The Art of the Possible Festival A showcase of the amazing things going on locally to you

Coming soon to a town near you — a pop up theatre, a multi-faith gathering and a living library are among events lined up to take place this October for the Art of the Possible Festival. 

With more than 150 events and activities taking place across the county, from 14 to 31 October, the Art of the Possible Festival is promising to make an impressive wave in the social calendar of activity for October. 

The Festival will showcase the people, passion and places that make Essex.  Combining regular activities and one-off festival events, Art of the Possible is all about promoting the good things that happen within communities and celebrating how these activities make real differences to peoples’ lives. With both bookable and ‘just turn up’ events happening across the county, there really is something to appeal to everyone.     

Got green fingers and interested in building a community garden? Then the GardenSOUP event at Cressing Temple is for you. Ever wondered what a day in the life of someone else would be like? Then come along and borrow a ‘human book’ from the living library Fancy a social and sporty start to the weekend? Then why not join the world’s biggest running event and take part in an Essex parkrun? Find out how you can make your money go further with a Money Matters event or join the Essex Crowd and help find out how crowdfunding could make your community idea a reality.

The full festival programme can be accessed via the Art of the Possible website.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “The Art of the Possible Festival is a celebration of the good things that happen across Essex.  Whether you live in Clacton or Debden, Saffron Walden or Rayleigh, Chelmsford or Colchester, there will be an event happening local to you, take a look now and find out how you can be a part of Art of the Possible this October.

“The Art of the Possible Festival wants to bring people together and build local connections.  It’s about celebrating the inspirational things going on across our county, sharing ideas and experiences, and showing how we can all help create the communities we want to live in.”

To find out more information about the Art of the Possible Festival 2017 and to attend any of the events mentioned above, please visit and stay in touch by following #AotP2017 on twitter and Facebook.


Parkrun is a global phenomenon. Back in 2004, a handful of runners came together to run a timed 5k route. Fast forward thirteen years and over 3 million people have signed up to walk, jog or run for free. With seventeen 5k parkruns and six 2k junior parkruns available in Essex, you’re never too far from a chance to get involved.

As part of #AotP2017, we are celebrating the good things that can happen when people come together — why not find your local venue sign up at, print off your barcode, and lace up those trainers?

Living Library

Why not borrow a person rather than a book when you next go to Chelmsford library? Taking an idea from Denmark and bringing it to Essex, the living library gives people the chance to come along on 17th October from noon to 2p.m. and borrow a human being.

Have a conversation with someone you’d not otherwise have met in a library where real people are on loan to readers. The Living Library - a place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. Intrigued? Places are limited so sign up now:

The Commercial Conundrum

Designed especially for charities and social enterprises, The Commercial Conundrum is a day-long workshop providing skills, tricks and tips to maximise the sustainability of your charity or social enterprise. Using tried and tested techniques, coupled with activities in the wild outdoors, you’ll finish the day with real-world tools to help your charity, community group, or social enterprise thrive.

There are limited places on this free session, run by an experienced team of business professionals, so if the opportunity appeals, don’t delay! If you are a social enterprise, a community group or an established charity, why not head out to Essex Outdoors in Danbury for a day of commercial discoveries?

Funding Carousel

Money makes the world go round, but if you are a voluntary organisation with limited or zero dedicated funding resource, it’s not always easy to develop a strong funding application. If you want to know how to attract funding for your projects, make your way to Colchester on Monday 30th October where, as part of Art of the Possible, a free to attend hands-on workshop will help guide you through the process.

Join a skilled team of funding and investment professionals (and a surprise special funder guest!), will help you learn more about the key elements that make a great funding application.

Other Halves on Tour

Other Halves came about because of Jackie. Jackie’s partner was diagnosed with dementia and she found there was very little support to help partners to deal with the burden; Jackie felt there was plenty of advice and information, plenty of understanding of dementia sufferers’ needs but little to help carers with their needs.

Other Halves looks to fill that gap. They meet regularly in and around Chelmsford and, as part of Art of the Possible, they are making their way to Hatfield Peverel, where the village cricket club has opened its clubhouse for cake, coffee and conversation. If you live with, or care for, someone with dementia, why not come along on Wednesday 18th October?


SOUP comes from Detroit — the original idea saw diners donate $5, eat soup, listen to good ideas and vote for the idea they thought would make the most difference to their local area. The winning idea walked out with money and could start making a difference straight away.

Since then, SOUP has grown into a global movement. Three Essex SOUPs are bringing their bowls and spoons and tureens to Cressing Temple where they’ll introduce four community gardening projects with ideas that deserve funding. Come along on Saturday 21st October, discover the new community garden that has been created, find out more about all things horticultural, meet like-minded gardeners, stay for the soup and make a difference at the same time!

The EssexCrowd

The EssexCrowd is a new way to get your ideas off the ground — a crowdfunding platform that can help you raise money for the projects that you want to see happening in your local area.

If you have an idea that would make your neighbourhood a better place — whether a community café or an art festival, a sports day or a crèche for young parents — we want to hear from you. Essex County Council has up to £5,000 to support individual good ideas, so don’t just think, do! Make your way to Basildon on 18th October for a hands-on guide from Spacehive, the UK’s only crowdfunding tool designed specifically to improve local spaces and places.

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