SMCAF CHAIR’S AGM REPORT 18 NOVEMBER 2009
It has been an honour and a privilege for me to chair the St Monans Community Arts Festival in 2009. My original idea for a community arts festival took wings throughout the months of this year, due to the support, assistance and drive of a committed group of people from within and outwith our committee.
The challenges before us were great. We had to start from scratch, building up a festival from the grass roots up. We had to enthuse people about the idea, opening up their eyes to the possibilities of participation in this venture. We had to see St Monans as an arts centre, identifying the venues, the creative environments, that could house projects.
An open meeting was held in November 2008 to recruit a committee; an open meeting was held in January 2009 to reach out for festival participants. Openness was what we endeavoured to promote throughout our procedural and artistic initiatives and decisions.
A dedicated committee took on the responsibility of translating the arts proposals sent to us into a working programme. This programme had to be varied, to properly represent a range and balance of arts, and flexible, to meet the rigours of event organisation. The skill and experience of the committee members was invaluable in the realisation of this work, to which I, as Chair, offer my sincere thanks.
Fife Council, St Monans Community Council and the Common Good Fund supported us financially, offering their advice where necessary. We called upon the services of people within the St Monans community, who offered their thoughts and volunteered their energy to the formation of the festival. To all parties who helped us in this way, we, as a committee, offer our sincere thanks.
The St Monans Community Arts Festival was a success. It involved local people and drew in people from Fife and beyond. It covered many creative bases, with music, arts and crafts, painting, photography, camera collections, film, drama, dance, poetry, tai chi, local history and a festival church service on display over the September weekend. It opened at St Monans Primary and closed at the Mayview Hotel, making appearances in-between at a host of village venues.
We asked people involved to give us feedback. The information received is helping us to evaluate what worked and what can be improved upon. This brings me to my closing comments. In my view, the achievements of the first St Monans Community Arts Festival can only increase through the wider support of the St Monans community. Like all first-time ventures, it was experimental; a learning process for all involved. Its future depends on the will and vision of the community to support its own artistic potential. Over the festival weekend, this promise manifested in a child’s poem, a collector’s wisdom, a violin’s song, an artist’s sketch, a dancer’s smile. This is too precious to lose, too special to neglect.
Chair of the SMCAF Committee,
18 November 2009