Get Creative is an annual festival which takes place across the UK to celebrate creativity and give people the opportunity to get involved in creative events or to share their own event. For a week in May, hundreds of organisations and community groups put on free events across the country.
Originally a collaboration between Arts Council Wales and the BBC when it launched in 2015, the project now involves all UK Arts Councils along with other organisations such as libraries and local authorities. In 2018, as recognition and participation grew, it merged with the Voluntary Arts festival.
In 2016, Arts Council Wales asked us to develop a web app that accepts public submissions of events, but that then allows the Arts Council to have editorial control over the events, before publishing them on a map as ‘pins’ for the public to explore. We have carried on making incremental improvements to the site every year, primarily focussing on improving the event ‘lifecycle,’ from the public-facing event submission form, through the event administrator interface, to the published event on the map.
We originally built the site on WordPress, which got us through the first couple of years, but once the events started to increase, WordPress wasn’t up to the task of much higher demand. Last year we struggled with visitor load so we suggested a move to a different platform. It now runs on Google’s firebase database and React JS. The site is now really streamlined.
Get Creative has big plans for the future. In the next 5 years they want to reach over 10k events. With increasing amounts of research indicating that creativity is good for wellbeing and mental health we can see the festival growing and growing and we look forward to continuing to develop the website to meet its needs as the festival evolves.