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‘Words In My Head’: Poems from HMP Eastwood Park

This is the latest in our series of community collaborations – bringing together Gloucester residents and artistic creativity to tell people’s stories.

This is HMP Eastwood Park

It’s a prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, for women aged 18 and over.

Around 400 women are imprisoned here, including the mother and baby unit for women with children under 18 months old.

This is Megan

Megan Baxter (they/them) is a writer and performer living in Gloucester. They graduated from Bath Spa University in 2020 with a BA in Creative Writing and are currently studying for an MA in Writing for Young People.

In spring 2021, they were one of the successful applicants for our Creative Community Activists scheme.

Megan wanted to open a dialogue with people incarcerated in Gloucestershire.

Read an extract from Megan’s initial idea

I have spent a lot of time over the past nine months interrogating my relationship societally and personally to harm, punishment and justice; listening to abolitionist thinkers and transformative justice practitioners; reading about the exacerbated effects of COVID-19 on UK prison populations.

Right now, all of us are lonely, disconnected and unsure of what the world will look like post-Coronavirus, but these concerns are even more urgent and devastating for people serving sentences in prison who have had what little face-to-face contact they can have with the outside stolen by the virus.

I want to put together a crowdsourced poem written with people incarcerated in Gloucestershire, focusing particularly on how COVID has affected their quality of life in prison.

My hope for this project is that it will amplify the voices of incarcerated people and let them know that care and respect for them and their voices exist in the community

This is the story they set out to tell together

Prompted by the effects of COVID-19 on prison populations, Megan wanted to ask this question:

What is life like for women in prison during a global pandemic and national lockdown?

This is what they made

Megan wrote to women in HMP Eastwood Park, inviting them to capture their experiences, feelings and ideas in poems.

The words Megan received back were then read aloud by spoken word artists, with different segments edited together into one collective poem.

The result is ‘Words In My Head’ – a short video sharing something of the experience from inside HMP Eastwood Park during lockdown.

Listen to these women’s words:

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Interning with Strike A Light: Aimée Lewis

A photograph of Aimee Lewis
Aimée Lewis

What’s your name and where do you come from? 

I’m Aimée Lewis and I live in Cheltenham but went to university in Gloucester and aim to keep working in the city. I want to be part of the huge cultural changes in the city that aim to make an impact in the surrounding communities.

What were you doing before joining Strike A Light?

I was fresh out of finishing a film degree at University and working in a coffee shop, striving for something more creative.

In March 2019, Gloucester Culture Trust launched the Creative Leadership Trainee Programme. I was accepted on to the programme and began working for Gloucestershire Libraries as a Cultural Leadership Trainee. My role allowed me to experiment and challenge new ideas for arts and culture in libraries, bringing new ways of approaching projects and events for communities. Then I was offered the chance to do part of that role with Strike A Light.

I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have got the experience to work with Strike A Light because I wanted to still stay in Gloucestershire. It was the perfect opportunity to move into for me.

How did you hear about the opportunity and what made you think it sounded interesting?

My mum actually tagged me in a post on Facebook! That’s how I heard about my cultural leadership trainee role. At first I didn’t really understand what it meant because it was a completely new role for myself and the organisations but it was exciting to have a creative job opportunity pop up right on my doorstep at the perfect time for me. 

I had no idea that Strike A Light existed before and wasn’t involved in the creative Gloucester community. All I can say is that I was impressed with what I learned, and honoured to have memories of taking part in events and supporting artists for exciting things happening in Gloucester!

Can you remember what your first day was like?

Yes, mostly because I hadn’t met anyone prior from Strike A Light so I really didn’t know what to expect. I remember Jess opening the door to me and making me feel so welcome. I remember the office vibe being so chill and bright. On my first day, Jess talked me through everything and I felt super comfortable to get on with stuff right away, even if I didn’t know what I was really doing at first.

Any particular highlights or lowlights?

Highs 

So many but I’ll keep them breif! 

  • Front of House 

I really enjoyed being chatty and welcoming to audiences. It really helped with my confidence and also being able to watch every performance was a bonus. The time spent with Jess and others on front of house was so fun and there’s a few memories I’ll cherish forever (like that one time I thought a pigeon needed saving so went to pick it up to move it but it totally mugged me off and moved right back)

  • Producing a show for Jonny Fluffypunk 
Aimee produced ‘The End of the Pier Show’ with Jonny Fluffypunk

Working with Jonny and Christina has been such an experience that was really enjoyable but difficult at times because I was in a new environment. I noticed the support that everyone had for each other straight away and it was something I definitely needed at times. It was magical to see the show come to life and to see first hand how those experiences were really enjoyed by children and their families. Even though lockdown ruined live performances, I still got to see how far the show developed and had fun working on the audience facing interactive parts of the project like the workshops plus we got to create a digital copy of the show.

