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Community Connectors

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Community Connectors are helping shape a community programme in collaboration with local residents

Community Connectors

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Community Connectors

Shanti Pant

Garden Party

Trinity Garden Party. Photo Alastair Brookes

Over the last year, we have developed our Community and Neighbourhoods programme in response to the needs and interests of residents, community groups, and grassroots organisations.

“I’m really looking forward to connecting with the residents of Newtown. The weekly sessions will be a place where people can share their skills and interests and socialise together” Shanti, Community Connector

We have created three 'Community Connector' roles to connect with communities within the Newtown area, families who live on or near Stapleton Road, and people who access services at the Wild Goose Cafe.

Shanti Pant is the Community Connector for Newtown, a neighbourhood directly opposite the Trinity Centre. As with all the Connectors, Shanti has an active presence in Newtown both as a local resident and in organising community events alongside her daughter, Hemlata.

Originally from Nepal, Shanti has lived in Newtown since 2019. Having grown up in the countryside, she is keen to bring activities to Newtown that connect people to nature and organise weekend events for children and families. A keen craftsperson she wants to use these skills to offer activities for people who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation, providing opportunities to connect through creativity and craft.

In the first few months as a Connector, Shanti has been working with Trinity’s Communities and Neighbourhoods team to plan workshops inviting local residents to join artist Benoit Bennett in designing a mural to celebrate Newtown and the communities who live there. She also attended workshops led by the University of Bristol at their Wellspring Micro-campus in Barton Hill. These workshops explored ways in which older adults can use film as a creative medium – something that Shanti is keen to explore with local Newtown residents.

Alongside this, Shanti has been connecting with residents and community organisations, including Lawrence Hill Health Centre, to create two new free-to-access activities for Newtown residents that will start in June 2024.

Nature in Newtown is a series of weekly nature walks where local residents are invited to explore the area and take part in gentle movement activities. Initially led by facilitator Subitha Baghirathan, the sessions will then move on to exploring how to use simple creative film techniques as a way to capture and express participants’ experiences of engaging with this activity.

Shanti will also be hosting drop-in Coffee Morning sessions in Rosevear House every Friday morning from 10am to midday, starting on 4th June until 5th July. These meetups will include creative activities and the opportunity for residents to connect with each other.

If you are a Newtown resident and you have an idea for creative activities in your community you can speak to Shanti by:

Community Connectors and our Community and Neighbourhoods programme has been developed in response to our pledges, click here to find out more.

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Dance Returns to Bristol Harbour Festival

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We're bringing dance back to Bristol Harbour Festival with a stage in Queen Square

Dance Returns to Bristol Harbour Festival

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Harbour Festival 2019 - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

Trinity is commited to creating spaces to celebrate and engage with different types of artforms. This is why we have teamed up with Harbour Festival to bring back the dance stage at this year's festival, programming a stage in Queen Square 20 July.

On Saturday, Trinity will be curating the stage, followed by Movema – an award-winning dance company – taking the reins on Sunday. This year's dance programme is more inclusive and representative than ever before, celebrating Bristol's diverse community through an array of talents and styles.

As always, we'll be collaborating with local dance companies, community groups, independent artists, and cultural organisations to showcase the rich tapestry of dance talent Bristol has to offer. We will also advocate for dance across the city, featuring open access and free-to-attend dance workshops leading up to the festival, ensuring dance is accessible to all.

We are thrilled to announce that Penny Marie will be our dance facilitator for Harbour Festival, working with the community to co-create a dance piece for Bristol through community workshops. Additionally, Trinity residents Hype Dance, an urban dance group for young people, will unveil their Ultimate Dance Championships 2024 – a competition open to all dance styles for ages 12 and above, giving contestants the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience at the Harbour Festival and win exciting prizes!

Our programme boasts an incredible lineup of dance groups, featuring long-time collaborators with Trinity: Gerry's Attic, a regular dance class for over 55s; Anna K, a Turkish belly dancer who led performances and workshops at our Garden Party on 12 May; Bristol Ballroom, a queer-led collective known for their vogue balls at Trinity and previous Harbour Fest performances; and Kennedy Muntanga, a professional dancer presenting his new work ‘Hare and Lion’. We are eager to unite these established partnerships, promote fresh work, and provide a platform for these talented dancers at one of Bristol’s biggest events of the year.

