Sharing the joy, success and challenges of Savour the Flavour – A Journey of Art, Education, and Community Engagement
Generously supported by Arts Council England, Hertfordshire Libraries, Herts Growth Hub and Dacorum BC
In the realm of community engagement and artistic innovation, Savour the Flavour has seen some success, weaving together art, music, and essential lessons in healthy living. The project’s mission was clear; to connect with communities in areas with traditionally low artistic engagement.
- using libraries as vibrant spaces for families to immerse themselves in the magic of puppetry, music, and creative learning.
- Working with schools to develop a whole-school approach to healthy eating and creativity
- Sharing digital resources and performing as part of the local Watford Fringe Festival
Connecting Beyond Boundaries – as part of this tour we experimented with new models of outreach combining digital resources to share ahead of performances in collaboration with Hertfordshire Libraries. The tour was not only about art but about making art accessible to everyone. The project provided online digital resources to audiences, fostering participation, inspiring creativity and enhancing connection to the show. You can find a wealth of creative resources by clicking the following link – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAl_vZ1CK53w_cW7SKoWBbQ
Collaboration and Community Impact – The project’s impact extended beyond individual shows to the broader community through collaboration with Herts Libraries. By offering tickets at accessible prices, Savour the Flavour attracted audiences to libraries not traditionally associated with theatrical performances. Approximately 150 tickets were sold across all performances, contributing financially to income at Herts Libraries. Staff feedback highlighted the positive impact on health and wellbeing, showcasing a strong interest in continuing collaborations with libraries for future activities. Feedback from Cheshunt Library echoed the project’s success. The interactive and high-energy performance engaged children, inspiring them to actively participate and share in creative learning.
“Families & children who attended the show were not only entertained but also positively influenced. The interactive and high-energy performance engaged the children, inspiring them to participate actively. The message of healthy nutrition and the importance of perseverance was effectively conveyed, with children actively contributing their ideas introducing new vocabulary & language to the children, enriching their learning experience. In conclusion, the show left a lasting impact on audiences, fostering a sense of positivity & involvement.”
School children were delighted with the opportunity to work with a whole team of artists creating puppets to take home and learning the songs and dance moves in fun and engaging workshops. School feedback highlighted memorable moments including singing, dancing, and the opportunity for children to create their own puppets. The puppetry, music, and educational elements were well-received, creating an engaging and enriching atmosphere for students. This tour provided the first opportunity to deliver musical workshops introducing children to the guitar and flute. Something we hope to build on in the future.
The show is a great tool for connection, bringing people together across ages and art forms.
Artistically, the team refined puppetry skills; the show is a much better more concise version.
We created new character puppets welcoming Ronny Radish and Omega Always to the stage alongside Outta Tuna and Findi Carper. We created new puppet designs that function beautifully.
Evaluation showed that without core funding or commercial partners, the project is too hard to sustain despite the project’s success.
We discovered that even young children are happy to engage with the show for a whole hour.
We discovered Herts Libraries are under-resourced and had trouble promoting the show, we could have played to larger audiences but staff had capped us under capacity.
We realised that the marketing took even more time than expected in the absence of enough support from venues
We found that a performance at 9:45 in the morning on a Saturday was too early to attract an audience.
We discovered the show works best in schools with wrap-around workshops and resources.
In short, the show tour has been a success but we have identified if we are to continue to progress the work we need more support to do so. The project is too much to support as a small organisation, lack of core funding and several unsuccessful funding applications have delayed progress.
We have been exploring the possibility of an ACE National Touring application and completed preliminary meetings. In evaluation, it is clear that we need larger project partners to support the delivery of this work and shoulder some of the costs of the bid writing process. Perpetual bid writing is too large a financial burden for small organisations to bear.
Team members expressed their enjoyment and commitment to the project, with artists, performers, and puppeteers sharing their experiences. Suggestions for future development include expanding educational aspects and showcasing the potential for further growth and positive influence.
Planet Munch has continued to support a group of freelancers and emerging artists in need of paid work opportunities, time to develop puppetry portfolios and production experience.
“Planet munch has been an absolute saviour to me in the past few years – sustaining me as my main source of income within the industry over the pandemic and again this year as I have stepped back into freelance performing and creating. Having multiple performances over a week-long tour was so beneficial not only for scheduling, planning, travel costs etc”
As the curtain falls on the current chapter of Savour the Flavour, reflections on the journey pave the way for future possibilities. While the project faced challenges and uncertainties, its undeniable success in community engagement, artistic expression, and education left a lasting legacy. The team’s dedication and community support showcase the potential for continued growth and impact.
Savour the Flavour stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and community collaboration. Through puppetry, music, and educational initiatives, the project entertained and positively influenced diverse audiences. As the project reflects on its achievements, challenges, and the invaluable support of communities and team members, it sets the stage for future endeavours that celebrate the magic of the arts and the profound impact they can have on individuals and communities alike.
Backstory and links
Savour the Flavour show content was developed as part of http://www.trimtots.co.uk/ 24-week programme, Planet Munch.
The show conveys essential messages about healthy living, friendship and perseverance.
The Programme teaches healthy nutrition through creative learning. Planet Munch is the only healthy lifestyle programme for preschool children in the UK that meets all the NICE guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity with evidence to show it is effective at reducing obesity risk up to two years after taking part