Colchester Arts Centre

East of England

Registered Charity Number: 288652

Project name: The magic bus

Project overview

The Magic Bus is a vehicle for change and a vehicle for the imagination.  Our community arts centre welcomes thousands of people through the doors every year. But there are thousands who don't come. 

This is a project to reach out to the isolated, the lonely and the vulnerable. A full-blooded attack on the issues of exclusion, poverty, cultural barriers, mental health issues, disability and the myriad of barriers that prevent people from engaging with each other, with the arts, with their neighbours and communities. Our Magic Bus proposal is a radical, inventive, creative, and ambitious answer to reaching out beyond the walls of our building. In essence it is a simple idea; if people can't come to us, well we shall come to them! A dancing bus? Ridiculous. But why not? This beautifully restored (and accessible) London Routemaster Bus will be the catalyst for change. It will dance into communities, open its doors, it will sing, shimmy and flirt its way into the hearts of the people.

Colchester bus [pic]

This sum of money is a game changer

We were just full of joy and relief and it might be cliché but the work must start now. We were thrilled and excited! The real thing is not the cash but the actual work that we will be doing, to be able to get out and get under the skins of the people who are left outside, vulnerable and need help. We won’t change the world but we will give it a good go!

Anthony Roberts, Colchester Arts Centre

How the £50,000 grant will help

We have got to the stage where we have a splendid, well equipped, accessible vehicle. But it is currently sat in the garage. Funding will breathe life into the bus, fill it with music, fill it with people, fill it with children, older people, poetry, dance, joy. It will be out and about on the road, making friends, breaking down barriers, a talking point, a meeting place, a cinema, an advice bureau, a puppet theatre, a vehicle for change and hope. We will use bio diesel for fuel. We will have no single use plastic and we will use these points to keep the conversation about our planet alive. We will always keep moving, moving forward in the bus and forward in our thinking.