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Half term activities

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Events for children and young people of all ages to get involved with this May halfterm

Half term activities

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Igloo - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

This May Half Term, we’ve got an exciting programme of activities and events for children and young people of all ages to get involved with at Trinity.

Wednesday 29 May - Friday 31 May – Speak Out

Our Speak Out workshops continue on Monday, offering young people aged 16-18 free workshops and the chance to create a performance piece with the guidance of Kabbo Ferdinand – an African Indigenousness storyteller and musician, and Natasha Gatward an immersive performance artist and eco-conscious costume designer.

Wednesday 29 May – Music Masterclass: Hodge

Music Masterclasses are back on Wednesday 29th May. This month, young people aged 16-25 are invited to a free production workshop with Bristol-based DJ and Producer Hodge, who will share their approach to producing which involves finding sounds, processing them, and creating loops and ultimately overcoming writer's block while finding methods to create music in an organised way.

Thursday 30 May – Next-Gen Sounds

Next-Gen Sounds continues as normal during the half-term, with young people aged 14-25 invited to Trinity to take part in group drop in music making sessions led by Trinity and Off The Record.

Friday 31 May – Stay and Play

Children aged 0-5 & their families are invited to Trinity to play, learn and have fun together in our Friday Stay and Play sessions, delivered in partnership with the Health Visiting team. Come along to play, sing, share stories and enjoy the beautiful gardens.

Sunday 02 June – The Fairy Forest

Head to Trinity on Sunday to explore a forgotten woodland world, filled with fairies, forest sprites and mystical beings in ‘The Fairy Forest’ a new children’s theatre show from Tidal Tales, suitable for ages 3 and up.

Click here to learn more about our programme of activities for children, young people and families.

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Garden Party 2024 Recap

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On Sunday 12 May, we opened our gates for our annual Garden Party

Garden Party 2024 Recap

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Garden Party 2024 - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

On Sunday 12 May, we opened our gates once again for Trinity Garden Party – our, free annual day party, celebrating the start of the summer through music, dance and arts.

"It was a fabulous day - thank you to Team Trinity and everyone involved!" - Audience Feedback

In our outdoor venue, The Den, we programmed a diverse range of live music and DJs from across Bristol and The South West. The young musicians from our Next Gen Sounds programme kicked off proceedings, showcasing their musical talents that they’ve honed during the sessions. Following on, we had beautiful acoustic Folk from Eva Penney, groovy Latin rhythms from Los Gusanos, Moroccan Gnawa from Mohammed Errebba, and live Hip Hop from Komposa. Later on in the evening, DJs brought the energy, with an eclectic world music selection from Kesh, amapiano and UK Funky from Josephine Gyasi, and finally Selecta J-Man and Rider Shafique finished things off with a heavy selection of Jungle and Drum and Bass.

Inside, The Main hall was buzzing with performances from our resident dance group Hype Dance, a Turkish Belly Dance circle from Anna K, and finally The Greenbank Ceilidh Collective led the dance with a joyous ceilidh. Upstairs, Fyfe Hall hosted a range of creative craft workshops to keep the young ones busy.

We wanted to say a massive thank you to all who made Garden Party this year such a success; from the talented artists, workshop facilitators, stall-holders, local food vendors, the dedicated sound and lighting team behind the scenes, our hardworking bar staff, the entire Team Trinity, and, of course, all of you who joined us on the day. The event saw our largest ever turnout, with over 3,500 attendees, and thanks to your generosity we raised over £5000 in donations, allowing us to organise more community events like Garden Party as well as supporting our charitable mission of making the arts accessible to all. Garden Party just keeps getting bigger and better, with a 60% increase on last year's attendees, and a 65% increase on last year's donations. Thank you for coming down to support what we do and celebrating music, dance and the arts.

If you'd like to continue to support Trinity, click here to make a donation.

