|Policy Silo||Public Realm, Arts & Culture|
|Year of beginning||2010|
|N° of people involved||Studio Weave, Callan Municipality, Local Schools, Citizens
Civic Engagement Producers: Rosie Lynch, Etaoin Holahan
|Description of the project||Bridge Street, a street that was underused and lacking social dynamics was regenerated through a collaborative process based on art, theatre, and architecture, taking over houses, shops and the street itself via the imagination of its users.
The Bridge Street project is part of a long programme of projects in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland looking at engaging local communities in participative planning and renewing a sense of civic pride in rural town centers. It evolved out of a series of participative research projects initiated by Callan based curators looking at ways of encouraging active and creative citizenship.
Various community workshops took place with different citizens and also local schools to re-imagine the street as a civic space, attentive to space and the stories that could possibly generate a legacy for the town. Workshops included activities such as sewing and costume design, electrics and lighting, sound engineering, painting, and carpentry.
The project culminated in the collective regeneration of the street with painted façades, assembling of urban furniture, and the performance of a mobile play that led the audience to rediscover idle buildings and spaces in the street. This occurred during the annual arts festival in Callan (Abhainn Ri Festival- a community led event of inclusion and participation) which provides a platform for the creative energy within the town to be expressed and gives a chance for the town’s residents to attend events, participate in the ongoing conversations about shared spaces within the town and become invested in the direction and process of change.
The project was used as an experimental vehicle for architectural interventions in public space, commissioning artists and architects to work with local people to develop and test new infrastructure and resources for the town.