THE BANNER PROJECT //
Partners: The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster Sewing circle, East Meets West International women's group, funded by The Artichoke foundation and Arts Council England [Jan - June 2018]
Project outline: A series of drop-in workshops held over three months at The Dukes Theatre, the assembly of two major banners designed and created by the community. Participation in a national march to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, Edinburgh.
Aims and outcomes: The main aim for this project was to build relationship with the group, introducing them to The Duke's and getting them used to the theatre in a relaxed and creative environment. The women already attended a weekly sewing club, so it made sense to build on this familiar language. Members of the community were empowered to take on a designer and project-management role giving them ownership and confidence.
OPEN MIC NIGHT
Partners: The Dukes Theatre, Global Link [Refugee & Asylum seeker support organisation, June 2018]
Project outline: Facilitating a platform to showcase local talent from the Refugee/asylum-seeker community. Providing a safe and supported space for participants to explore their creativity and express their voice.
Aims: The aim behind this initiative was to identify those interested in theatre and performance. The project attracted a large group of male refugee and asylum seekers, where they were supported to write, devise and perform their first piece of theatre; 'Nanji' written by Ali Mogwali was a dark comic about the experience of being a refugee and asylum seeker in 2018. The event not only attracted performers but drew in the community, many of which had never engaged with The Dukes before.
Partners: The Dukes Theatre, East Meets West [International women's group], Ongoing Nov 2018 - 2019
Project outline: Monthly all women's dance session at The Dukes lead by one of the participants in the community. These sessions were designed to be sensitive towards faith and cultural needs.
Aims and outcomes: Empowering members of the community to take on a leadership role. These sessions help to strengthen the relationship between the community and the theatre, continuing to familiarise participants with the building; this is important when working with communities that lack in English. By establishing regular engagement with this community it makes it possible to move towards more performance based work in the future. Women from this group were enquiring further about 'acting classes' with The Dukes and for their children.
Partners: The Dukes Theatre, Director Kristine Landon-Smith, funded by The Granada Foundation and Arts Council England, Feb 2018
Outline: working with renowned headphone verbatim director Kristine Landon-Smith to train and produce a show exploring education on a local and global level. Artists and community leaders are introduced to this accessible and effective tool for theatre making.
Aims and outcomes: As part of the project, I facilitated and delivered a workshop in headphone verbatim specially tailored for local refugee women. As a result one of the women was employed in the show as a professional artist. The project was designed to engaged further with BAME artists in the north west, the wider BAME community through the interviewing process and empower community leaders.
STILL I RISE
Partners: The Travelling Heritage Bureau, Community Arts North, Manchester Art Gallery, The Dukes Theatre, Sept - Oct 2018
Outline: As Manchester marked the centenary of women’s suffrage, a powerful collective of international women artists based in the North West came together to create a pop-up, interactive trail around Manchester Art Gallery. The women led audiences on a joyful journey of resistance, creativity and hope using interdisciplinary arts.
Aims and outcomes: to support with the producing of this project; liaising closely with the artists and partners to plan an ensure participants had a smooth and enjoyable experience. The wider aim of the project was to strengthen this community of female artists and challenge the representation of diverse voices within National galleries.
THE VIET CAFE
Partners: Trikhon Theatre, Forvil community (Vietnamese elderly partnership), Deptford Lounge, The Albany Theatre, from 2014 - 2017
Project outline: Empowering the Vietnamese community to produce and lead on cultural celebrations such as Chinese New Year and the Moon festival. Supporting the community to set up a pop up cafe selling delicious Vietnamese food to the public and raise funds for their charity.
Aims and outcomes: This was a hugely isolated community, my role was to act as a relationship officer between the community and local organisations such as The Albany Theatre and the Deptford Lounge. As a result this has increased the community's visibility and profile dramatically, opening up employment and opportunities for funding/commissions. The work took place over two years with multiple projects and events in-between focused on integration.
Partners: The Dukes Theatre, Funded by Light up Lancaster, Nov 2018
Project outline: Through a series of artistic workshops, two highly skilled artists worked closely with the Chinese community of Lancaster and Morcambe to design and create a light sculpture reflecting the South East Asian identity. The outcome resulted in a visually delightful sculpture called the 'Firemoon Dragon' made from recycled oil tins from local Chinese restaurants and silhouettes designed by the children.
Aims and outcomes: This project was a way of continuing to build dialogue with the local Chinese community. The relationship built enabled me to encourage the community to attend some of our children's theatre shows at The Dukes. As this relationship continues to grow it will cultivate good foundations for introducing more theatrical and performance based work and influence programming decisions.