Encounters mobile shop

Encounters – Dartington’s creative dialogue exchange – goes on the road round Totnes

The Encounters ‘creative dialogue’ project at Dartington is taking its shop of ideas on the road this month, with a series of visits to public places in and around Totnes and Dartington.

The project has its main base in the old grocery shop – now The Gallery – on the Dartington estate and is providing an informal space for hundreds of visitors and members of the local community to share their thoughts and stories about The Dartington Hall Trust’s past, present and future.

Now Encounter’s directors Ben Yeger and Ruth Ben-Tovim have devised a way of taking the project on the road with a mobile Encounters Shop. Passersby will be able to suggest ways for the community to engage with Dartington and leave memories, stories and comments about their experiences on the estate.

The ‘shop’ has already visited Totnes Bookshop, Co-op, KEVICC, local primary schools and The Shops at Dartington, with further visits planned to the Mansion and Bridgetown shops on Friday March 25, Park School on Wednesday, March 30, Totnes Market and the Pavilions on Saturday, April 2 and Follaton House on Tuesday, April 5.

The main shop at Dartington remains open every Tuesday from 11am to 5pm and Wednesdays from 11am to 7pm.

Encounters is an independent participatory arts company that has recently re-located to Dartington.

The company’s creative dDirector, Ruth Ben-Tovim, told ArtsCulture: “The idea behind the Encounters Shop is to create a space for the exchange of dialogue, stories, experiences and ideas about Dartington at a time of exciting change and transition. It gives people a chance to talk about what was gone before and what is still to come – and to get involved in the trust’s future.

“It has been great for us to get out and about with the mobile shop and talk to different people. The outcome of the Encounters project will be a performance at Dartington on Wednesday, April 13 created from the contributions and stories of those who have taken part.”

Dartington is embarking on an ambitious new five-year plan to expand its activities in the arts, social justice and sustainability. The Trust’s plans include development of the Abundant Life project at the Foxhole Centre, the launch of Dartington’s new creative hub, Space, and the expansion of Schumacher College’s programmes in education for sustainable living. These developments will transform the heart of the estate and create new opportunities for the local and global community to engage with the charity’s activities.

Encounters specialises in working with communities at times of transformational change.

For more information about Encounters and their previous shop projects visit: www.encounters-arts.org.uk

(from a press release)