When we were first starting BOOM!, our research showed us that one of the gaps in provision in Possil was the ability for local people to be involved in large scale events such as carnivals and parades, and that this was missed. So we were really happy when Noël from Bridgeman Arts got in contact to ask if we’d like to get involved in the Glasgow 2018 European Championships / Merchant City Festival carnival parade in August 2018. (We would like, yup yup thank you…)
As our first carnival workshop, we ran a four-week taster workshop with family groups at Possil Point Community Centre / Young People’s Futures. We had a couple of existing groups who we thought might be interested, and extended the invite out to a few others. We wanted intergenerational groups to be involved (family or otherwise), attending the workshops and then coming along on the day.
The concept for the carnival parade came from lead artist Bex Smith, with Barry Neeson as the assisting artist. Our brief was “connectivity”, and we worked on the idea of “real tweets”. To provide a range of activity that would suit various skill and confidence levels, Bex led on the big build (a bird-box-post-box made from wicker and light plastic) and each participant would make a bird hand puppet. We created five messages of positivity, which were printed out for distribution as part of the event. We printed out 400 in total!
On the day of the event we brought together workshop participants, BOOM! board members and a few other friends took our place in the carnival parade. Our group of 16 delivered all 400 messages of positivity – including one to the Lord Provost, and one to what we think might have been an Argentinian TV reporter… One group carried the bird-box-post-box float, and one group danced and interacted with the crowd, all with bird hand puppets, from George Square to Glasgow Green.
Probably the very best bit of this whole experience was delivering our messages of positivity to the crowd as we passed – making people smile, laugh, and have tiny moments of joy as we passed. (For future reference, we <3 crowd interaction…)