  • Filming with Barney/Fluxx Films

The time I spent directing some videos for Strike A Light with Barney was awesome. I got to interview audience members and really understand their experiences with the events that we put on. It was great to be a part of putting it together into a video to shout about what Strike A Light do best. 

Lows 

  • Lockdown

What a downer!! Working from my bedroom all day wasn’t great. I quickly noticed that not being in the office with people being easily able to turn around and ask for help was hard. I got a little bit more of responsibility with producing Jon’s show in lockdown so the pressure of being stuck inside along with it wasn’t the best. However, I’m proud of myself that I stuck it through and it was really useful to have those 1:1 conversations with the team about it all in the end. 

Was the year how you expected it to be?

I didn’t know what to expect at first because when I applied for my trainee position it was focussed around libraries and Strike A Light was a sort of extension. Therefore, I had no clue how the two organisations were going to click together but in some cases they did. I look forward to keep crossing the Gloucestershire Libraries & Strike A Light bridge. 

When I started, I had no idea that I’d be working on a new children’s theatre show and later on producing a digital version in lockdown. I didn’t think I’d have as much control and freedom in the role which has been nice but also terrifying at the same time. 

I didn’t expect everyone to be so welcoming and friendly or to be sometimes watching the team take part in 30 second planking competitions! I also didn’t imagine myself enjoying front of house at events so much but it’s really helped with my confidence over the year. I loved talking to communities about the exciting stuff we were doing! 

Favourite and least favourite things about the work?

My favourite has to be meeting all of the team and working with them to put on awesome and exciting events in Gloucester! The least is working from home during lockdown and leaving without a proper goodbye however, I know the journey hasn’t properly ended yet and I look forward to working closely with them again in the future. 

What are you going on to now?

I’m going to continue my journey at Gloucestershire Libraries as part of the development team and keeping supporting and perhaps push for more exciting events and activities to happen inside our libraries. I also hope to keep in touch with exciting projects happening in Gloucester and get involved as an individual for self growth and making new connections. 

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‘Let Artists Be Artists’ – 3 artists appointed

Here we go – it’s actually happening! What started as a wishful idea back in summer 2020 is now a reality.

Together with a group of fantastic partner organisations, we’ve been able to appoint 3 artists – 1 full-time and 2 part-time – to ‘just be artists’ for one year.

It’s an experiment in a new way of working and it starts now. From nearly 400(!) applications, we are DELIGHTED to announce that the three artists will be:

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Tom Marshman

Tom has been making theatre for 21 years, actively encouraging dialogue with participants through socially-engaged processes such as ‘Tea Parties’ – telling engaging, poetic & unpretentious stories. An overarching theme of that work is that of the outsider & their story, particularly regarding the LGBTQ+ experience: stories that have been omitted through archival silence. (Photo by Andre Pattenden)

Florence Espeut-Nickless

Florence is a working class artist from Chippenham in Wiltshire, a town with no theatre and limited access to it. She’s a writer, performer, facilitator and theatre-maker. She makes work for both stage and screen about / with working class communities in the Southwest, in the hope to make the arts more accessible to everyone, regardless of background and geographical location. (Photo by Ned Espeut-Nickless)

John Pfumojena

John Pfumojena is a Zimbabwean actor, musician and composer with practice focused on Mbira and Marimba music cultures. He has won several awards, including a Zimbabwe Young Achievers’ Awards UK in 2019 for contribution to Theatre and Music. John is interested in the globalisation of the Mbira instrument of Zimbabwe and cross-cultural collaboration. (Photo by Byung Gun Jung)

“I have been working as an artist for over 20 years but I felt like this was the kind of opportunity that should be more widely available for artists so they can have the time to experiment, and be their true selves.

I want to be the guinea pig for a new way that we think about how we pay artists and I am absolutely f****** delighted to be that guinea pig!”
Tom

“AHHHH! It’s huge! It’s hard for me to put into words how much this means to me as an artist but also as a person. IT’S MEGA. MASSIVE. SICK. I’m actually still in disbelief really.

