Over the past 10 years the TCPA has been exploring its artistic heritage in the context of the Garden City movement and environmental education. An acute awareness of the power of art in the creation of places and thinking about social transformation has emerged from this process. The TCPA’s performance pieces ‘Love, Life and Liberty’ and ‘Land of Promise’ have demonstrated how the arts can provide a powerful tool for communicating these issues and for engaging new and existing audiences in the debate about the future and the places we create.
What is ‘Land of Promise’?
‘Land of Promise’ is a words and music presentation featuring guest readers, and musicians. It journeys through three and a half centuries of radical thought, writing, and song about the connection between art, social justice and the living environment.
Rediscovering the roots of a new society
‘Land of Promise’ is a celebration of the TCPA’s past utopian ideals. These values were artistic, collectivist, cooperative and occasionally eccentric, but most of all they were practical; building real places that immeasurably improved the lives of millions of ordinary people. The readings and songs in ‘Love, Life & Liberty’ give a small taste of the debate about land and freedom which has raged in England since the 17th century.
While inspired by the breath-taking radicalism and history of the planning movement, ‘Land of Promise’ is really about the way we live and how we communicate ideas about a better future for all.
It explores the connections between key figures in the town planning movement, such as Ebenezer Howard and Raymond Unwin, and radical thinkers such as Edward Carpenter, William Morris and Prince Kropotkin. The narration draws out a long lineage of cutting-edge thinking about freedom and land, running through John Clare and the Romantics back to Gerrard Winstanley and forward through the music of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. It celebrates, as the early pioneers did, the power of art and music in communicating political ideas, and reminds us that the imagination, radicalism and personal bravery of these fascinating figures of the past still have relevance for the present.
‘Land of Promise’ performances
The TCPA has performed ‘Land of Promise’ across the country, including performances in London, Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield, Stainsby Festival in Derbyshire and a sold-out performance at the Hay Literary Festival in 2013 and 2015.
‘Land of Promise’ is performed by actors, friends of the TCPA and TCPA staff. Music is by Chris Ellis and Rosie Toll.
‘Love, Life and Liberty’ (also ‘Land of Promise’) album
In 2012 the TCPA recorded an album with support from the Lady Margaret Patterson Osborn Trust. The album includes readings from actors Tony Robinson and Ben Miles and is available to buy from the TCPA.
Cover photo rights: Northern Heartlands