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Celebrating local and community history month

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This Local History Month, we’ve been investigating the rich history of Old Market in East Bristol, where The Trinity Centre calls home

Celebrating local and community history month

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Old Market Bristol

May is Local History month, so to celebrate we’ve been looking back at our heritage project, Vice and Virtue, that documented the rich history of Old Market in East Bristol, where The Trinity Centre calls home.

Early History

Old Market is an ancient marketplace which once stood outside the walls of the Old City and served as a main thoroughfare for goods arriving from London into Bristol.

The area contains some of Bristol’s oldest buildings, with over 60 listed buildings including the Methodist Central Hall, The Palace Hotel, and – of course – Holy Trinity Church, aka The Trinity Centre.

Following the demolition of Bristol Castle in 1656, the area was redeveloped and stone from the castle is said to have been used to repave Old Market Street, with many of the original 17th century building frontages remaining to this day.

Old Market Street was a thriving centre for trade in meat and vegetables, as well as being home to an assortment of small industries specialising in the production of farming utensils, as well as several brewers, maltsters, and public houses.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution radically transformed Old Market, with major new businesses attracting workers from across the South West. New opportunities for employment led to East Bristol’s rapid urbanisation during this period. By 1881, the population of St Phillips rose from approximately 8,000 in 1801 to 50,000.

Religion was seen as a major civilising force that followed rapid urbanisation, and as such, many churches were built in these expanding urban areas. One such church was Holy Trinity Church, now The Trinity Centre, which was built between 1829 and 1832 by Thomas Rickman and Henry Hutchinson, two architects from Birmingham and seated 1,500 people.

The new railway added to the hustle and bustle of Old Market. Traffic increased significantly when an electric tramway was introduced in 1876. Unsurprisingly, the street market struggled to coexist with the tram network, and the market ceased to operate during the 19th century, which signalled the start of rapid change in the area.

The Golden Years, 1900-1939

Old Market Street, with its transport links, entertainment centres and range of shops, was an important and vibrant part of Bristol. The first 30 years of the 20th century were marked by a series of bold new development, including The King’s Cinema, The Methodist Central Hall and The Empire Theatre, catering to a new appetite for culture and the arts. While the traditional street market from which Old Market gets its name had faded out during this period, in its place came a range of new stores and retail businesses.

Old Market was part of the ‘golden mile’ of streets that stretched from Lawrence Hill to the City Centre, with a diverse offering of shops attracting visitors from far and wide.

Decline and Rejuvenation

Bristol breathed a sigh of relief after the Second World War, in which the city’s Historic City Centre was decimated during the Bristol Blitz, with Castle and Vine Street being flattened by bombings. However, across the city, including in Old Market, life did not return to normal immediately, with essential food items subject to rationing until 1954.

After the Second World War, Old Market had become increasingly isolated and sidelined. Now Castle Street was no more, Old Market stood on the other side of a bomb site which many Bristolians feared to cross. The electric trams ceased operation in 1941, and by the 1950s, St Philips Station was closed to passengers, further isolating the area.

The bombing of Bristol’s historic centre led to new approaches to housing, in particular high-rise flats of the 1950s, which dramatically changed the face of St Jude’s and Old Market. Old Market also had to compete with the newly built Broadmead shopping centre. The development of the ring road and roundabout as part of the 1966 Development Plan further isolated Old Market from the rest of Central Bristol. Within a dozen years, the ‘high street’ atmosphere of Old Market had all but disappeared, with a dramatic decrease in footfall in the area.

However, the idea that Old Market went into terminal decline after the Ring Road masks a more complex picture. Old Market’s isolation opened a space in which new cultures and subcultures emerged. Since then, Old Market has becoming a bustling centre of nightlife and culture, becoming a home for Bristol’s LGBTQ+ community, alongside a new and diverse offering of restaurants, bars and clubs. With one of the fastest growing populations in Bristol, Old Market’s future seems to be one defined by its eclectic mix of cultures and lifestyles.

Click here to explore Trinity's archives to find out more about the history of The Trinity Centre and Old Market.

This news item is based on information gathered as part of Trinity's Vice and Virtue project.

