Our first Make:Shift Get-Together

Thanks to Claire, Elliot, Howard, James, Paul, Saffi, Steph and Kevin for attending our very first Make:Shift Get-Together last night. These intrepid people battled through the elements (it was teeming with rain) to drink tea, eat cake and share and develop some ideas that they’d like to put forward to Make:Shift 2013. And what great ideas they were. The whole ethos of Make:Shift is about developing ideas that will change Wolverhampton for the better, whether that is at street, community or city wide level. The only requirement for a Make:Shift idea is that it is owned and driven by communities.
We agreed that it would be worth revisiting the ideas put forward to last year’s event. If you’d like to have a look at the ideas submitted last year you can take a look here: http://maketheshift.uservoice.com/forums/168487-ideas-submission
Saffi said that she had particularly enjoyed the discussion at last year’s Make:Shift around joining up the various environmental activities in the city and potentially creating a green corridor. She would like to continue these discussions at Make:Shift 2013. Other people could think of various examples that would link to this venture.
Howard talked about the Boundary Way Community Garden and how this might be developed to offer training and development opportunities to local people as well as for recreational use. We could all see lots of potential for this idea, particularly as we’d heard that the future of the Cedars training facility may be in some doubt.
Paul shared a brilliant idea for developing a trail of Wolves across the city. Paul is the Director of the Outside Centre, one of the UK’s premiere independent arts organisations. The idea is for a number of larger-than-life sculptured ‘Wolves’ made of a durable plastic that will be positioned around the city as a trail to follow: Wolves are a symbol of Wolverhampton – from the football club to an abbreviation of Wolverhampton. Each ‘Wolf’ (though from the same mould) would be individually decorated in association with an artist working with local schools and groups. This project is similar to the Penguins (in Liverpool), the cow parage in Manchester (http://manchester.cowparade.com/cow/gallery) and Gromit Unleashed (http://www.gromitunleashed.org.uk/) in Bristol.
James and Steph shared their fabulous idea, entitled ‘Look up! Wolverhampton’. This idea is about helping people to notice some of the fantastic buildings we have in the city, many of which are above our usual eye line. Steph and James would like to create a space on the internet that people can upload their photos of some of Wolverhampton’s incredible architecture. People would then vote on the best ones, which could then be part of an exhibition or even projected at night onto an iconic building in the city.
Kevin spoke about a couple of great ideas that are in the early stages of development. He would like to obtain a disused Church in the Finchfield area which could be become a focus for inter-faith activities as well as a space for musicians to practice in. He would also like to establish an education facility that seeks to address the skill shortages that the city currently has (potentially) in high-end engineering or the aerospace industries.
Finally Elliot raised an idea prevalent in Amsterdam – the repair cafe. Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). At the repair cafe there are tools and materials to help people make any repairs they need on clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, etc. Repair specialists such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics are on hand to assist.
All in all it was a very inspiring evening. It would be great to see some new people coming along to our next session on 10th July at 6:00 p.m.(venue to be confirmed). I know how intimidating it can feel to turn up to a venue when you don’t know anyone, but if you do have an idea to share, or you’d just like find out more about Make:Shift please take the plunge and come along. We’d love to see you, we’re a very friendly and supportive bunch and you will get free tea and cake!

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3 thoughts on “Our first Make:Shift Get-Together

  1. Just wanted to chip in as I was away for the event. I’m still interested in the idea of a pop-up Book Crossing one day bookshop event. We could even go as far as calling it a festival, if there were activities involved as well? But the crux of the idea would be for people to come and swap books (for free / giveaway). The main issue would be a venue.

    I’m also away for the actual MAKEShift event later in the year – when is the next meetup prior to this, if there is one planned?

    • Great idea and if you’re calling it a festival you can definitely count me in!
      The next get-together is very soon – 10th July at 6:00. I’ll post venue details and how you can get tickets on here over the next day or so

  2. Pingback: Make:Shift Get-Together 17 October 2013 |

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