Call out for Artists/Designer-Makers & Community Arts Organisations

The People’s Fair

The People’s Fair is the beating heart of Landlines and Watermarks – a creative and community festival that brings together the individuals, institutions and organisations that shape the life of the Calder Valley. It will swirl around the Community Opera and together they will form a weekend that shows off Calderdale in its Sunday Best.

Participation in the People’s Fair will be wide ranging. It will be an imaginative showcase for Calderdale’s creative and community talent, its businesses and civic organisations, its hidden treasures and well kept secrets. Parades and processions, street theatre, market stalls, exhibitions, food and the entirely unexpected will all have their place in the People’s Fair. A combination of festival, marketplace and street party, it will be an expression of all that is strong, resilient, delicate and human in the Calder Valley: an event for everyone with a stake in its future – regardless of background, origin, age or ability.

The six Landlines and Watermarks creative commissions (Waterworks) will serve to provide content for the People’s Fair at the Piece Hall in Halifax. They will be presented in their home town before being transferred to the Piece Hall for the People’s Fair.

The newly refurbished Piece Hall will be thrown open to the people of Halifax, and the community engagement team will work across the valley to ensure there is maximum take-up. The People’s Fair provides an opportunity for the Piece Hall to build a strong community base that extends beyond Halifax. It will send out a clear message that the refurbished building is a public space and open to the many communities of the valley.

The People’s Fair will be:

  • Primarily creative
  • Reflective of the diversity of Calderdale
  • Accessible to the least advantaged
  • Well dressed and well presented
  • Organised and informative
  • Primarily non-commercial
  • Home grown, local and proud

Key participants that we would therefore wish to recruit into the People’s Fair are:

  • Independent creative and craft based traders
  • Arts and cultural organisations
  • Local Charities that have a strong community focus
  • Community groups and voluntary organisations
  • Schools and colleges
  • Front-line public sector providers and agencies
  • Relevant interest groups from the environment, history, etc.

From food to street performance, charity shops to voluntary groups, schools and showcases for local talent, the People’s Fair will be a rich display of all that is strong and resilient in the valley. It will include exhibitions of testimony and include the businesses that have relocated into the building since reopening. Landlines and Watermarks will serve as an invitation from The Piece Hall to visit the newest public space in the Calder Valley – one that is welcoming, accessible and inclusive.

The People’s Fair will be structured around:

  • Stalls for community groups and creative businesses that are grouped around
  • A central area used for performance
  • Use of vacant units in the Piece Hall for exhibition, display and installations
  • Use of the outdoor video media for presentation of moving and still images
  • Appropriate food outlets/stalls
  • Programmed professional outdoor performance (street theatre etc)

The People’s Fair will encourage stalls to be interactive by providing opportunities for participation through games/workshops/making and doing. The ambition will be to create an animated environment that is engaging and imaginative. Simple displays with no interactive elements will be discouraged unless they are absolutely necessary.

The People’s Fair will have a strong relationship with the Community Opera (or whatever it becomes). The audience for the evening’s performance will experience the closing of the People’s Fair and the beginning of the performance. At this stage this is an ambition – until we have more fully confirmed the content of the People’s Fair, it is not possible to describe this in great detail.

Areas that need to be explored and agreed include:

  • The number of stalls and units to be used
  • Duration of the event
  • Number of days it takes place
  • Anticipated audience size
  • Décor
  • Management and co-ordination

We have rewritten the community engagement contract to include the co-ordination of the People’s Fair. This would seem to be a natural fit for someone who has community and creative event experience and would simplify communications across these activities.

Download the Flyer LLW events2

Visit the website

Who to contact:

Paula J Horton

Community Engagement: Landlines & Watermarks

Tel. 07810541907



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