Public have a say on arts

Basingstoke Gazette: Public have a say on arts Public have a say on arts

MORE than 1,000 people passed through the doors of the Encounters pop-up shop experience in Andover High Street to share their thoughts, ideas, memories and experiences of Andover. Some of the material from the shop will be displayed in Andover over the next few months so that more people can enjoy the outcomes.

A Memory Map will be on display at the Beech Hurst Council Offices from the end of June, and the Micro World Collages, People’s Journey and Millennium Man installations will be on exhibition in the Arena Café at The Lights Theatre during the summer.

The data gathered in the shop is being collated and assessed to make recommendations for a public art programme for the town centre, as well as to inform other improvements.

A report will be presented to the Andover Town Summit Board later this year, and the results will be made public in the autumn.

Councillor Ian Carr, leader of the council, said: “After visiting the Encounters shop, even the most cynical of people left smiling and feeling positive about being part of the experience.

“These positive ripples will continue to be felt as the data collected will contribute to projects that will help to enhance the town centre for many years to come.

“This is yet another example of the projects and initiatives that have been developed as part of the Andover Summit.”

Ruth Ben-Tovim, project co-ordinator for Encounters Arts, said: “The response from the people of Andover and surrounding villages has been overwhelmingly positive about the aims of the Encounters Project. It has been a fantastic opportunity for the community to celebrate what is good about Andover and for people to voice what they wish to change for the future.

“Many people came in not knowing quite what to expect, and left full of enthusiasm. Our task now is to take the amazing volume of thoughts and ideas and feelings generated and channel them towards recommendations for a public art programme in Andover.

“This will be funded by developer contributions from Andover Business Park and other new developments in the area.”

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