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.

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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.

Guest Post

 

Blog post from the Youth Media Agency reporting on the launch of the Young Roots videos we made for the Heritage Lottery Fund:

£50,000 Grants for Young People to Explore Their Heritage

Capture

On Monday 7 April Heritage Lottery Fund took over the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to celebrate the #YoungRoots Grant Programme. #YoungRoots gives up to £50,000 to young people and youth organisations to explore their heritage across the UK.

The event involved a massive takeover of the Museum from Circus performances by the La Bonche Family, speeches from the Olympic medalist Robbie Grabarz and SBTV’s Aaron Roach Bridgeman delivering a bespoke spoken word piece. A diversity of projects were chosen from the 1000′s of young people aged 11-25 that have benefited from the grant and used creativity to explore our rich heritage.

“Heritage plays an important part of our lives and how we see the world. Its great to see so many young people getting excited about exploring theirs, I feel inspired” said Louis John Founder of What’s Good Online.

Highlights from the Event
Highlights from the Event

Part of the event was also about showcasing 3 films co-created by young people, especially Shamara Adams the fantastic MC of the event. The films were produced in order to spread the opportunity as far across the UK as possible. Please be part of the movement and share the film with the #YOUNGROOTS @HERITAGELOTTERY

The Young Roots programme – grants between £10,000 and £50,000
• provides new opportunities for young people aged 11 to 25 to learn about heritage;
• allows young people to lead and take part in creative and engaging activities;
• develops partnerships between youth organisations and heritage orgs; and
• creates opportunities to celebrate young people’s achievements in the project and share their learning with the wider community.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Young Roots

We have traveled up, down and across the country making a recent set of videos. These videos were commissioned by the Heritage Lottery Fund to promote their funding programme called Young Roots.

The heart of Young Roots is the young people who have the ideas, run the projects and gain a whole range of skills and qualifications along the way. To make sure that we were really going to be speaking to our target audience we had a number of consultations with a group of young people who gave us their very knowledgeable and sharp insights into this process.

The young people we met and worked with did a fantastic job of informing and invigorating our approach to the videos. Their discussion of heritage and how to present ideas of heritage was essential in helping us develop the concept for the our initial video. We call it, This is Mine.

After the consultations were complete we went out to visit projects in Newcastle, Forfar (in Scotland), Cardiff and Brixton, London. We had read through a wide variety of projects that we could visit and sadly there were so many that we wanted to visit but restrictions meant we had to limit our visits.

We started in Newcastle and were just as excited as the group we were scheduled to meet:

We began walking along the Tyne to get some establishing shots and then walked through town up towards Circus Central and were really taken by the city which neither of us had ever visited before.

When we arrived at the old church that houses Circus Central the group really got our filming for this project off to a bang. Juggling, headstands, unicycles and fancy dress were all de rigueur for the day. These guys were so mature and clearly passionate and excited about their wonderful project it was a real pleasure to film them. After visiting the Discovery Museum and Tyne and Wear Archives we finished the day on a moor just outside the city getting some wonderful action shots that can be seen in the This is Mine video.

Our second visit was up in Scotland and, for a project about Heritage, it was particularly poignant that we were visiting Forfar. The town where my father and grandfather had both been born. Forfar is a small town surrounded by beautiful Scottish countryside.

We walked along the shores of a loch and climbed hills before finally dropping in to meet the gang of young weavers at the PitStop Youth Cafe. The atmosphere at PitStop was very friendly and we immediately felt welcome. It felt like a very open environment where everyone was allowed to make themselves at home and offers of food and cups of tea were plenty. We arrived, it has to be said, with some trepidation as to how excited young people might be about weaving but again we had underestimated these young people. Their passion and enthusiasm was infectious. They showed off their weaving skills, gave us a historical tour of Forfar before taking us to the hidden Angus Archives in the grounds of a ruined church.

Before leaving Scotland I managed to have a brief visit with my dad and grandfather to discuss their memories of Forfar and touch on my own heritage as part of this journey.

It wasn’t long once we got back to London before we were off to Cardiff to film at Cardiff Story Museum and Butetown Youth Pavilion. As with Newcastle our tour through city really took us by surprise, not just the glorious weather that we were very lucky to have but the vibrancy and excitement of the city. Sadly my phone was broken that day so there were no Cardiff tweets despite filming the Castle and Millennium stadium before even getting to the Butetown Pavilion..

