is a community arts organisation based in Taunton. We also travel internationally to host and run our workshops and events. From Showbuilds to recording community albums… from hosting world music residencies to running professional masterclasses, we pride ourselves on making sure that everyone has the opportunity to access creativity.
2. What have been the favourite workshops you've run and why?
It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I love workshops where you see people breaking out of their comfort zones… realising there’s a new realm of creativity beyond what they thought they knew. It’s brilliant when people surprise themselves and when we coax out what participants have sometimes been too afraid to release. It’s those skills and bravery that people take away with them when they leave the workshops.
In improvisation workshops people always surprise themselves, but perhaps my favourite was working with some of the members of the Dhol Foundation - running workshops in West Somerset and introducing students to the sound of the Dhol Drum. They’re such loud drums and Johnny and Jo are brilliant teachers. so it was a great experience to be able to work with two amazing musicians and introduce new people to their music. Lives were definitely changed during that residency!
What's been Actiontrack's proudest moment so far?
Actiontrack has been running for 30 years. I’ve been working with them for almost 10 of those, so I probably can’t choose a proudest moment for the company since it started out, but it was wonderful bringing everyone together for the 30th birthday party last year. Old and new participants and team members came along and surprised the Artistic Director, Nick Brace. He had no idea we were plotting to surprise him with the party and it was a wonderful evening - a great chance to bring together in one room, all the people that’ve been touched and inspired by Actiontrack.
Tell us a secret about Actiontrack that no-one else knows.
50% of the core team are related. No prizes for guessing which members! :)
If you’d like to explore your own creativity in a new or different way, take a look at some of the upcoming workshops Actiontrack are running this year. You might surprise yourself and I’m definitely looking forward to getting along to a session soon! I’ll let you know how I get on :)