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In Focus: Co-creating an arts-based community offer

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Arts Engagement Manager, Jen, shares how she has been spearheading the development of a co-created community programme at Trinity

In Focus: Co-creating an arts-based community offer

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In Focus: Co-creating an arts-based community offer

Garden Party

Community event

Image Credit: Megan Ip

We caught up with Arts Engagement Manager, Jen Farmer, who is leading on the Community and Neighbourhoods programme to find out more about how she has been working with people living in the locality to co-create an arts-based community programme.

"It’s important for us to work in this way so that we’re not doing things ‘to’ people, or making assumptions about what people want or are interested in. Instead, we hope that this approach will enable us to build meaningful connections and understanding with our most local residents" - Jen Farmer, Arts Engagement Manager

You started in the role last year - what have you been up to since joining the Trinity team?

I started out by exploring the hyper-local neighbourhood (neighbourhoods within a 0.5 mile radius of Trinity), connecting with residents, community groups and grassroots organisations to understand the work that is already taking place and their current and historical relationships to Trinity.

I spent a lot of time listening as I wanted to make sure that what is created responds to need and builds upon the already brilliant work and activity that is happening around us.

Connecting with the Trinity team we hosted a series of workshops to help build an interactive online map that allowed us to see the connections between the people and organisations that offer community activities and support. From this, we have created a hyper-local network of people who are delivering and offering services in East Bristol.

I've been working closely with the team at Trinity to help support community-led groups to deliver regular affordable activity at the centre. This has included supporting All Ah Wi to host quarterly sessions for local women, including a takeover day for International Women’s Day.

What have you learned along the way?

I’m continually learning. Everybody has the potential to surprise you, with an interest, or a skill, something they’d like to explore or share. Listen, share, don’t make assumptions, and be respectful of people’s time. Building trust and relationships takes time, and connection with individuals is just that – individual!

‘Co-creation’ what does that actually mean, and why is it important to work in this way?

A: Co-creation describes a collaborative process: a way of approaching and exploring something where everyone involved is part of decision-making, rather than one person, or organisation taking the lead.

For us, this means sharing control and ensuring everyone is part of the conversation. It’s important for us to work in this way so that we’re not doing things ‘to’ people, or making assumptions about what people want or are interested in. Instead, we hope that this approach will enable us to build meaningful connections and understanding with our most local residents, and support activity that people feel real connection to, and ownership of. The aim is that, over time, we build trusted relationships where all our activities and programming is informed by our local connections.

What is next for the Community and Neighbourhood Programme?

We have secured funding to support three 'Community Connectors’ with target outreach that will focus on: Elders and intergenerational practice in Newtown, individuals experiencing food and housing insecurity in St Judes, and women who live and socialise around Stapleton Road, one of our most local high streets.

The connectors, who all live locally, will provide an important bridge between communities and Trinity. We’ll work together closely over the coming months. I will be support and follow their lead, offering guidance and expertise to help the connectors shape a programme that responds to needs and interest.

How can people get involved?

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In Conversation: Rob

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We spoke to Rob, one of Trinity's longest-running volunteers, about the benefits of volunteering

In Conversation: Rob

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Trinity Garden Party - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

From fortnightly volunteer sessions in our community garden, to supporting free community events such as Garden Party, volunteering is a vital part of supporting what we do.

We spoke to Rob, one of Trinity's longest-running volunteers, about how he got involved with Trinity and to find out more what it is like being a Trinity volunteer.

"Volunteering at Trinity helped me gain skills and meet people that I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to. My day job is very different, so it’s always a refreshing change to help out with the music and community events I’m passionate about" - Rob, Volunteer

Q: Hi Rob, tell us a little about yourself

A: I’ve been a volunteer, on and off, for about six years or so. I started in 2017 helping on reception every Saturday. I had that role for about two years. Nowadays, I volunteer with events just as and when I can. I always try and make time for the Garden Parties though!

Q: How have you benefited from volunteering at Trinity?

A: Volunteering at Trinity helped me gain skills and meet people that I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to. My day job is very different, so it’s always a refreshing change to help out with the music and community events I’m passionate about. I would recommend it to anyone!

