Creative Shops is a three year programme where empty shops get turned into creative shared spaces.
Think ‘pop-up’ shop but with an artist as the shopkeeper. A Creative Shop invites everybody in, from passers-by and shoppers to school groups and community groups. An average creative shop will deliver workshops, connect artists, exhibit work, create games, devise and perform theatre and generally be a 4, 6 or 8 week blast of colour, fun, audience building and making.
A Creative Shop does a few things.
It gets people participating. It brings theatre to new (and often unsuspecting) audiences. It brings energy to existing creative communities. It animates struggling streets. It strengthens communities and networks. It can help regenerate an area. It can help increase footfall on a street.
The thing that really makes it work is that a Creative Shop is ‘on the ground’ – all day. It can hear what the local community think, want and need. It provides a programme of creative activity and it consults with people who come in, join in, or simply pass by.
This is our second Creative Shops programme. In 18/19 there’s been Creative Shops in Ballyclare, Comber and Carrickfergus, Magherafelt, Omagh and Enniskillen. We will revisit some of these next year and include some new towns.
To get a better picture of what happens in ‘Shops’ have a look ..
The current programme runs until 2021. It is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Trust