As Doncaster celebrates the launch of CAST, the £22m jewel in the crown of Doncaster’s £300m Civic & Cultural Quarter (CCQ), I’d like to dedicate a few lines to the alternative cultural quarter which has been forming steadily (and cheaply!) in a leafier part of town (especially as they cut down all the trees near the CCQ ).
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very talented and dedicated people involved with the CCQ (who are quite often also involved with projects at Church View as well) and I welcome the commitment shown by various bodies to promote the arts in Doncaster. But there will always be a need for – and my anarchist heart will always favour… – spaces which are not afraid to experiment and, perhaps more importantly, are not afraid to take risks.
I can hardly imagine the DMBC saying ‘yes‘ to letting Phlegm create a giant mural on their spanking new building…
…and then saying ‘yes‘ to setting a fire in front of it…
…and then saying ‘yes‘ to letting us sing, and play, and feast, and tell stories while marine-flare wielding foxes dance the night away!..
And rightly so. My friends and I would have the concrete ripped up and replaced with a forest garden in no time… and all those glass windows would make perfect greenhouses! 😉
Whereas the CCQ offers a showcase for culture as presented by mature, professional talent, the ‘culture’ of Church View can sometimes have more in common with a petri dish. By this I mean it is a place which celebrates raw potentiality…. let’s mix up some ingredients, add some funk, poke it around a bit and see what happens. The CCQ is a place to celebrate what *is*. Church View is a place to discover what can *be*… to push boundaries and give anyone with a voice the chance to speak… to break down and to build anew. This is why I call it the Trans-Cultural Quarter.
Doncaster needs both a CCQ and a TCQ. More importantly it needs them to work together to tease out the innate creativity of fine Donny folk… so here’s to your CQs, both C and T, in the hope that they find each other ASAP.