Monthly meet ups that explored how we can develop new audiences and create a stronger community culture centred around playful experiences.
November 2015 marked the beginning of PlayArk After Dark, a monthly meet up where adults could come to play, talk and have a pint. Each month we programmed sessions that explored how we could understand our audiences better and discover how we could make our work accessible to a wider community.
Some of our artist work focuses on reclaiming our public spaces and making cities more playable; through street games to roaming theatre experiences. We partnered with the Wales Millennium Centre who were interested in how they could open up their public areas such as their foyer and concourse to activities that could give people ‘permission’ to be in these areas when the venue programme was ‘dark’. The meet ups allowed us to build on the existing community we have and grow the culture around this ethos and as well as giving others the opportunity to produce their own projects.
Developing audiences through direct experiences definitely has it’s merit and long term will allow us to understand our audience and shape and refine our artistic work. In this respect we are uniquely placed to offer this process to our clients and have created a space that allows us to test the robustness of our work with a wider collaborative network.
‘I loved playing games in a public space with like minded people’.
‘Fun, seeing old friends, new games, play!’
‘I loved playing HEIST. I still can’t get over it, it blew my little brain.That game is SO AWESOME’.
‘I love the thinky puzzle games but it’s nice to be allowed to dash and hide and scream and giggle’.
‘If the quality remains as it is I would keep on coming along without hesitation and encourage anyone I can to join me!’
playARK After Dark was kindly supported by The Arts Council of Wales, The Wales Millennium Centre, thinkARK and Hoffi.