Arty Party actor Mervyn Bradley
Arty Party is a Shropshire based charity that supports people with learning disabilities to be creative, express their artistry and to share their art with the public.
We are proud of the skills and creativity of our learning disabled members. We love to share our creativity with the public, whilst also making a big impact upon how learning disabled lives are perceived.
We have a great team of learning disabled story makers and performers. They are supported by skilled facilitators and artists who together make a little (no.. a lot) of magic.
Arty Party Performers in rehearsal.
So, how did this all begin?
Our performers were dancing to a track by Canadian americana band 'The Great Lake Swimmers', titled
'Your Rocky Spine'. The lyrics of the song talk about love, the body and landscape and their inherent connection.
Arty Party members enjoyed dancing to this track and making their own moves relating to the lyrics.
The dance was so good that we requested permission from The Great Lake Swimmers to use this beautiful song in a short film. We recently received the exciting news that permission has been granted.
Still from Four Solos in the Wild - Performer Andrew Kelly - Photo Chris Nash
The film, the story, gathers pace.
At Arty Party, one thing is for sure, we put on great night club events where our members dance their socks off.
We decided our film will be about three couples travelling towards an Arty Party Ball, with the ingredients of journeying, intimacy, landscape and relationship reflected by the lyrics of the song. The film culminates at the ball, where as well as personal moments of revelation, we are celebrating our connection as a whole, with our members dancing whole heartedly together.
There are many more ideas for the film, but these are top secret ...shhhhhhhhh.
Our plans for shooting the film
We like to strike while the iron (or weather) is hot. It means that ideas and momentum from our performers and team are strong and immediate. We will make the film this August for release in early autumn 2018. It's important we make the film soon, to catch this beautiful english summer, and it also means that we can enter some exciting disability film festivals happening this autumn, all around the globe .
Arty Party have developed a team of professional artists that collaborate well with our own performers. The film's director will be Ray Jacobs, who works week in week out with Arty Party members. Our director of photography will be Callum Barre, a Shropshire filmmaker who has worked on our team for a number of years.
Arty Party's experienced learning disabled actors, Mervyn Bradley, Chloe Shepherd, Becky Kier, Andrew Kelly, Graham Busby and Becky Smith will be acting alongside an ensemble of Arty Party performers to make this a memorable, moving and enjoyable film.
Sharing our film world wide.
We have shared our previous short films with many countries across the globe, and struck partnerships with other learning disability organisations nationally and internationally. Our performers love the chance to talk about their work and their lives. We will be sharing 'Your Rocky Spine' with festival curators around the globe, hoping for the chance to voice more of our creativity and ourselves, to a world which is in need of more films where learning disabled people express themselves fully.
The team celebrating an award at Oska Bright Festival
Help from our community so far.
This is a very low budget film. We are entirely dependant on the generosity of our volunteers, artists, performers, film crew, partners, local businesses, friends and, of course, You!
We have only got as far as we have through the support of Arty Party's voluntary staff, who will be hosting the summer ball and doing all the behind-the-scenes work to make this happen.
We are also grateful to:
The Lion Hotel, in Shrewsbury, who have kindly given us their beautiful ballroom location at fantastic rates.
Shropshire Falconry, who are letting us cast one of their beautiful Harris Hawks in the film and making sure the beautiful bird is happy, content and calm while filming takes place.
Vintage Wedding DJ, a fantastic events company and dj who will be getting us all moving at the ball.
How we will you use the money you donate.
The money we raise will be vital to make, produce and distribute this short film.
Stage one - Money raised will go towards: Paying expenses for learning disabled performers to travel to and attend the film production days. Paying artists and crew members who have already kindly reduced fees to an affordable rate. Paying for all those extra pieces of set and equipment that make a huge difference to the final film.
Stage two - Supporting high quality post production. If we can afford studios to add the extra pizzazz in terms of how the film finally looks and sounds, that extra bit of sparkle will make a huge difference.
Stage three - Distributing the completed film to a network of disability film festivals around the globe and supporting the learning disabled actors to share their stories in person, to disabled and non disabled audiences.
Arty Party performers leading a discussion about their last film project Four Solos in the Wild, at the Tate Modern