What has the CMC Ever Done… for Sheffield Kids?
Emma Cooper, CMC Advisory Committee member asks…
Which for a Children’s Media Conference that has happened in Sheffield every year for the last 14 years is a very good question.
As a Sheffield resident and someone who works in children’s media I’ve gained a huge amount from CMC being on my home turf. Not just sleeping in my own bed and seeing my own children while attending a conference, but also making international connections, learning more about making media for children, and growing and strengthening my career – from outside the M25.
A thousand or more delegates coming to the city to talk business and spend their hard earned money at our bars restaurants and hotels has a definite benefit to the city as a whole, it wasn’t until last year that CMC were actually able to offer a benefit to the children of the city directly.In the past few years I’ve had an interest in the Maker movement and crafting combined with electronics and digital elements. I’ve organised a number of events in the city and the last one I did Kathy Loizou and Greg Childs came along to. They had an idea for running something similar, but just for kids, as part of the conference. I was incredibly excited by the chance.
Working with the unstoppable force that is fellow Advisory Committee member Sharna Jackson, alongside the hardest working production manager you ever did meet, Darren Chouings, and the mild mannered but steely Kathy Loizou we put on Playground.
Support from Hallam University and sponsorship from Dubit ensured we could put it on.
Over 4 days we had over 1,000 visitors, including 4 school visits and 2 workshops. We gave the kids of Sheffield interactive digital art. The idea being to show them what it’s possible to achieve with digital creativity. As an added bonus one of the days we were open it was raining AND there was a teachers’ strike so we gave some entertainment to bored kids and respite to their parents.
This year we’re doing it again. Once again Dubit are in support and Hallam are providing the venue. Kids in Sheffield will get a chance to get into loads of Virtual Reality, race horses by making noise, design their own pinball games, make their own art, and experience the artwork of other children. And delegates at the CMC are all welcome to play nicely too.
Playground will be in the Cantor Gallery, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, from 4 – 7 July (0930 – 1730) and on the 8 and 9 July (1100 – 1730).