Like many streets today, each home did its own thing in its own bubble. While I’m a fan of privacy, how can we ever feel safe in a community of unknowns? Better locks cannot be the answer forever.
In my possession were poems I’d written and poems I’d adapted for performances that could become a 45 minute show. A reason for a little gathering of neighbours and, all going well, a positive shared experience.
My parents hesitated; this isn’t their thing. Dad made sure he was not going to be home and mum slept on it to conclude that all I’m trying to do is something good, so she stayed. Next, it was time to invite the neighbours. Door to door I attempted to prove as quickly as possible this was no sales pitch. Just something fun for this street, and you’re invited.
Many engaged in conversations way beyond the usual exchange of labels, perhaps because I’d already thrown out convention by inviting them to a street poetry show! On the day, I created this web page and posted a little invitation to watch a ‘Hello’ video:
We laughed, reflected, shared and openly wondered why so many years had passed without ‘something positive’ bringing us together.
You know you’ve done good when a six year old says ‘well done’…
And even more exciting was that those who came volunteered themselves (or partners!) to host the next one. They could play an instrument, or sing, or create pieces of craft that packaged as a show could be an excuse for another gathering like this one.
So that was the first Stones Throw Show. If you’re up for the challenge of hosting your own show like this for your street let’s connect, I’d love to hear about it and encourage this!
What inspired this project?
here’s a blog post on the story behind this idea.
What’s happened since?
This little event was featured in the Royal Society of Arts (RSA’s) 2017 Journal: