Futuretown and Beyond (FAB) - Gravesend 2001 - 7
FAB began as a three year programme building upon the successful Furturetown initiative in schools, extending across all age ranges - over 1000 participants created Visions for the future of their town that went onto a website, making links with participants in a sister project in East London, and projected large (8m) on an outdoor Interactive Megascreen in the centre of the town...More
The project began as a three phase Lottery funded programme (over 4 years) building upon the successful 'Futuretown' initiative and drawing upon the introduction of ‘citizenship' into the school curriculum. The programme created a significant arts/creativity focus delivered through ICT. Crucially, ‘Futuretown' was expanded to a broader age range and a wider spread of communities to encompass a ‘life-long learning' dimension. Subsequent phases have developed from this and additional funding was raised by ART.e.
Phase One involved young people in workshops exploring their identity through a project called 'You-topias'. This work was put onto a website, enabling their work to be used as e-postcards, establishing a 'forum', and creating their 'portals in cyber-space. Partnerships were also established with Higher Educational Institutions and Companies in the Region.
Phase Two involved both schools and community groups, exploring their ideas of the future, glimpsing possible futures for themselves and creating a vision for the development of public spaces, physical and virtual, for their town. This was also put onto the Website. We secured £21K Urban funding to create a large scale projection system at the main Transport interchange in the centre of town. This was launched on 19th Dec 02. The animated display involved a 'Festival of Light & Renewal', showing work expressing participant's ideas of ‘light and renewal', whether it be their personal vision or the celebration of a communal tradition. We also co-ordinated a display to mark the Vaisakhi Festival with images provided by the Sikh community.
Phase Three: involved a second tranch of Urban funding to make the Projection System Interactive, using heat based sensors on a pod a ground level to change the displays that contained over 1000 image and proposals. Funded by SE Arts Regional Lottery Programme, Gravesham Borough Council, Kent Thameside and URBAN. The Arts Council of England South East Region Regeneration funded an external monitoring and evaluation of Phase 3 of FAB in order to establish it as a model which will be offered to other towns in the region. URL;www.futuretownandbeyond.co.uk
FAB Phase Four (06/7): the development of an interactive forum between the FAB website and the sister project Poplar Futures (see Featured Projects) was funded by Children in Need,