To celebrate their 50th birthday, Colchester Zoo presents Stand Tall for Giraffes – a mass appeal, large-scale public art event, in partnership with their charity, Action in the Wild, and global leaders in mass participation art events, Wild in Art.
For 10 weeks in the summer of 2013, Colchester’s streets, parks and open spaces will be taken over by some unusual visitors – 2.5 metre high giraffe sculptures. The giraffe sculptures will engage local professional artists who will design and paint them, and celebrate the creativity of Colchester. The event will culminate in an auction of the sculptures to raise funds for global conservation projects through the zoo’s charity Action for the Wild, including the charity’s UmPhafa Reserve in South Africa.
The project is being developed in partnership with Wild in Art an experienced arts, events and education company who the team behind successfully staged similar events in the UK, Europe and Africa.
Colchester Zoo is now inviting schools to take part in this festive celebration of arts, culture and the environment through its schools programme, which it views as an integral part of the Stand Tall project, and to ensure the town’s youngest citizens enjoy and engage with the event.
Each participating school will have the opportunity to design their own 1.3m Giraffe and use the Stand Tall education pack as a cross curricular resource to bring Giraffes, the environment and conservation, into all primary topics and thematic weeks. The mini giraffes will feature in internal locations at the same time as their larger counterparts and form part of the fun 12 week trail in the summer of 2013. At the end of the project, each Giraffe will be returned to its school as a permanent memento of their involvement in the event.
Rebecca Perry, Director of Conservation, Education and Research at Colchester Zoo says, “Children are always the focus of everything we do at Colchester Zoo, so we are very proud to launch our education programme to encourage local children to get involved in this fantastic project. We encourage them to use their creativity to decorate their giraffe sculpture and create a spectacular display for their school, while at the same time, learning about the vital work undertaken by Action in the Wild to conserve and support vulnerable animals worldwide.”
Local children may already have spotted one of the Stand Tall 2.5 high giraffes, as it undertook a special 12-day tour of different parts of Essex, including Lakeside, Colchester’s Castle Park, Clacton Pier and even spectacularly abseiled down the side of Colchester’s famous Jumbo water tower. (Well, giraffes always did have a head for heights!)
The Stand Tall education programme is sponsored by Sportsafe UK, a Colchester based company who install, service, repair and maintain sports and fitness equipment for schools, leisure centre’s, councils and businesses across the UK.
Managing Director of Sportsafe UK, Jon Neill says, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support Colchester Zoo in their education programme for Stand Tall. We have great experience of working with schools for their sporting equipment needs, so we are fully aware how important extra-curricular activities such as this one are to children and their development, not to mention the fantastic fun they will have creating their giraffe.”
Over 80 schools have signed to be part of the programme. Schools looking for more information should visit http://www.colchesterzoo.org/standtall or call 01206 332513.
Posted by Tracy Thomas