Q What have been your favourite events to volunteer at?

A: Anything community focussed I would say. The Garden Party is an obvious choice because it’s such a fun day to be involved with, but I helped with loads of different events when I was on reception. Weddings were always really special days, and Caring at Christmas was great to be a small part of.

Q: Any stand-out memories of volunteering at Trinity you’d like to share?

A: Helping to find an emergency gas safe engineer to install the new cooker a day before Caring in Bristol were due to cook literally hundreds of Christmas meals was daunting, but so satisfying to see it work out in the end. The person we found held up their holiday plans and didn’t even charge, they were just happy to help a great cause.

Also, seeing people return to Trinity after covid for the garden sessions was wonderful to witness. The Den has become a returning feature too, which is great! It’s been nice to see the centre evolve over the years. It’s a really important space for Bristol.

Q: Why should people volunteer at Trinity?

A: The Trinity team are great, working with them always makes me want to help out more. To be part of the team and help deliver the events, I find really rewarding. Guest list for some of the amazing gigs there is a nice perk too!

 

We are currently looking for volunteers to help out with our Garden Party on Sunday 12 May - click here to find out how you can get involved.

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Celebrating The South West’s Global Communities

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Trinity partners with Diaspora, a new festival celebrating the diverse communities of Bristol and the South West

Celebrating The South West’s Global Communities

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DIASPORA! Festival Flag Making Workshop

DIASPORA! Festival is a vibrant celebration of people, arts, culture, film, and more, taking place at host venues across the city on Early May Bank Holiday weekend 03 - 06 May. Brought to the South West by Diverse Artists Network, the festival aims to reflect the rich variety of talent within the south west’s global communities, with an emphasis on the creative arts that reside within these communities. Trinity is very proud to be partnering with Diverse Artist Network to bring Diaspora to Trinity, through a programme of workshops, music events and arts.

“Brilliant people, really welcoming and great level of diversity and lovely to talk to people from different backgrounds” - Diaspora! Flag Making Workshop Participant

As part of Diaspora’s engagement fringe programme in the lead up to their festival weekend, Trinity partnered up with them to deliver their programme of free creative workshops named ‘Flag Up Your Identity’. These workshops were open to all and served to unleash the creativity of the workshop participants to make a unique flag that embodied their identity and heritage. Participants were encouraged to create unique flags influenced by their cultural roots and their personal journey. Over the Easter period, Trinity welcomed over 30 participants who made wonderful flags which will be showcased at Trinity and other locations around the city.

DIASPORA! Festival continues throughout the May bank holiday weekend, kicking off with the official opening ceremony for the festival taking place on Friday 03 May 4pm – 7pm. Expect an evening of dance, music, poetry, food, and folklore, showcasing the extraordinary talents of our local community while fostering meaningful cross-cultural connections. Tickets are free, find out more here.

After the opening ceremony on 03 May, we will be hosting Pangea at Trinity. Pangea is a club night which celebrates sound system music from around the globe, bringing together a diverse range of genres including Samba, Bhangra, highlife, gospel, dancehall and much more. Click here to get tickets.

Closing out proceedings, on Sunday 05 May we have Alkebulan, African Storytelling Village, a day of African arts and culture featuring captivating storytelling to vibrant dance performances. Featuring local artists from the likes of Kabbo Hue Ferdinand, MoYah, Ian Solomon-Kawall, Penny Avery, and Mohammed Errebba, this event promises an unforgettable cultural showcase. Find out more here.

We are very proud to be partnering with Diverse Artists Network for DIASPORA! Festival, highlighting our commitment to providing accessible cultural events for the community, and a space to learn arts and crafts as well as opportunities for participants to skill share.

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Movement & wellbeing for local families

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Support from West of England Sport Trust to expand our schools based offer

Movement & wellbeing for local families

by sarah last modified 28/03/2024 04:08 PM
Movement & wellbeing for local families

Movema

Movema

Carnival workshops at Trinity.Photo Alastair Brookes/KoLAB Studios

With the support of West of England Sport Trust (Wesport) we are expanding our creative offer for primary-aged children living/ attending school within the locality.

