The first few days of workshops on Astor Alive led by Processional Arts Workshops were largely de dicated to introducing the concept of sharing imagery, the building of puppets and many cardboard tributes to a locally well loved piece of spinning public art The Alamo Cube.

Participating in a creative workshop designed by others has been a sheer pleasure for me. I was out of my traditional comfort zones of plastazote, tubing, rattan, willow and fabric and in a land of cardboard construction in a really quality way. The mas – production also gave me the energy to reflect on my own processional arts workshops and the differences between the two.

Significant planning has gone into this six day run of workshops (at least a weeks work.) The workshop day begins at 2pm on a weekday and ends at 8pm allowing participation from adult volunteers with other professional roles of which there is a reasonable amount. So far I have met systems analysts, former Wall Street traders, healthcare workers, teaching assistants, self employed business people, native New Yorkers and newcomers and only one child. There is a policy of participants being aged 10 plus, the reasoning behind which is to get the work taken seriously and it is.

My own work in the UK is often either school or health setting centred. Workshops in the community are more often than not perceived as places where children are ‘entertained’ while adults sit back. Or it is seen as having therapeutic qualities – which I believe it does but then workshops are institutionalised and therefore closed. It’s great to witness this wide open community arts workshop it has clearly created a well adult community performing to create dynamic events.

Below are a few geek shots for workshop junkies…