If I want to get more people to contribute to the project, I think the best idea will be to run events during the E17 Art Trail at the start of July. The people running it actually got in contact with me after talking with them previously:
Because of the pandemic, and the nature of the project, I think I need to devise events that can be around the neighbourhood rather than in my house. There are spaces that I can hire around the area that means that I will cover a large area and make it accessible for more people.
In previous versions of the project, I wanted to run glyph drawing courses at the Mill, and I think that I can still make this happen, as they have some nice spaces. In Week 11, I went to an online workshop run by Sarah Hyndman of TypeTasting. She set up her workshops to let people experience type in a sensory way, from taste of chocolate or alcohol, or touch. I think the best one for this project is ‘sound’ – where people can react to sounds that are played to the participants and they respond.
By commissioning Hyndmann to run the session, the participants get the full experience of her workshops and her passion, which is very catching!
I’d really like to give people the opportunity to meet in person after this year, and The Mill has a suitable space that can have a few people in whilst retaining social distancing. There would be a limit of the number of people, though this can work really well with workshops like this. Because it is so central and accessible during the evening, it’s a good space.
Ideally, the workshop would be completely free, but I know from experience of myself and other people that when events are advertised as free people think they are of lower value and are happy to take a place and not turn up. A token amount, such as £5, means that people have to make a commitment. However, the area has a very mixed income population and a fee would be out of the reach of some people. I want as many people to feel like they can come, so with the advice of Cassie Yates of Knots Arts, there will be charge but people can ask for a bursary place if they want to. There isn’t a limit, and no questioning why, but it means that people who want to come, can come. The project isn’t about making money
The other people I have talked to are the Land Arts Agency, who run photography workshops based on environmental themes. Maybe it seems a bit out of the remit of a typography project, but I feel that Walthamstow has so much to offer, that it means that I can ask the photographer running the sessions to encourage people to see the context in which the typography is placed. Elizabeth suggested I created some short routes of what I have in mind:
Walthamstow is changing as a result of the changing community. This is good. Ghosts of the past remain and help us understand where we come from. There are many ghost signs in Walthamstow that promote long-gone businesses and tell us about the area. To celebrate this, I want to host a history walk. I’ve heard great things locally about a guide called Joanna Moncrieff and would like to commission her for a walk around the borough. By asking her to focus on the history behind the typography, rather than the typographical features themselves, it provides great context.
I think here I have some good ideas that people will be interested in attending, and focus on typography without being intimidating. Photography and history walks are a format that people are familiar with, and so hopefully will be comfortable in participating in them.