‘As a partner of step in stone, SAW played a vital role in helping me develop the project from initial stages through to its successful completion. Carol Carey’s invaluable advice, support and encouragement with initial funding applications helped achieve the Mendip Hills and ACE/National Lottery funding. The funds SAW offered step in stone via their inspirED programme were extremely important not only for match-funding, but also as an essential educational element within the project and proved highly successful. We had a fantastic response with lovely outcomes. Beccy Swaine dealt with the inspirED bookings, promoting and liaising with local schools very skilfully and efficiently. Two of these school groups made work which we featured as part of the artscape at Halecombe – particularly admired by the public. A fusion of art and literature, Ralph Hoyte’s ‘perambulatory poetry sessions’ (via inspirED) in FCQ and SESC produced some extraordinary poems by Ansford GCSE students.
SAW was part of the Steering Group which helped to guide me during the project. I was also fortunate to have the support and curatorial guidance from Zoe Li. Her meetings and advice during the quarry ‘walkabout’ were extremely useful. SAW also greatly supported us with the SAW guide, enabling us to have a full page for the project, which we could otherwise not afford.
As planned, step in stone gained momentum as it progressed in steps to its finale. Fitting with this, the final fortnight tied in with Somerset Art Weeks Festival ‘Momentum’. It was a brilliant climax! Each weekend approximately 300 people visited the magical Fairy Cave Quarry (FCQ) venue alone. Family Day was really special, a fantastic success, so many enthusiastic children, grown ups and in-betweenies enjoyed a range of organised activities in the quarry. This must have been helped by the promotion of Somerset Art Weeks Festival. SAW supported with promotion – featuring step in stone on SAW’s website, Blog and social media pages. SAW also invited me to speak at their AGM in June, which increased awareness about the project.
Other outcomes from the partnership: SAW has built closer relationships with Mendip Hills for future arts/nature collaborations, and Visit Somerset website introduced a new page for the arts on their web site, highlighted by step in stone and visitor interests in arts events.’