Our new initiative in Finsbury Park, the People’s Park Plinth, cedes co-curational and co-creational control of our cultural activities to the people of the park. It’s your park, it’s your pick!
We believe that if there is more accessible cultural activity in the park, and more people have more of a say in those activities, then the activities will be more representative of local communities and issues, more people will participate, and more people will feel more of a sense of community and connection within the area.
We have therefore developed the People’s Park Plinth to operate as a dedicated place-shaping initiative bridging the histories, values, physical location, needs, and social practices of local communities. We aim to connect people to the park, surrounding areas, and each other, through free co-creational public digital arts activities which nurture and strengthen community cohesion alongside the biodiversity of the park itself.
We will work collaboratively via place-based partnerships to support and involve communities in ambitious high-quality cultural experiences and improve access to a range of cultural activities where people live, by:
Turning the whole of Finsbury Park into a plinth for free, open-all-hours, mobile-first, co-creational, digital visual art programmes curated and created by, for, and with the local community.
To do this we will invite local people to set the curatorial remit for the People’s Park Plinth as a public art project that starts with them and the natural habitat of Finsbury Park.
Every year we will:
In 2021 we ran our pilot year for the People’s Park Plinth and tripled our local engagement.
We will shortly unveil the park’s pick for 2022: Based On A Tree Story which allows everyone to explore the park looking for tree sprites which tell the histories of Finsbury Park trees and encourage you to dance with them.
In 2023/24 the People’s Park Plinth will take on the theme of local biodiversity. Working with local groups we have developed a project called the Interspecies Festival of Finsbury Park which imagines a a not too distant future where there has been unrest among all the species inhabiting Finsbury Park. After much protest it has been agreed that a treaty of cooperation will be drawn up. But first there will be an Interspecies Festival to ensure all the species understand each other’s cultures and needs. Therefore proposals for the plinth will take the form of video presentations by a range of Finsbury Park species each pitching for which park habitat and activities should feature in the forthcoming Interspecies Festival. We will facilitate voting and then support the artist(s) in producing a series of workshops to prepare for the Festival, before hosting the Festival itself in August 2023 and presenting a virtual exhibition of Festival activities and footage.