Shelley’s Celebrations at Solar Powered Show
Mary Shelley’s 216th birthday was celebrated in style in the sun at the eight Green Community Fair in Shelley Park and Theatre on Friday 30th August. Local enthusiasts and poets in period costume paraded around historic sites in Boscombe before returning to the show to perform alongside workshops and productions from local charities, writers and companies in the Theatre. The free event ran over two days and crowds of people took a break from the air show and came to the park to enjoy craft workshops, stalls and demonstrations all with an ethical and sustainable theme.
Local musical talent featured on the solar powered Stage with Chaplin’s Bar and notably comedy, cabaret and music all came together for an unusual commemoration of the life and works of Mary Shelley in an ‘New Orleans’ jazz style incarnation. Two piece guitar duo Unity & Division from Greenwich rocked out conscious songs in keeping with the environmental theme.
The free event was made possible with sponsorship from Navitus Bay Wind Park, LED-ZIP, NGPS renewable technology, energy efficient Onyx Lift Services, Chaplin’s Bar, Shelley Theatre Trust and grants from The Co-opertaive Membership and Bournemouth Council’s Green Goals Scheme.
Alongside the free entertainment and activities The Green Community Fair also provided a platform for local, regional and national charities to raise awareness and hundreds of pounds for the good causes they support helping local disabled children and children and families internationally suffering due to poverty, conflict or disaster.
Organiser Sam Monks says
“Local artists and visiting performers where utterly inspired by the works of both Shelley’s embracing the themes presented by Percy and Mary which are still as relevant in today’s society as they were in their time like the concept of nature, the natural world and what it means to us – humanity as a species, and humans as individuals. Mary Shelley invites us to reflect on Frankenstein’s failure to take care of his own creation in the right way. We need to take care of the climate, biodiversity and other environmental concerns and rather than banishing the economy or imagining we can go back into the workshop and build a new world, we have to acknowledge our own creation, teach it our best human values and take practical positive steps to help reduced the negative impact modern day living has on our environment.”
This year the Green Community Fair is proud to behave hosted a range of other charities and workshops to help raise awareness and funds for causes beyond the boundaries of the local boroughs.
The Chai Chapel café provided an experience of Africa with daily drumming workshops for all ages and a place to relax . They sell traditional chai tea which in turn pays the wages for their team so that the donations made from the drum and instrument workshops can be returned to Africa which helps support schools to promote learning and education.
As the world looks on in horror as graphic images emerge showing the aftermath of a dawn poison gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that wiped out 1,300 people as they lay sleeping in their beds, The Green Community Fair is also works with the British Red Cross as the 30th of August is the International Day of the Disappeared. The day presents a stark reminder that hundreds of thousands of families across the world are still unaware of the fate of family members, missing through conflict or disaster. The Red Cross “Empty Chair Project” will placed decorated chairs in coffee shops around Boscombe over the weekend to raise awareness of the work of Red Cross Movement.
A community art workshop to decorate a chair took place at the fair raising funds for The British Red Cross which also supports local people with refugee status. An empty chair is an evocative symbol of the absence felt when a member of the family goes missing, and their chair at the table is left empty.
The Green Fair family focused attractions also included professional face painting by Diamond Faces, bouncy castles, live music throughout the day and free performance, workshops and plays in the historic Shelley Theatre into the night.
Exhibitors/Traders can download an application form for future events here;
The Green Community Fairs are organised for the Community with the help of volunteers and in conjunction with the Transition BH Hub who are groups of people living in Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch and surrounding areas starting ‘Transition Towns’ initiatives for the environment. Another example of a Transition initiative is The Slades Farm Community Garden. People can find out how to get involved with these projects at Green Community Fairs.
The Green Community Fair is now in its third successful year having organised the first ever solar powered events in Bournemouth in 2011 and in Poole and East Dorset last year.
Activities will include making masks from Recycled Materials and Giant Bee Puppet making workshops thanks to funding from Green Goals. The award-winning Green Goals project is a unique partnership linking football, education and business which aims to improve the local environment, raise environmental awareness and deliver benefits for the community as a whole.
The Green Community Fair is made possible with the help and support of an army of hundreds of participants and volunteers and is committed to raising awareness of ethical and environmental issues whilst helping to develop the skills and opportunities of their volunteers who are predominantly long term unemployed or disabled.
For more information about volunteering, mentoring, stalls and exhibition space at the Green Community Fairs please contact Sam the Paperwork Fairy on 01202 386348.