It makes me feel valued. Like what I have to say is of value. That the stories I wanna tell and the communities I wanna work with are valued within the arts and wider society.”
Florence

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to share the ancient culture of Zimbabwean Mbira in a contemporary and modern context, as well as explore new contacts, connections and collaborations with artists and communities in Bristol and Gloucester.”
John

We’re so thrilled to be working with, supporting and learning from such exceptional people. It was incredibly difficult to narrow the selection down to just three, and we’re sad not to be able to work with all the brilliant artists who applied – but we’re so excited to see what comes from this year.

What will the artists be doing?

That’s up to them! From the start, we’ve been clear that a crucial part of this experiment is giving artists the freedom to work with no ‘targets’, no pre-defined outcome and no pressure.

We set out the types of artists we thought this would be well-suited to, and the principles that we use in our work, in our initial recruitment call-out.

As part of the experiment development process, we also held a planning day with partner organisations and artists which expanded on that thinking in greater detail.
» Read the notes from the planning day

How were the artists appointed?

We ran a three-stage application process, beginning with a simple expression of interest and concluding with flexible, in-depth interviews. The whole thing was run and developed in collaboration with the partner organisations and artists who helped us shape the process, and the interviewees were paid for their time.
» Review the full recruitment process

Why this experiment?

For too long, there have been massive inequalities in terms of who benefits from ‘The Arts’ – both as audiences and professionals. Artists go underpaid, under-heard and under-supported. And it’s not truly open to everyone. We want to change that.

We felt that this moment, where there is no business-as-usual, could be an opportunity to build a new normal for the arts industry. A new normal that gets us closer to the world we want to see – where everyone can access amazing cultural events. Where the systems are:

💥 fair
💥 adventurous and
💥 open to everyone.

You can read the full background on our thinking in the original Let Artists Be Artists proposal.

What happens next?

The artists are starting work now! We’ll be sharing updates on this whole process over the course of the year, through a series of reports and events.

If you’re interested in receiving these updates or attending any of the events/workshops, please sign up to our Let Artists Be Artists mailing list:

Subscribe to the Let Artists Be Artists mailing list

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Future opportunities for artists
If you’re an artist and interested in finding out about jobs, training, support and other similar opportunities in future, you can also sign up to our dedicated Artist Support mailing list – a monthly email newsletter.

Funders and partners

We’re so grateful to all of the organisations who are joining us to make this a reality:

Action Hero | The Arts Development Company | Bristol Ferment | Create Gloucestershire | GL4 | Gloucester Culture Trust | Jerwood Arts | MAYK | Pound Arts | Theatre Bristol | Theatre Orchard | Travelling Light Theatre Company | Trinity Bristol

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Krump training with Joshua Nash

The collaborators

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Joshua Vendetta Nash

Professional theatre and street dance artist, specialising in hip hop and Krump.

Shenice Ellis

Gloucester resident and local dance teacher – also now a Women Leaders South West Associate.

Ambitions Dance

Dance company made up of young people in Gloucester, from ages 4+!

The collaboration

Group members learning the routines over Zoom 🔥

We’ve been doing sessions with two groups: 10-11 and 12-18.

Joshua is going through the basics of Krump – a style of dance these groups have never done before.

Shenice

The dance style is really fun – and it’s more exciting cos I’ve never heard or, like, seen anybody do Krump before

Group member

Keep updated

We’re hoping there’ll be a live performance featuring Joshua and these dancers before too long 🤞 Want to hear about it, and other exciting events coming up?

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An open call to the ‘woke minority’

Oliver Dowden (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) has invited 25 of the country’s leading heritage bodies and charities to a meeting on 23 February to tell them “to defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down”.

We’re issuing an invitation to arts organisations and allies to meet on 23 February at 5pm to discuss the “heritage summit” called by Oliver Dowden, our potential collective response as arts organisations and to offer support if appropriate to the heritage sector.

Why are we worried?

This “heritage summit” is the latest in a series of similar actions from DCMS and the Charity Commission (see links below) and we are concerned that:

  1. This is censorship
  2. People’s stories and heritage will not be shared and by proxy will be silenced
  3. Heritage and the arts are intrinsically linked, they both tell stories and often support each other. We want all voices to be heard and all stories to be told
  4. This “silencing” will trickle down and DCMS may start to censor the arts and us as arts organisations

Join us for a quick (we promise) hour Zoom to find out:

  • What we all think about this?
  • What the response already is from our sector (if there is one)?
  • What can we do?
  • Will this affect us as arts organisations?

(There is quite a lot of stuff out in the world already about this but below are some links for more information.)

