Take Art Cultivate, local foods, arts and people together

take art cultivate show england somerset

Cultivate is a community that brings local foods, arts and people together. The activity is a creative partnership between the local food and arts sectors, exploring ways to benefit local communities, individuals, families and groups living in South Somerset.

Culturally Chard Spring Festival – A Creative Supper

It was such a pleasure for Cultivate to be involved in The Culturally Chard Spring Festival. Working in partnership with Somerset Art Works and Chard Town Council the festival ran from 27 – 29 April at The Guildhall, Chard in South Somerset.

The Friday community day included an exhibition of a Waterways arts project from Somerset Art Works and lead artist Anna Chrystal Stephens, a family show of Ernie’s Journey by Clementine Live Arts and workshop for children concluding with a Creative Supper evening event for diverse communities.

Throughout the afternoon the community could try a Portuguese tartlet, produced by three local Portuguese businesses on the high street. Vera Courinha Marques from Chard Community and who is Portuguese spoke about the history behind the tartlet, its heritage and her Mum’s secret recipe!

The Creative Supper, led by Cultivate, invited all members of the community to come together to prepare, chop and cut vegetables in preparation for soup making! A delicious vegetable soup was made by the group accompanied by fresh, local bread and other dishes that the community had prepared.

Theatre makers Bohdana Ushatenko and Nadiia Latsyba, from the Ukraine, led a fun and inspiring workshop facilitated for the community. We had a great time moving, playing, singing and drawing. The evening concluded with traditional song, music and stories linked to Ukrainian traditions and Springtime.

Take Art Cultivate Connects

Cultivate Connects is a project that explores how to increase access to rural areas and the natural environment, particularly for ethnically diverse communities, through the enjoyment and celebration of local food and arts.

On June 1st 2023, we welcomed families from Yeovil to Flaxdrayton Farm (home of Take Art) to a sunshine morning including a wellbeing walk, talking, creativity and food! Our friends at The Cookhouse prepared a rustic, locally sourced lunch to conclude the experience for diverse communities and their families.

The wellbeing walk was inspired by the Walking Maps that were developed as part of Ruritage’s My Cult-Rural Physical Toolkit.

There were smiles all round and some lovely connections made to land, place and rural Somerset.


Take Art Cultivate actions still ongoing in the RURITAGE experience

All five actions that we implemented during the project are ongoing. They have proven very useful in informing Cultivate’s Strategy Framework 2023 to 2026. 

The five original actions have become six work packages:

  1. Events Programme
  2. Somerset Food Trail Festival
  3. Community and Education Participatory Programme
  4. Artists Commissions and Development
  5. Sector Knowledge Exchange and Social Innovation
  6. Dissemination and Advocacy

The six Work packages are informed by six interconnecting focus areas:

  1. strengthening rural communities
  2. championing nature-friendly food
  3. nurturing health and wellbeing
  4. supporting the local economy
  5. valuing arts and creativity in our lives
  6. taking care of the planet

Driving this work is our passion to communicate a powerful story about the multiple benefits of sustainable food: for individuals, communities and the planet. This story be made more visible, promoted and celebrated through the arts.

Offering opportunities for people

The action that’s had the largest impact so far is RM7.9: Offer opportunities for people to learn about, and participate in, activities that lead to better health, wellbeing and environmental outcomes and generate a sense of ownership and pride.

This is mainly because this action offers opportunities for more in depth engagement with individuals and communities, exemplified through projects such as The Slow Burn Pizza Oven project, The Banners of Chard and those highlighted above: Culturally Chard and Cultivate Connects.

Finally, we’ve recently produced a Cultivate advocacy film which we’re very happy, and proud, to share!

It can either be found on our YouTube channel or on the Cultivate web page