At JimJam Arts we’re really delighted that the Living Advent Calendar has become such a firm Folkestone favourite.
It all started back in 2015 with a little sparkle of an idea from Stockholm in Sweden. Here each evening a different window in the city opens in the run up to Christmas for a short story and musical performance. It was a brilliant idea but we thought that we could take it a little further and make it Folkestone’s own. So we decided on doors rather than windows. Doors that opened each evening to reveal a special surprise which might be dance, drama, music, storytelling or whatever we could dream up. As well as commissioning professional performances, we wanted to reach all parts of the community, so we asked local community groups and organisations what they would like to do and how we could help them achieve it. So alongside our own Drama and Writing Workshops, we’ve now run workshops in everything from animation and puppetry to sculpture, singing and dance.
Each evening we collect for a different local charity which has a chance to tell the audience a bit about their work. All the entertainment and workshops are free which is thanks to generous funding this year from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund, The Arts Council, Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, Creative Folkestone and some kind and supportive Folkestone & Hythe District Councillors.
This year we are working with South Kent MIND, Touchbase Care, Moving Memory, local schools, Canterbury Christchurch University and Napier Barracks, as well as running free Drama, Dance and Craft Workshops open to all.
So that’s been our part in the making of the Folkestone Living Advent Calendar but none of it would happen without the help of our welcoming venues, wonderful volunteers and performers, and the goodwill and very special festive spirit of the people of Folkestone. Huge thanks for all your help and support and a very Merry Christmas to everyone!
Sadie, Sue & Marin
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We started JimJam Arts back in 2010 having worked together on productions on our degree course in Performing Arts at Canterbury Christchurch’s Folkestone campus. We were commissioned by Shepway Council to run three family events in the Lower Leas Coastal Park. Eight years on they were still going strong! Our aim in JimJam Arts is to make theatre and the arts accessible for everyone. We strive to not only entertain our audiences, but inspire and involve them in all our projects. Some of these include Word on the Street playwriting and Drama Workshops, the Happiness Bank, Folkestone’s first Street Festival, Pirate Party in the Park, Alice in the Coastal Park and several seasons of Shakespeare in the Park with Illyria Theatre Company. The Living Advent Calendar feels like a culmination of all our work so far.