You can sign up to attend below – we look forward to seeing you on the 23rd February at 5pm.

If you can’t attend but would like to be involved in future conversations, please sign up to our artist mailing list below. We’ll share what comes out of the session on the 23rd and invite ideas for next steps.

Please share this with anyone who may be interested or affected

Strike A Light

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Booking to attend this event has now closed – but you can still register to be kept informed. Please select ALL that apply

“The ‘heritage summit’ will be British culture’s last stand against woke zealotry. Among the 25 heritage bodies whose leaders will meet Oliver Dowden, too many are possessed by a Left-wing spirit that the public reviles… So it is a sign of grace that Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, has invited the leaders of 25 of the country’s leading heritage bodies and charities to a meeting on February 23 to tell them “to defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down”.

Simon Heffer
The Telegraph

Useful links/background reading

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Striking Spaces

Thank you to everyone who joined in with our ‘Striking Spaces’ dance challenge!

Check out the film of all the entries… 👇💥

Take our ‘Striking Spaces’ dance challenge and get moving in lockdown!

🌈 Find a cool backdrop outdoors
📱 Record your moves
📧 Send us the clip by 22 Feb

And we’ll create a short video featuring you and other incredible dancers!

No age restrictions, no experience restrictions (just Covid ones so make sure you follow those).

Striking Spaces Instructions

  1. To get involved in the Striking Spaces Dance Challenge, first have a look at the dance tutorial videos below.
  2. Use the videos to learn the routines in your own time. Don’t worry if you struggle with any of the movement, you can adapt it and make it your own!
  3. Film yourself (or ask someone to film you) performing the routines, or part of them, in outside spaces. A mixture of spaces would be great (urban/industrial, green/garden). Your videos need to be no longer than one minute.
  4. Once you’re happy with your videos, email them to charlene@strikealightfestival.org.uk. Deadline Monday 22 February.
  5. The videos we receive will all be combined to create a dance film to share publicly.
  6. Join us online on Friday 5 March on Zoom for a Q&A session with professional and young dancers and to watch the finished film of all the dances.
The Warm Up!
The Routines!

Covid Safety Guidelines

  1. If someone is helping you with filming, it must be someone from your household or bubble 
  2. If you’re filming in public spaces, maintain social distancing
  3. Avoid sitting on or using surfaces e.g park benches, steps
  4. If you are feeling ill or showing any symptoms of Covid 19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change of sense of smell/taste) stay at home, do not go to public spaces to film videos
  5. Always wash your hands thoroughly when you get home

Awesome people who are making this happen! 💛

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The End of the Pier Show

💻 Available online (via youtube)
🗓 Monday 15 February (10am) – Friday 19 February (10pm)
🎟 FREE (no ticket required)

💥Written and performed by Jonny Fluffy Punk 💥
Co-presented by Strike A Light, Gloucestershire Libraries and Pound Arts.

At the end of a soon-to-be-closed-down pier in a forgotten seaside town, Pierre the pier handyman spends the last weeks as he always does: catching fish for his old bedridden mother and making strange and wonderful things from the rubbish he finds on the beach.

Then who should wash into his life but a homeless mermaid with a spiky attitude and a story to tell! And things aren’t going to be the same again… Can kindness lead to great things? Can a bit less litter make a difference? Can the world’s first human/mermaid rock ‘n’ roll band make big waves?

Renowned stand-up poet and lo-fi theatre maker Jonny Fluffypunk presents a brand spanking new little show for families, with poetry, puppetry, story, song and a healthy dose of ramshackle anarchy.

‘Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache.’ – The Independent

Perfect for kids and adults alike! (Age guidance 7+)


Awesome people who have made this happen! 🙌

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Let Artists Be Artists: Stage 2 Application

Stage 2 is now closed! Thanks so much for all your interest and applications. You can still read over this page for reference but applications are now closed.

Congratulations on your successful Stage 1 Expression of Interest! Welcome to Stage 2 (the whole process has three Stages).

Stage 2 involves group online discussion workshops, followed by a written, video or audio application.

Everything you need to know about these is on this page.


Online group workshops

We’ll open up online group workshops to provide an opportunity for conversation and to support people to develop their Stage 2 application. You don’t have to join one of these sessions but we hope that doing so will help you make the strongest application you can.

The sessions will give space for discussion and questions. This is not a ‘pitch’ workshop or a presentation and will be informal in style. No preparation is required.

These group workshops will take place online (via Zoom). You only need to attend one – so just book yourself on to whichever of the 4 sessions is most convenient for you.

