Biz Extra

Published: December 7, 2021 | Updated: February 7, 2022

Make a 2022 resolution to increase your intake of arts and culture, says columnist Jason Ward

By Andrew Diprose, editor

New Year resolutions are normally about reducing something like alcohol, bad food or weight.

But for 2022 I suggest you increase your intake of something that is calorie and fat free – arts and culture, writes Jason Ward.

Go to a gallery, see a play or read an extra book. And start exploring your own creativity – studies show that creative activities increase positive emotions and inspire novel thinking.

This month we welcome Afro*Disiac Founder Raymond Nyenje to Six Degrees of Inspiration to learn about his creative inspiration and ongoing projects.

We look forward to more fantastic cultural events in Dorset this month, and take a look at what business can learn from pantomime – Oh yes we do!

Pantomime: Across the region the tradition continues. Look out for shows in Bournemouth, Poole, Wimborne, Weymouth, Shaftesbury as well as fantastic local groups.

23rd December: BSO Christmas Carols Celebration, Lighthouse, Poole – The world renowned Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with an uplifting singalong celebration of your favourite Christmas carols.

2nd – 23rd December: Boscombe Art Depot Makers Market Running 12pm – 5pm Thursday to Saturday with creative workshops, live events, cinema and your chance to meet local artists and makers. On Saturdays the kids have a chance to get creative with their own workshops.

Review of The Opposite of a Feminist – Giant Gallery, Bobby’s Building, Bournemouth

The Giant Gallery’s new exhibition features work from award-winning visual artist Sarah Maple. This collection creatively uses painting, video, photography and humour to encourage us to reconsider the state of gender equality and challenge our opinions.

Visually, everything is clear but content is subtly played with, like Black Mirror does with TV – so that we are not moved too far away from what we know but we are still asked questions. For example, we see Disney Princesses as scientists, judges and football managers, asking us to imagine different endings for these young women’s stories.

The Opposite of a Feminist is provocative, eloquent and insightful. It is free to enter and runs until 13th February 2022.

Raymond Nyenje is the Founder and Director of Afro*Disiac Live Radio, an online station and CIC (Community Interest Company) playing a diverse mix of music including R&B, Afrobeats and jazz funk for Dorset and beyond.

Afro*Disiac helps young people develop professional skills through its community and employability workshops.

Raymond also runs the Bournemouth Reggae Weekender which takes place between 29th and 31st July 2022 in Kings Park, Bournemouth. 

What inspires your best creative ideas? 

Bringing a creative team around the ideas to see them develop and staying committed to the idea even when the results are negative.

Why are arts and culture important to everyone? 

Arts and culture bring communities together. They’re an excellent source of wonder, delight, and wisdom, and offer intellectual and emotional experiences, which promote either contemplation or celebration.

What advice would you give to a business to help them become more creative? 

Businesses should look beyond what has worked in the past. Getting stuck in older ideas can trap a business in a repetitive loop and stifle creativity.

Who is your creative hero? 

Serato, the company that makes premier audio software for DJs. Serato creates software used in digital music mixing, including digital vinyl record mixing for DVS records.

What piece of creative work are you most proud of? 

I’m most proud of having created Afro*disiac Live Radio a platform that fosters young talent, DJs and hosts community cultural events.

What are you working on right now? 

I’m working on a campaign to raise more prostate cancer awareness in our BCP community through a weekly radio show and interviews to get more men tested. I’m also working on the 2nd edition of Bournemouth Reggae Weekender a diverse cultural enrichment to BCP and beyond.

To find out more about the Reggae Weekender and sponsorship packages click on the below links:

To discover Afro*Disiac Radio click this link:

Pantomime is most people’s first experience of live theatre.

It is also big business representing 70 per cent of annual revenue for some theatres and recently the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Qdos, was bought out by a private equity backed investor.

’Tis the season so let’s check out what pantomime can teach our businesses about telling a great story (our picture features this year’s Beauty and the Beast at Lighthouse Poole):

CLARITY – The story never changes but the way the story is told gets updated every year. Writers update the songs, and the script. The producers hire new stars to stay relevant but all the elements must serve the same consistent and clear story. No amount of TV stars, theatrical effects or cheesy jokes can ever detract from telling a clear story.

EFFICIENCY– Everything that happens in pantomime has a reason. There are even visual cues to speed things along – baddies enter from one side and goodies from another. If something is excessive or does not serve a purpose then it is cut – remember kids (customers!) won’t stay still if the story doesn’t keep moving.

STRUCTURE – Pantomimes are masters at knowing when to stop telling and start selling! Pantomime writers always finish telling the story with two scenes to spare which gives them time to start selling. This is why you will always see a big singalong and a wedding or bows at the end of the show. The result? Everybody leaves the theatre on a high and already planning their next pantomime ticket purchase!

Pantomime is a wonderful experience and although it can look like a jumble of jokes, it takes a very serious, structured business to keep us cheering the hero, booing the villains and laughing at the Dame’s cheesy jokes!

Wishing you all the best for the Festive Season!


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