November’s Chapeltown Conversations, held at Union 105 was a small affair with just 5 of us, This included one new person, Josina, who came to talk about the possibility of re-starting ‘Friends of Potternewton Park’.

We talked about how that might work, what the purpose of it would be and who might get involved. We also publicised the Chapeltown Festive Fair organised by Chapeltown Development Trust and spent quite some time discussing the Chapeltown Festival of Arts.

We discussed the future of Chapeltown Conversations: what is its purpose and how much energy does it take to organise? It is a nice idea to keep it going as a forum available to people to talk about things as and when they want to and it takes a reasonably small amount of energy and time to organise.

However, firstly it does take more time and energy than Cath & Lotte have and rejuvenating it would mean even more. Secondly it isn’t serving much of a purpose if hardly anyone comes and the same subjects come up every time.

At the same time, Sandra needs people to help with the Chapeltown Festival of Arts next July and is struggling to get many other people to share the responsibility for it. Bearing in mind the experience of Janet from St Mary’s Flats, who started to organise the Chapeltown Food Festival a year or two ago, but who gave up because she ended up organising it on her own, Cath feels that it’s important that we don’t let the same thing happen to Sandra.

After some going round in discussion, we decided to suspend Chapeltown Conversations while we put our energy into the Arts Festival instead. Sandra suggested that it keeps going, but with the Arts Festival as the subject each time, for the next 6 months.

We decided to try out that Chapeltown Conversations will focus on one topic/theme/project until that has been seen through, in this case, the Arts Festival. But there will always be half an hour at the end to discuss any other business/issues/problems people might want to talk about.

The next session will take place on Wed 29th January, 6-9 at Union 105 and will be an open update and planning meeting for the Arts Festival.