Don’t worry if you’re not able to make any of these times: we’ll record at least one of the sessions and share it with you to watch in your own time as well.

  • Wednesday 3 February: 1:30pm & 6:30pm
  • Thursday 4 February: 1:30pm (this session will be captioned) & 8pm

Book a slot

A recording of the Let Artists Be Artists Stage 2 workshop.

Full application process

We’ve got 5 questions we’d like to know your answers to, and we would like to see up to 3 examples of your work.

Your complete application (including answers to all 5 questions) should be no more than 7,000 characters (around 2 sides of A4, or 1,000 words), or under 5 minutes of video or audio.

You can divide up that 1,000 words/5 minutes however you like – so, for example, if you want to spend a lot of time on Question 3 but hardly any on Question 1, that’s entirely up to you.

The questions are written out below so it’s easy to see them all in one place, and then the form to submit your response is at the bottom of this page.

If this doesn’t work for you please contact us to negotiate a different way of applying.

The 5 questions

  1. What is important to your practice as an artist?
    What are your values and how do you like to work? You can use examples to illustrate this.
  2. How would you describe the work you create?
    This can be about your process, as well as telling us more about shows, exhibitions, events or projects.
  3. How would you approach this role?
    You can include any ideas for what you would want to do and how would you want to work during the year. Please include information on how you want to base your work in Gloucester and/or Bristol. You don’t have to have a full plan for the year. This is about ideas and possibilities.
  4. Please tell us about your current work or plans for the next 12 months.
    If you have projects or funding confirmed please tell us a bit about this and how you see it fitting in with the role.
  5. Full time or part time?
    Please let us know whether you’re interested in the full time or part time role, or either – with a bit of explanation as to why.
    Your preference for full-time or part-time won’t be part of the shortlisting criteria – there’s not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer! It’s just so that we know which role you’re most interested in.

Up to 3 examples of your work

Please provide up to 3 links to your work
These could be links to a website, gallery, document, video or anything else you’d like to show us.

Please remember to include any information we might need to access the link (for example, the password if it’s a private video)! And it’s really appreciated if you can be specific about what you want us to see – for example, we won’t realistically be able to watch 2-hour-long shows in full so please mention any key passages or sections you want to highlight 🙏

If you want to include work that doesn’t currently exist online anywhere, please upload it to a service like Dropbox, Vimeo, Google Drive or similar and then paste in the link. If you’re unsure how to do this, let us know and we’ll help you with the process.

Deadline: Monday 15 February 2021, 11.59pm

We will let you know by Tuesday 23 February if you have been shortlisted for the final stage of the application process. The shortlisting panel will be made up of a diverse group of artistsStrike A Light staff, representatives from partner organisations and community members. 


For reference: who is this opportunity for?

  • Artists who are excited about the possibility of developing their work in this brave new world, embrace change and would relish the chance to have a year to explore what works and what doesn’t
  • Artists who work in artforms that lend themselves well to a collaborative process, both in the creation and sharing
  • Artists who have an idea of who their work speaks to, is for or is created with. Artists who are interested in working with communities as part of their work. This can be communities of geography, interest or other common factors and how, when and why this engagement happens is decided by the artist.
  • Artists who want to base their work in Gloucester and/or Bristol. This does not mean that the artists cannot work elsewhere or work nationally over the year, but this opportunity is for artists who are excited about working in these places and want to focus their work there
  • Artists who work in a self-directed way, create their own projects and have a clear creative vision and practice. This vision and practice can still be developing but the artistic work of the year will be driven by the artist
  • Artists who have something to say, and particularly those who are under-heard and under-represented in the industry
  • Artists who are happy to share and articulate their experiences to support the research/ documentation aspect of the process. (We are sharing this idea as it develops with the wider industry)
  • Artists who want to use this year to build things which can support the sustainability of their career in future
  • Artists who feel that Strike A Light’s 7 principles are a good fit with their own ethos, values and way of working

For reference: the partners


For reference: the Stage 2 shortlisting criteria

The shortlisting for Stage 2 uses the same overall ideas as Stage 1 and the whole project:

  • Does this feel like a good fit for the artist and their work?
  • Would this artist and their work be a good fit for the purpose of the year e.g. are they in the right place to explore what happens if an artist has a year of paid time to lead their own creative work? To explore how that affects the work they make and the relationships they can build?
  • Does this artist’s work and values connect with the 7 principles such as ‘work with, not to’ https://strikealight.org.uk/2020/08/03/the-strike-a-light-recipe/
  • Does this artist’s work, process and plans align with the ‘Who is it for?’ information e.g. artists who want to base their work in Bristol and/or Gloucester etc. https://strikealight.org.uk/2021/01/26/let-artists-be-artists-stage-2-application/ 

The purpose of the shortlisting is to understand each artist better, what they create, how they work and what they want to do and then find the best fit with this particular project. It’s not about changing your work or plans to fit the process- it’s about finding the artists where this is the right thing for them, at the right time for them. 