We were warned that filming at the Pavilion on this evening might be difficult as it was a girl only evening and we wouldn’t be able to move freely through the building as it was a safe environment for young Muslim women. We were welcomed very warmly and if there were concerns about having two men roaming their corridors they were mostly hidden from us. We were limited for time so flitted between rooms filming art work, group leaders, articulate and funny young women, a small fashion house and an editing suite. We left Butetown to the sounds of laughter and with a clear sense of the excitement and sense of achievement these women had from working on a project with such a broad scope.

Back in London it was a very odd experience to just jump on a number 37 bus to visit visit our next HLF project in Brixton at the Photofusion gallery.

The work of this Organised Youth group was very moving. Their review of the Black Panther UK movement was clearly personal but also grasped the wider ramifications of that work and it was wonderful to see young people tackling these issues in a modern context. We met three young men who gave us a tour of their exhibition, talked us through how they had achieved  their goals and then took us up on to the roof of the gallery to let us look down over Brixton Village. It was a really great to be able to leave one of the projects and be able to recommend the output from the young people to my local friends as something that was really worth a visit. Even better is that I know some people did visit and loved their exhibition.

Once filming was complete we had a great deal of footage because everyone had such great positive and meaningful things to tell us but it had to edit down to three short videos. This took a great deal of honing and trimming and once those first drafts were complete we shared them with our Young Media Consultants again and with HLF. A little bit of back and forth between all interested parties has honed these fantastic projects down to these videos. The first focuses on the young people and their journeys while the second is targeted more at youth and heritage leaders who need to be on board to support young people through these projects.

Thank you to everyone involved for an amazing, eye opening experience throughout the project.

Young Roots — Young People

Young Roots — Group Leaders

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Synchronised

This year we really enjoyed working on an inter-generational dance project with Dulwich Picture Gallery. You can read our previous blog about this exciting project HERE.

We made three videos detailing the project which are now available by clicking on the images below:

Project Overview:
DPG_Vimeo_Still3

Participants’ Journey:
DPG_Vimeo_Still

Final Performance:
DPG_Vimeo_Still2

It was a really special opportunity to work on a longer project with two great groups and a very supportive team. We really felt part of the project and developed some wonderful relationships with the participants. It was fantastic to share their final performance with them.

A huge congratulations to all involved!

HLF: The Family La Bonche

We have been engaged by Heritage Lottery Fund to create a series of videos to promote their
#YoungRoots funding stream. You can read more about the programme on the HLF Young Roots web page.

Our filming strategy to create three different videos involves visiting a tiny fraction of the projects that are currently happening across the UK and our first stop was with The Family La
Bonche in Newcastle. They are a young circus group working with Circus Central who were just as excited about us coming as we were about getting to visit them:

This was the first time either of us had been to Newcastle and to say we were pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The city is beautiful and the riverfront in particular is spectacular.

Newcastle

It manages to feel both large and compact all at the same time with culture round every corner. We spent a good couple of hours filming some location shots of this beautiful city before meeting up with the La Bonches around lunchtime. We walked in on trapeze acts, juggling, and uni-cycling.

LaBonche

It was a real pleasure to meet this group of young people, who really stretched the entire age range of the Young Roots age range 11-25. They are so passionate about their chosen discipline. They had endless energy to repeat tricks and seemed to enjoy impressing us as much as we enjoyed being stunned by their skills.

Lunch was delivered by unicycle, naturally, and juice was balanced on heads before we headed off to the wonderful Discovery Museum which is home to the Tyne and Wear Archives, the partner organisation the group had been working with.

Archives

They have been looking into the local archives of circus and fairground memorabilia collected by Arthur Fenwick, the son of a local businessman who had started Fenwicks department stores, after he had returned to the family business following a few years of having run off to the circus: something these young people could easily connect with. Their enthusiasm for circus was such that the archives could never have been boring to them but were instead a treasure trove of heritage and stories. These stories were pouring out of everyone and sadly we already know that very few can make it into our final films.

Once we had finished looking around the archives and learning about women who went shopping with their live pet crocodiles once upon a time in Newcastle (True Story) we juggled and stilt walked back to minibus and headed out to the countryside to a beautiful moor just outside the city limits which is the traditional home of visiting circuses and there we filmed some lovely shots of the young people engaging in their chosen skills. They never failed to impress and kept raising the bar so we got some fantastic footage and had a wonderful day with this family of entertainers who have an amazing Young Roots project and very bright futures.