Spon Spun Arts and Heritage Festival needs you! We need your enthusiasm and financial support to celebrate the best of Spon End and make Spon Spun Art Trail 2018 one to remember!
Raising £500 means we can:
- Pay £20 expenses to each of the artists or groups selected to exhibit on the Spon Spun Art Trail on 15th September. Each of the artists will be donating around 7 hours of their time to participate in the trail, in addition to the time they will have put in to prepare or rehearse their work. The £20 expenses is an important contribution to their costs such as travel and materials
- Provide artists with technical support on the day of the Art Trail to make sure the event is the best it can be.
- Ensure there is good signage around the trail so that everyone can find all the wonderful things on offer and discover something new in Spon End.
We have a number of great rewards for supporters, including a Thank You! from us on our website and social media, a Thank You! postcard from Winks the Spon End cat, tea/coffee and homemade cake at Oasis Community Cafe and a handmade broach from The Weaver's Workshop. For those who give a little more we have two more special gifts... A limited edition print of 'Meadow' by last year's Visitor's Choice winner Min-Kyung Kim. Also a limited edition print of photograph by Spon End photogapher William Bawden, carefully re-printed from glass plate by Jason Tilley of the Photo Archive Miners
Why does it matter?
Our aim is build community spirit and pride in Spon End by celebrating its amazing heritage and culture. Spon End is a Coventry cultural treasure. It is one of the oldest areas of city and where you can catch a glimpse of the River Sherbourne before it disappears for its underground journey through the city centre. In medieval times, it was the river that attracted the dyers and tanners and why Spon End became a hub of the city’s famous weaving trade. The Butts in Spon End is where you would have seen men and boys on a Sunday afternoon practising their archery skills, as they were required to do by law. During the civil war men caught by the parliamentarians were ‘sent to Coventry’ and held in St John’s Church in Spon End. In the 18th Century, watch making, another of Coventry’s famous industries, developed in Spon End. And, although Spon End was not bombed as heavily as other parts of Coventry in World War II, in the 1950s and 60s the area saw extensive demolition to make way for social housing and the larger part of Spon Street / Spon End was left cut off from the City Centre by the ring road.
Spon End has some amazing heritage stories, but of course its people that make stories. That’s why Spon Spun values the stories of the present as much as those of the past. Even in the era of social media it is often true that inspirational stories are lost or not heard, especially when they belong to marginalised members of our community. That’s why Spon Spun works with community organisations based in Spon End to engage local people to build their sense of ownership and pride in the treasures that are on their doorstep, and also to give them a voice, an opportunity to add their individual stories, to the on-going story of Spon End.
These days Spon End is a deprived area of the city – average incomes are low, crime statistics high, and there are relatively high levels of social housing and cheap student accommodation – but it also has some wonderful arts and heritage organisations, including The Weaver’s House, The Albany Theatre and Holyhead Studios, and a great network of active community organisations, such as KoCo Community Resource Centre, The Rose Community Centre, Grapevine, Coventry & Warwickshire MIND, Wild Earth, Sustrans and faith organisations.
The Art Trail is a key part of the Festival, bringing together all the elements of art, heritage and community. Any artist can apply to be part of The Spon Spun Art Trail and so it’s a great way for new and old artists to showcase their work to the public. We look particularly for work that is about Spon End, captures its stories and/or shows the area to visitors and residents alike in an unusual or interesting way.
Other elements of the Spon Spun Festival include a Community Picnic and ‘Summer Saturdays’ for local people. Last year the trail included work from artists who were commissioned to work with local groups such as The Coventry & Warwickshire MIND Wellbeing Hub, Oasis Community Cafe and Spon Gate Primary. This year the Art Trail will launch the beginning of 3 commissions for Spon Spun 2019, working with Spon Gate Primary, The Weaver’s House, KoCo Community Works, Holyhead Studios and Sustrans (Local People Spon End).
How can you help?
Help us by pledging what you can afford so that we can raise enough money to support the artists on the trail and make sure the event is a real success. We have some wonderful rewards for all of our supporters! We hope you’ll also join us if you can on the 15th September and enjoy all the treasurers on offer!