Chilling on the hill and Sewing Seeds of Gladness with Take Art

Take Art summer activities 2023 chill on the hill sewing seeds of gladness wales

Take Art is a unique, life-changing organisation that doesn’t live in an arts venue, dance studio or whacking great theatre but in the villages, towns and rural communities of Somerset.


1. What has happened since last time that we spoke? 

Chill on the Hill

We were delighted to produce Cultivate’s second Chill on the Hill event on Friday 25 August 2023. For the second year in a row, the weather was kind to us… just!

The event, produced in collaboration with Ham Hill Country Park, The Octagon Theatre and The Prince of Wales pub, attracted over 300 people throughout the day.


In the morning, families had the opportunity to participate in art workshops with Natasha Rand to make dreamcatchers using items discovered on an informative nature walk; learn new aerial circus skills with Frances Aitken; and Indian dance with Sonia Sabri Dance Company.

Peacock and Princess

Audiences were treated to The Peacock and the Princess Walkabout performance in which a proud and majestic peacock and a beautiful princess roamed through the picnickers competing for attention.

Pirate Taxi

Performing in the impressive Ham Hill stone circle, Somerset-based company, Pirates of the Carabina brought us Pirate Taxi. Taking place in, on, around and above an old-school London taxi it was performed with plenty of thrills and spills by Shaena Brandel and Barnz Munn. Using a mechanically ingenious set, live music, extraordinary aerial stunts and plenty of laughs, the show told the story of them finding their way, via circus, to Somerset, weaving in themes of journeys and the annual migration of birds.

Cakes, fruit, veg and juice

We were pleased to welcome and promote food from North Perrott Farm and Laura’s Kitchen who provided delicious cakes, fruit, veg and juice. We also owe a huge thank you to the Ham Hill Rangers and volunteers who kept everyone informed, safe and secure throughout the day.

Comments from audience members included: ‘It was fabulous.’ ‘That was amazing.’ ‘It is so lovely to be here today, as a family, and see the stone circle area used in such a creative way! We have enjoyed the whole day, brought a picnic, and loved such fantastic performances. We can’t wait for the next one.’

Sewing Seeds of Gladness

Cultivate is supporting the community stitching project ‘Sewing Seeds of Gladness’ for the people in the Parish of South Petherton in Somerset. The project is funded by South Petherton Parish Council and South Petherton Community Enhancement Fund. The idea is simple: individuals and groups of people meet regularly to embroider or sew small pieces that will join together to create a beautiful map of this rural parish.

Since its launch in April 2023, the project has continued to grow with more people getting involved month by month. The sewn map will be completed by January 2024 and the project is engaging with groups such as South Petherton Youth Council, local schools, the WI and community from the village.

“It’s wonderful to see Sewing Seeds of Gladness bringing together so many different groups and individuals of all ages and experience. It is so exciting to see the first pieces of stitching starting to materialise. The enthusiasm for the project has been a real inspiration and I can’t wait to see what other treasures appear over the next 6 months!” said Kath Brace, Project Manager.

The sewn map will be completed by January 2024 and the project is engaging with groups such as South Petherton Youth Council, local schools, the WI and community from the village.


2. What actions that you implemented during the project are still ongoing in any way?

All five actions that we implemented during the project are ongoing. They have proven very useful in informing Cultivate’s Strategy Framework 2023 to 2027, which is now completed and informs funding applications that are being submitted to support sustainabilty.

Work packages

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’ Portfolio
  5. Sector Knowledge Exchange and Social Innovation
  6. Dissemination and Advocacy
Focus areas

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 can be made more visible, promoted and celebrated through the arts.


3. What activity action has had the largest impact and was most effective?

There are two actions, combined, that are proving most effective at the moment:

  • RM7.8 Bring people together through the sharing and enjoyment of local food and high-quality arts
  • 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

Implementing RM7.8 gives us the opportunity to engage with large audiences at high profile events (such as ‘Chill on the Hill’), develop new partnerships and communicate the Cultivate message in an accessible way.

RM7.9 enables more in-depth engagement over a longer period of time. ‘Sewing Seeds of Gladness’, for example, is a year-long project that enables people to develop social connections and support their wellbeing as well as create a beautiful piece of art!  This is particuarlly relevant and important in small, rural communities.

Finally, a reminder that we’re very happy and proud to share the Cultivate advocacy film, which relates to the implementation of RM7.12: Disseminate good practices.

It can either be found on our YouTube channel

or on the Cultivate web page