For each question, the artists and partners reading your responses will be asked to consider particular things. We’ve put these below so you can see what they will be looking for when they read or watch your responses.

1. What is important to your practice as an artist?
What are your values and how do you like to work? You can use examples to illustrate this.

Shortlisting criteria will be:

  • Are there clear links between this artist’s practice and the 7 principles?
  • Does this artist’s practice demonstrate collaboration and/or community engagement?
  • Does this artist demonstrate that they have something to say and/or are underheard and under-represented in the industry?

2. How would you describe the work you create?
This can be about your process, as well as telling us more about shows, exhibitions, events or projects.

Shortlisting criteria will be:

  • Does this work excite you?
  • Are there clear links between this artist’s work and the 7 principles?
  • Does this artist’s work demonstrate potential for collaboration and/or community engagement?
  • Does this artist demonstrate that they have something to say and/or are underheard and under-represented in the industry?

3.     How would you approach this role?
You can include any ideas for what you would want to do and how you would want to work during the year. Please include information on how you want to base your work in Gloucester and/or Bristol. You don’t have to have a full plan for the year. This is about ideas and possibilities. 

Shortlisting criteria will be:

  • Can we/ the partnership support this effectively?
  • Are you excited by these possibilities?
  • Do these plans present potential for collaboration or community engagement in Bristol and/or Gloucester?
  • Do you feel the artist could confidently self direct this work?

4. Please tell us about your current work or plans for the next 12 months.
If you have projects or funding confirmed please tell us a bit about this and how you see it fitting in with the role.

Shortlisting criteria will be:

  • Do their current plans support the aim of a year of self directed creative work for an artist, to explore collaboration and working with communities in Bristol and/or Gloucester?

5. Full time or part time?
Please let us know whether you’re interested in the full time or part time role, or either – with a bit of explanation as to why.
Your preference for full-time or part-time won’t be part of the shortlisting criteria – there’s not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer! It’s just so that we know which role you’re most interested in.

There isn’t a criteria for this, it’s for information.

Up to 3 examples of your work

Shortlisting criteria will be

  • Does this work excite you?
  • Are there clear links between this artist’s practice and the 7 principles?
  • Does this artist’s work demonstrate potential for collaboration and/or community engagement?
  • Do these examples back up the artist’s responses to question 2?

Full application form

Applications for Stage 2 are now closed!

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The World Awakens

The Multi Story Orchestra teamed up with pupils from schools in Gloucester to create this brand new piece of music during lockdown.

It’s a digital orchestra – with each instrument and voice recorded separately, in people’s homes and schools, during isolation – and now all the parts have been combined together to share with the world.

The creation of The World Awakens involved The Multi-Story Orchestra, three opera soloists and a virtual choir formed of hundreds of young people and community groups from Gloucester and Southwark.

This digital recording and animation was premiered at Gloucester Cathedral in October, underneath Gaia by artist Luke Jerram.

📸 David Grange

Awesome people who made this happen 🙏💥

Composer – Kate Whitley
Text – Laura Attridge 
Animation – Mary Martins
Sound Engineer – Steve Pycroft 

Soloists

Kate Royal – Soprano
Sarah-Jane Lewis – Soprano
Matthew Rose – Bass 

With huge thanks to the schools that made up the virtual choir:

Highnam C of E Primary Academy, Gloucester
Newent Community School, Gloucester
St Peter’s High School, Gloucester
Harris Primary Academy Peckham Park
John Donne Primary School, Peckham
Kender Primary School Lewisham
Peckham Academy of Music
Peckham Free School
St Thomas’ the Apostle School, Peckham

Generously Supported by Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Hilden Charitable Fund and the John and Susan Bowers Fund.


 

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Gloucester Gets Creative

Experiences you can enjoy right now
– made in Gloucester

Gloucester Presents… SheSpoke

A small group of women took part in writing workshops to express themselves in poetry – which was then turned into a hand-sewn textile banner 🔥


Fresh new projects currently in the works


Dates for your diary

More exciting experiences coming soon…