Emerge is a two-year, environmentally inspired partnership project that will draw together communities in Bridgwater in unforeseen ways via a high quality, large-scale, arts-led public engagement programme throughout 2023/24.
The overarching theme will be climate change and the specific threats Bridgwater faces. By uniting those stirred by these issues, the arts and a passion for Bridgwater’s history and future, we hope the project will act as a catalyst, or a ‘call to action’, for climate adaptation.
The Programme – January 2023 – December 2024
Starting in January 2023 and delivered in 2 phases this ambitious, environmentally inspired creative arts project will focus on the heritage and the historical geography of the Somerset landscape with a specific focus on communities living in Bridgwater and alongside the River Parrett.
Phase 1 - R&D Phase Delivery
The first phase of the project will be a 6 month Research & Development phase. Using best practice guidelines in community consultation and engagement we aim:
• To work directly with the community throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.
• To partner with the community in each aspect of the decision making including the development of the project and the preferred delivery and outcome.
Phase 2 - 18 Month Community Engagement Project
The second phase of the project will be an 18 month community engagement programme that will use dance, theatre and music to engage people with their own heritage with a specific focus on preserving the living histories of communities who have a direct experience of climate adaptation in Bridgwater. We’d like to connect with those that do not currently engage in the arts including those that weave the river into daily life: canal walkers, river watchers, at-the-end-of-my-garden neighbours, the flood-scarred, habitat preservationists, litterers, the Environment Agency, water-edge shop owners and the The Library at Bridgwater who have many keen local history researchers who use the library and would love to be invited to participate in researching material for a community project.
To begin the process, we will recruit a local “Community Builder” to work with us as a critical guide on the ground. The ‘Community Builder will be someone from Bridgwater who is directly connected to and linked into the various communities in the town and who is passionate about these issues.
For more information about this role click here