WHAT can be done to make Stratford a better place to live, work and play?
That will be the question townspeople will be attempting to answer at a conference at Stratford Playhouse on Sunday October 13 between 11am and 3pm.
Participants will be invited to set the agenda themselves, and then between them, come up with suggestions of what they want to see change in the town in the near future, and how they might work together to make that happen.
It is the next stage of the I See the Future project. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) commissioned creative company Anagram to create two sets of giant interactive binoculars that offered a vision of Stratford 100 years on, as imagined by townspeople today.
The binoculars were in place on Henley Street and Bancroft Gardens in early September to coincide with the 250th anniversary of 18th-century actor David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee of 1769. The Jubilee is considered to be the event that established the Shakespeare tourism industry as known today.
The findings of the Playhouse conference will also help inform Stratford Town Trust’s (STT) new five-year strategy which is currently going through a consultation phase.
Louisa Davies, head of creative programme at SBT and I See the Future project leader, said: “I See the Future was designed to give local people the chance to imagine how their town would develop over the next 100 years, but now we want them to put forward their ideas for how to make positive changes to the town in the nearer future.
“This event will not necessarily provide solutions but it will provide a collaborative atmosphere where people can have their say and meet others who can help to make positive changes to life in Stratford.”
Geraldine Collinge, director of events and exhibitions at the RSC, said: “Now our community has come together and contributed ideas of what we want our future to look like with the I See the Future project, looking at how we achieve those ambitions is a natural next step.
“We want to bring together people from all the different communities that make Stratford great, and give them a chance to make a real impact on the future of their home town.”
Sara Aspley, STT chief executive, said: “The I See the Future project has come at a really important time for Stratford Town Trust as we start to decide our funding priorities for the coming years. We are delighted to be part of the Open Space event at The Playhouse, it is an exciting opportunity for the people of Stratford to come together and share what matters to them.”
Places at the conference must be booked in advance. Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/openspace to register.