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10 projects selected for Collaborative Commissions 2022

We are pleased to announce 10 successful projects selected for our Connecting People and Places Fund’s Collaborative Commissions 2022, co-funded by City of London as part of our Foundations Programme.

The East London projects range from theatre about the Black and mixed-race experience and a guidebook to London for recently arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children to digital dance and immersive technologies.

Commissioned projects will unlock further understanding on how creativity can be used to deliver arts, education, employment programming that provides creative learning opportunities, employment and leadership roles, training and fusion skills development.

The Collaborative Commissions build on our commitment to the Fusion Prize and Fusion Futures programmes, which seek to amplify conversation around skills development, social mobility, the value of creativity and innovation.

The 10 successful applicants and projects are as follow:

  1. Babel TheatreThe Orpheus Project
  2. Chalo HQ LTD — Dialled In x Blackhorse Responders
  3. Dost Centre for Young Refugees and Migrants — Guidebook to London
  4. Hyperactive Developments — Economy 4.0 – Newham Sparks
  5. Idea SpaceThe Unseen Local
  6. Lucy Orta — Traces: Stories of Migration
  7. Pell Ensemble Digital Leap
  8. Purple Moon DramaEssentially Black
  9. SEEit Working TrustRules of Engagement Learning© — Better Connecting Youth Workers & Creatives for a more inclusive cultural/creative sector
  10. Women Over 50 Film Festival Moving Pictures

The funded projects will deliver a range of events and activities between June and October 2022 for residents and young people across Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

In addition to developing equity in their project’s design and delivery and supporting underrepresented people’s ideas and visibility, Connecting People & Places Fund’s Collaborative Commission grantees share a commitment to working collaboratively to build synergies and shared learnings.

Commissioned organisations will receive ongoing support, advocacy and advice from the Foundation post award to explore potential for grantees to network and collaborate to reach wider audiences, share resources (e.g. venues, recruitment platforms, marketing), share skills and expand impact work and partnerships both in short term and longer term.

Here are few of the projects we’re supporting.

Babel Theatre — The Orpheus Project

A social engagement partnership programme utilising artistic practice, collaborative creativity and community cohesion to promote positive wellbeing, co-creation skills development opportunities for young people and foster stronger relationships with other communities across London.

The project aims to provide young people aged 18-30 with creative space to explore the key theme of mental health with examination of wider socio-political, economic and health and well being issues, supported by a range of partners inside and outside of the creative sector who can offer skills development, wellbeing and other support.

Idea Space — The Unseen Local

This project is about offering equality and diverse creative learning opportunities to local young people and giving them access to make meaningful change in their community while developing artistic skills that can add to employability and pathways into further education.

We would aim to work with 10-15 local youth participants and three to five local businesses or community groups whose important work we would like to showcase. These community partners include: The Farm: a cafe run by volunteers, which also feeds local families in need of support; Cann Hall Women’s Foundation: a local support group for vulnerable women; The Man Den: a community group providing mentoring for black boys through playing board games.

The project will be led by Idea Space and co-directed by the young people and the community partners. It will involve discussions on issues relevant to the community to help co-develop and create collaborative work right from the start. This will lead onto artist-led workshops that teach creative and technical skills in digital media such as apps and programmes like Canva, Procreate and sound and film editing programmes.

The skills learnt will then be directly used to connect with and help to celebrate local businesses and community groups in the Cann Hall area by making useful flyers, gifs or short promotional films. The young people will see how their skills make direct enhancements to local businesses and community organisations. In an exchange for their skills they would then have the opportunity to use these community spaces to showcase their personal work which will be created later on in the project development. These locations such as shop windows, cafes and community halls would create an arts trail in the Cann Hall area that local people would also benefit from. ‘Unseen Locals’ will provide high street businesses, community groups and most importantly the young people with more visibility.

Pell Ensemble — Digital Leap

This pioneering weeklong summer programme ‘Digital Leap’ aims to inspire female-identifying students to take the jump into a creative digital world.

Combining Pell Ensemble’s unique teaching style of movement, programming and physical computing, participants will work together to build an interactive digital dance performance based on the theme ‘Future Worlds’. This will be inspired by the United Nations Global Goals for 2030 with the performance shared at the East Summer School Festival. Aimed at students ages 12-14, this programme will generate excitement, build confidence and introduce skills, encouraging students to move forwards with a career in computing and or the creative digital industries.

In Summer 2022, we will pilot this programme with 30 students from East London as part of the East Summer School programme with support Foundation for Future London’s Connecting People & Places Grant Scheme.

Student places on the programme are free. Each day includes at least 60 minutes each of dance, computing and design. Alongside this female identifying speakers with careers in creative technologies will speak about their experience in the field and free lunches will be provided.

Purple Moon Drama — Essentially Black

Essentially Black is a new play by Purple Moon Drama Digital Youth Board member, Naomi Denny. It examines the Black and Mixed-Race experience at elite universities and is set against the backdrop of the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement at Oxford University in 2016.

Purple Moon Drama will re-version the play for school audiences and design a post-show workshop so pupils get to unpack the themes with their peers in a safe and creatively facilitated environment.

SEEit Working Trust – Rules of Engagement Learning© Better Connecting Youth Workers & Creatives for a more inclusive cultural/creative sector 

SEEit Working Trust is an East London grassroots charity committed to cultural innovation for social change, working collaboratively to innovate ways of working locally that can be scaled for impact.

We want marginalised communities to directly access, engage with and benefit from cultural/creative sector opportunities. A key success factor for meaningful cultural engagement in marginalised communities needs creatives to work more with youth workers to support any intervention — they are gatekeepers and well-placed to support sustainable access to, engagement with and progression pathways into, the cultural/creative sector. However, there is a disconnect on both sides, and no available delivery framework to connect them.

We will create that delivery framework by developing and testing our Rules of Engagement Learning© sessions. We will collaborate with Ruff Sqwad Arts Foundation, Foundation for Future London and others to:

  • devise and test learning sessions connecting youth workers and creatives
  • devise and test “training the trainer” sessions for youth workers – they become the delivery team so we scale up by scaling out
  • create a social franchise/licencing model for freelance delivery team
  • collate data and share key learnings – developing an alumni digital support network to inform, influence and support policy agenda and investment choice

For more information on the commission brief, see our Connecting People and Places Fund’s Collaborative Commissions 2022 web page for the original call out.

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