My View, Elaine Hirst - Bringing art to communities

Local film makers Jim Lockey (left) and Dominic Somers are making a short film in Mexborough this summer.
Local film makers Jim Lockey (left) and Dominic Somers are making a short film in Mexborough this summer.

Our communities benefit so much from the creative arts.And it is fantastic to see some of the projects that the Right Up Our Street Arts Supporters have been working on, along with their local community teams, come to life.

Right Up Our Street is funded by the Arts Council and is all about Doncaster people choosing, making, seeing and sharing great art.

Working together darts (Doncaster Community Arts), Cast (Doncaster’s new theatre venue), DVAN (Doncaster Voluntary Arts Network) and DCLT (Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust) are helping to deliver arts projects in our communities.

Some of the longer-term projects we’ve been working on are coming to fruition with the Mexborough film project lighting up the big screen this month, the Balby Field of Poppies taking shape and the Rossington Village Quilt getting ready for its hanging in October. These are things we can all be proud of. As communities so many people have worked to make these projects happen and there is still time for people to get involved.

We’ve got the Right Up Our Street production of Kes in association with Cast to look forward to in September, when Shameless star Sally Carman will take to the stage in Doncaster as Mrs Casper.

The rehearsal and production process is in full swing and 48 members of our community are ready to play their part.

We’ve also put out our latest Open Call for artists with a creative project idea to submit a proposal to contribute to the Right Up Our Street Project. People can find out more by visiting

We are looking for contemporary artistic project ideas from any art form that offer something new to Doncaster.

Artists do not have to be based in Doncaster to apply for funding but the project must take place in the town.

Planning has already started for the second DN weekend to be held in June next year when empty shop premises in Frenchgate Shopping Centre and Waterdale will be animated with arts activity. A first planning workshop with voluntary arts organisations will be held on September 18 at The Point.

The community in Rossington will be working together to transform the Market Cafe on Queen Mary’s Road into a place to celebrate with all types of music on Saturday, August 30 and there are arts and crafts workshops happening across the borough.

My message to Doncaster residents is – get involved. This is a great opportunity for you to learn a new skill, trying something different, get to know people in your local area, socialise and be a part of something that Doncaster can be really proud of.

* Elaine Hirst, Action Research lead and lead for strand A of Right Up Our Street