Heritage Lottery Fund: Changing lives – William’s Story

London is an amazing place to work but it’s always exciting when we get the opportunity to visit other places around the UK. I hadn’t been to Leeds since my friend got married there so it was lovely to visit again and travel out to the suburbs. Middleton Park is the sort of park that Londoners dream of, basically they seem to have fenced off a forest to protect it from the city. We were there to visit the Young Archaeologists’ Club and William, one of the members who had won Young Archaeologist of the Year.

Miggy Park, as locals call it, has received several rounds of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which has enabled the park to explore its mining heritage and build a visitor centre that includes a flexible space that is both a cafe and community work space. The archaeologist club has grown out of a series of HLF funded programmes and was incredibly popular, with the parents as well as the young people, and we were nearly bursting out of the room. After the session William and his family showed us around the park they have grown up with and William pointed out some of the work they had completed as part of the funded project. Take a look at the final video here:


Although a flying visit, it was a real pleasure to once again visit a corner of the country that we might otherwise never have encountered and see how much pleasure people are getting from parks and heritage on their doorsteps.

PIVOT Support: Pivot Soup

PIVOT Support is a new, Hackney based charity that seeks to provide support and information to people in the borough living on a low income. We were more than happy to donate our services to document their exciting PIVOT Soup event in November 2015. It’s a really interesting model that has been successful in other cities over the world and was a fascinating evening where you get fed, hear about interesting plans for the local area and are given a voice in making them happen.

For this event the four speakers covered a wide range of ideas from bags that open conversations to interactive performances, Hackney residents helping Syrian refugees and chess. All of the ideas were wonderful and valuable and one of the speakers walked away with over a hundred pounds to give momentum to their project. It was great to be involved with a project with such a strong community heart as much of the food was donated by local businesses and organisations and acapmedia was delighted to be part of it. Do look out for future PIVOT Soup events if you have connections to Hackney.

 

Horniman Museum and Gardens: Africarnival

Every summer, the Horniman hosts a large outdoor event and, for the second year, we were invited to capture the community coming together in Forest Hill. This yeah, Africa was the theme for the whole of the summer in the museum and gardens inspired by their incredible African collections. Africarnival was the culmination of all the events and activities that had happened before it.

We were really struck by the scale of the event and the incredible atmosphere across the gardens as audiences watched acrobats, danced to live bands, paraded in the carnival, took dance workshops, ate Ghanian street foods and generally smiled from ear to ear. It was truly joyous to share in the experience with such a diverse crowd that could only be found in London.

Poetry Residency at Highfield Primary School

One of our favourite projects this year has been documenting the work of resident poet Cheryl Moskowitz at Highfield Primary School in Enfield. We’d worked with Cheryl previously on the fantastic Visual to Vocal project at Dulwich Picture Gallery. We were delighted to work with Cheryl again at Highfield and made six trips over six months to capture the extent that poetry has been embraced in the school. This project has been a very unusual venture in a primary school and even captured the eye of the national press:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/the-primary-where-poetry-is-in-motion-9770004.html

It was a real privilege to be involved in documenting this residency and to watch the children develop their love of poetry, win competitions, grow up and build relationships through their work with a professional poet. We covered every part of this incredibly diverse school and felt welcomed into the community over our time there. The films still only really scratch the surface of Cheryl’s work and the school’s commitment to poetry.

Chelsea Physic Garden

This summer we had the pleasure of working with  Chelsea Physic Garden to create a video exploring the many aspects that makes the garden such a lovely place to visit and support. Through insightful conversations with staff and volunteers, it was clear how much passion there is for this “hidden gem”. It was wonderful to have the garden and its history open up to us yet still leave us feeling like there is much more to discover.

 

Horniman Museum and Gardens: War and Peacemaking

The Horniman completed their on going project to review their collections earlier this year and we were invited to capture elements of their final theme, War and Peacemaking. We worked closely with curator Tom Crowley to film a number of incredible objects from the store and were introduced to contemporary cultural practice and art pieces that are directly linked to these objects. It was a revelation to hear how seriously museum professionals take the display of weaponry and indeed how loosely the the understanding of what makes a weapon may be in some cultures. There were a great many messages, ideas and events to capture for this film and yet we still only feel like we were scratching the surface of this complex topic.

I would encourage you to watch the film and leave your comments or visit the Horniman’s website for more information.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Visual to Vocal 2015

For several years, we have documented Dulwich Picture Gallery‘s community work, particularly the Visual to Vocal programme. This is run in partnership with English Touring Opera and works with people living with dementia and their carers to write an opera with young students from Dulwich College all inspired by the gallery’s unique collection.

This year we had the extra pleasure of visiting Eve, one of the participants, along with her family at home to hear about the benefits that working on the Visual to Vocal project has had not only for Eve, but for everyone involved. It was very generous of the family to invite us into their home so we were able to get an intimate portrait for this film.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s touch us all. Anything that can help support those living with and caring for people with these diseases should be encouraged and celebrated.