Introducing…#DareToDream our collaboration with Heritage Open Days 13th-22nd September 2019

27 Jul Introducing…#DareToDream our collaboration with Heritage Open Days 13th-22nd September 2019

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Yesterday’s utopian dreams shape today’s reality. What future are you dreaming of?

Throughout history, real change has come from those who have dreamed of a better world for all and worked to implement solutions to injustices they see. Our new craftivism project is a tool to help you move from being a world-worrier to a solution-seeker and ultimately an effective positive change-maker. Sounds lovely don’t you think?

Move from fixating on problems to focusing on being part of the solution. This Dream cloud says ‘I #DareToDream we all have a place to call home’ and it is hung by a bed in someone’s home to remind them to keep being part of campaigns to end homelessness. What issues do you care about?

In partnership with Heritage Open Days (England’s largest festival of culture and heritage) supported by People’s Postcode Lottery we’ve created a project and series of free craftivism workshops 13th-22nd September across the England to be delivered by Craftivist Collective and the incredible local Heritage Open Day organisers. Our DIY ethical craftivism kits are a tool to help you learn unsung stories of local dream-makers of the past who have shaped our present day for the better that you may never have heard of whilst you craft your dream cloud creation. Each kit comes with ‘crafterthought-questions for you to think deeply about or discus with others what your dream for a better world will look like, and how you can be part of making it. Stitch by soothing stitch, this project can help you on your journey as an effective change-maker.

Did you know that Dartington Hall (pictured here) was a place for dreamers called ‘The Dartington Experiment’ in the 1940s who dreamt up the idea of the NHS, Arts Council and other concepts that became realities? Our project launch event will be at this magical place for a 100 people to help them be dream-makers too.

Not convinced about the power of this project? Dr Charlotte Rae, neuroscientist at the University of Sussex explains: 

“When we feel threatened, the habit-based centres of the brain drive automatic behaviours, shutting down opportunity for new thinking. However, when we pause and make a conscious effort to imagine our ideal world, we engage our prefrontal cortex – the creative solution-seeking system in the brain.By combining active pursuit of positive goals, with the unique fabric cloud format of messaging, your ‘Dare To Dream’ activity makes use of these known neurobehavioural strategies to create effective change.”

I dream of gender equality. By having this dream I can then find ways to be part of making it a reality as a citizen, constituent, consumer, colleague, family member… What about you?

Across the Heritage Open Days festival, I (Sarah Corbett) will lead four free workshops, launching at Dartington Hall in Totnes, where the concept for the NHS and Arts Council was established in the 1940s. Moving to Norwich, Manchester and Durham, wit heach session will take inspiration from local dream-makers whose historic ideas helped to shape a new reality.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Sarah, who embodies the gentle form of People Power that is at the heart of Heritage Open Days,” says Heritage Open Day’s National Manager, Annabelle Thorpe. 

Whether you are an experienced activist or new to campaigning, an extrovert or an introvert, regardless of your political persuasion, everyone is welcome to experience this slow, strategic and quiet form of non-judgmental activism and see where it takes you. You may be surprised. 

Some of our workshops are large drop in sessions, some are more intimate time bound workshops. All workshops are quiet, about slowing down and thinking compassionately. You can talk through your ‘crafterthoughts’ with others or just use the time to reflect alone. It’s up to you.


Craftivist Fabienne wrote after making her cloud:

“I found it so interesting, and a proper challenge, to think deeply about what my utopian dream actually is. I love wild swimming, so to me clean oceans would represent a clean world. Whilst stitching ‘I #DareToDream of Clean Oceans’ I thought deeply about my choice to be vegan. I’d wanted to reduce my carbon footprint but it still felt like I was denying myself my favourite foods. Crafting my cloud helped me see it as a positive choice again.” 

No craft skills are needed to take part in this new craftivism project, just an open heart and an open mind. In a society which can feel like it’s becoming more fractured and in a world that feels more fragile, let’s make hope possible not despair convincing.

I’ll be setting up craftivism workshops during Heritage Open Days week 13th-22nd September 2019 in Totnes, Norwich, Durham and Manchester


Intrigued? I hope so 🙂

Come along to one of four free craftivism workshops this year delivered by me Sarah Corbett: 

  • 7pm-9pm Friday 13th September: Launch event in Dartington Hall, Totnes co-hosted by Craft Revolution. A workshop and Panel discussion with three prominent dream-makers. Book tickets before they sell out here.
  • 2pm-4pm Sunday 15th September: Workshop at The Forum, Norwich. Book here
  • 10am-12pm Saturday 21st September: Workshop at the Miners Hall in Durham. SOLD OUT here
  • 11am-2pm Sunday 22nd September: Drop-in workshop at People’s History Museum in Manchester here
  • 3pm-4:30pm Sunday 22nd September: The Future of Protest: In-Conversion with Sarah Corbett and People’s History Museum learning from dreamers of the past to inspire us to be changemakers of the future. Limited Tickets here

Local Heritage Open Day organisers are running their own craftivism events too using our kits and tools. Including:

  1. 13th Sept, Sunderland Minster, Tyne and Wear here
  2. 14th Sept, Wisbech General Cemetery, Cambridgeshire here
  3. 14th Sept, Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sutton Coldfield here
  4. 14th Sept, St Chad’s Church, Gateshead here
  5. 15th Sept, Ashton Hall, Birmingham here
  6. 15th Sept, Holy Baptist Church, Hebden Bridge here
  7. 15th Sept, Curzon Cinema & Arts, Clevedon here
  8. 17th Sept Headstone Manor and Museum, Harrow here
  9. 17th & 21st Sept Oswestry Town Museum, Shropshire here
  10. 20th Sept, Skippings Gallery, Great Yarmouth here
  11. 20th & 21st Sept, Quaker Tapestry Museum, Kendal here
  12. 21st Sept, Thorney Heritage Museum, Peterborough here
  13. 21st Sept, St Barnabas Primary School, Tunbridge Wells here
  14. 21st Sept, Walkley Library, Sheffield here
  15. 21st Sept, Theatre Royal Stratford East, London here
  16. 21st & 22nd Sept, The New Cut Arts Centre, Suffolk here
  17. 22nd Sept, Alverbank House Hotel, Gosport here
  18. 22nd Sept, Mu Collective, Southampton here
  19. 22nd Sept, Friends Of The Earth & Tunbridge Wells Soroptimist’s, Kent here
  20. More events to be confirmed here


Want to know more about the project check out my chat over a cuppa with Heritage Open Days here

Want to organise your own Heritage Open Day Craftivism workshop in your local area this year or in a future year? All resources and support can be found here

Follow @Craftivists and @HeritageOpenDays on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@CraftivistCollective) for more news, dream-maker stories and to see the beautiful clouds and crafter-thoughts made by craftivists across England over the coming weeks

Craftivism is a powerful tool in three ways:
1. The Process: helps slow you down, be mindful of how you are feeling and creates a space for critical thinking, compassion and deep engagement in what you are making.
2. The Product: is a physical positive reminder to be part of the change you want to see.
3. You can hang your object in a public space relevant to the issue as a catalyst for thought, conversation with passersby as well as people on line who see your images.
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