Important Update. Spud Nights for Amnesty have transformed into: 'SOUP SHARE AWARE.' They will take place on the last Tuesday of every month after dance 9 - 10.15pm. There will be a hearty soup and something sweet and a chance to hang loose together, singing, telling stories and jokes, poetry and whatever else. As before all profits will go to Amnesty International and the nights will serve to raise awareness of the camps in North Korea.
Spud Night for North Korea
No, we're not sending bags of spuds
to North Korea!
At 10pm, after the dance on the last
Saturday of every month, we invite
you to join us as we hang loose
together eating baked potatoes and
exquisite cakes (cakes courtesy of
the talented cook, Carolina), then sit
back and enjoy some open mic
entertainment. If you want to you can
even get on the open mic yourself
(we don't actually have a mic, but you get the gist).
All of this fun and connection is to raise awareness and money for the current situation in North Korea. The money that gets donated for the spuds and cakes goes to Amnesty International to support their campaign to get the North Korean Prison Camps closed.
Click here to read more information about the camps.
As well as our All Singing All Dancing All Eating antics
there's been loads of other creativity going on. Take a
look at the right hand side of this page to be dazzled by
Utterly Unrivaled Upcycling, Flippin' Pancakes and a
Beauty Parlour run entirely on Child Labour.
One of our team (thank you Cathy!) has been chatting
with the people at Amnesty who are impressed with our
fundraising efforts (and who wouldn't be! In the last few months we've raised over £3000), and here's what's been written for the magazine...
Spuds for North Korea
"The folks here at A Call to Dance have been coming together each month since August 2014 to create beautiful community gatherings with a purpose: to raise money and awareness for what's happening in North Korea.
So far, all the money raised - a whopping £9780 in total (as of April 2017) - has been paid to Amnesty International to support their work on this campaign.
On the last Saturday of the month, we gather together after the regular class to munch on delicious cakes and jacket potatoes. All the cakes, potatoes, toppings and teas for sale are offered as donations by members of 'Team Spud' and the use of the space is kindly given for free by St George's Church so that all the money can be given to this good cause.
Cathy Broome, a member of Team Spud, says "I've been an Amnesty supporter for years and when Sue asked me to help create these awareness-raising nights, I immediately said yes. Learning about what is going on in North Korea is harrowing but it has inspired me to take action. In addition to helping with the Spud Nights, I have plans to create a short film based on a poem I have written to help further raise awareness. But Spud Nights are special. Not only are they gorgeous, hilarious and delicious occasions, coming together in the way that we do enables us to feel stronger, more able to do something about what is happening to the tens of thousands in concentration camps. And I feel in my heart that it makes a difference to them. Not just with the money (though that's important) but in some way I think they know we are here, loving them, lighting another candle in the dark".
We have an 'open mic' section of the evening in which those that want to offer up all kinds of performances (which may or may not relate to North Korea) from poetry readings and songs to dances and performance art. Everything is welcomed, whether you feel 'accomplished' in what you offer or not and together we have laughed, cried, sung and sat in silence together to keep on raising awareness for, and hold in mind and heart, those suffering in North Korea.
In addition, other people have offered nail painting, cd sales and a wonderful up-cycling programme which on its own raised over £500 for the cause. Shirts were donated, sewing was taught and new creations were offered for sale - once by way of striptease! - to the gathered crowd.
You're really welcome to join in, though please note that Spud Nights are currently only open to those who have attended the dance class first. We gather straight after the class at 10pm and get cosy until late. You can also find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/acalltodance/ where our page has regular Spud Night updates.
"Never cut what you can untie"
As part of our fundraising to raise awareness for the prison camps in North Korea, ( all donations to Amnesty International) we have been busy doing some creative recycling.
Dancers have been donating their unwanted, but lovely clothes.
We've upcycled by making one-off beautiful bags out of gorgeous material and sewn on exclusive labels like, 'dancing with ears in our feet' to old clothes.
One thing we've been doing as part of the Upcycling project, is asked for mens' shirts and have been sewing words on to the back of them that speak to us in some way.
"One Sunday we held a sewing workshop in Sue's kitchen.
Deborah, our gorgeous and patient seamstress supreme, taught us how to sew a word on the back of a shirt in a most professional, handy and attractive way.
We got cosy and sewed and laughed all afternoon, just like our grandmothers would have done.
Yes, we were in stitches a lot! We soon cottoned on to the fact that it's sew knot some of our forte but still seamed to make wonderful creations whilst throwing more pounds into the ever-widening pot for the awareness of the plight in North Korea.
We even fabricated an indispensable new handicraft workshop; a knitting workshop for angry knitters called, 'Knit one, Hurl one'. I don't think our grandmothers had that one back then; perhaps it would've been useful. "
Flippin' Peaceful Pancakes
We raised, through your donations, £150 for Amnesty by eating coconut and/or oat pancakes after dancing. Along the way we held the people in the camps in North Korea in our minds, hearts and feet. In the kitchen there was much laughing, a bit of swearing as the pancakes cooked faster than we could toss them, and a few welcome tears - with room enough for all of it.