Through our partnership work with local primary schools, we will be working with Easton Academy to offer key stage 1 and key stage 2 children free-to-access after school activities, a summer school as well as provision for parents/carers.

Building upon previous projects, including last year's Easter Carnival workshops and 2022/23 ‘World in a Box’ programme, leading dance company Movema will embed themselves within the school to deliver the programme that aims to encourage schools to offer their facilities for activities that encourage healthy and active lives.

‘We are thrilled to be supporting local partners through our place-based work. Through supporting schools to open their facilities outside of the school day to both school and community users, we hope to create sustainable change in increased physical activity levels in communities where they are needed most.” Nicole Emmanuel, West of England Sport Trust

Shaping the offer to reach children, who may be living in under-resourced communities, Movema will host after-school clubs that will include dance and movement workshops. They will also work with teachers and children to shape and deliver a creative offer for free activities during the summer break.

Our Children and Young People's team will collaborate with parent/carers at Easton Academy to develop free to access sessions that will take place within the school to encourage movement, active lives and improve wellbeing.

The programme will run until March 2025 and will further support our ‘Cultural Alliance’ a partnership with three-local schools. Developed through conversations with primary school pupils, teachers, governors and community organisations, the Alliance aims to address existing gaps that many children experience in accessing creative activities as well as strengthening the educational growth and wellbeing of children.

You can find out more about our Children and Young People's programme here or sign up to our mailing list to keep-up to date.

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Performance for Children and Families

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We brought Igloo, an interactive early year's performance, to Trinity as part of our Children and Young People’s programme

Performance for Children and Families

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Performance for Children and Families

Igloo Travelling Light

Igloo - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

As part of our Children and Young People’s programme, we brought Igloo, an interactive early year's performance, to Trinity. Igloo was created by Barton Hill-based Travelling Light Theatre. The company created the show specifically to tour to non-traditional theatre venues with the aim of breaking down barriers to accessing theatre.

We connected with our partners, Central Bristol Children Centre, to offer children (and their grown ups) who attend the centre’s weekly Stay & Play at Trinity, the opportunity to watch the show for free. Igloo was shared in a separate space running alongside Stay & Play, allowing families to choose if they wanted to give the performance a try during a familiar group session. In total we welcomed over 100 families/carers to two performances of Igloo.

Through feedback from conversations between children, families and local community groups and building upon our pledges we are looking at ways to create a responsive programme that aims to offer young children the opportunity to take their first steps in their creative journey.

Coming up in the summer we are pleased to host theatre company Tidal Tales who will be bring their latest show, Fairy Forest: Stories from the Trees, for an outdoor performance. This follows the 'The Hare the Moon and the River' that we programmed as part of our Summer Sessions last year.

You can keep up to date with our our Children and Young People's programme here or to hear about upcoming events and activities sign up to our mailing list here

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Celebrating International Women's Day

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All Ah Wi International Women’s Day take over at Trinity celebrating peers and sisterhood all under one roof

Celebrating International Women's Day

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 23/04/2024 09:16 AM

International Women’s Day Celebration - Image Credit: Megan Ip

As part of International Women’s Day celebrations, women's group ‘Al Ah Wi’ took over Trinity for a full day of workshops and discussions to celebrate the talents and interests of women.

“It was a really good day, all who came had a great time and got a lot out of it" Saláma Kefentse

Organised by Saláma Kefentse, who leads the ‘Al Ah Wi’ group, the take over included dance workshops delivered by Penny Avery, Essential Oils demonstrations and live music by DJs Kissan and Delicious. In the afternoon, Carmen Carol delivered a wellbeing workshop and the event finished with a live podcast with the female-led Keep It Real team.

Salama first connected with Trinity after attending Festus celebrations back in December 2023. During this event she shared that she would like to bring ‘Al Ah Wi’ to Trinity and following this our Community and Neighbourhoods team supported Salama to programme the event. This collaborative programming approach is part of our pledge to support people, grassroot groups and artists, living in the locality to deliver grassroots and community-led activities.

Following the success of ‘Al Ah WI's 'International Women’s Day takeover we are pleased to be supporting Salama to host the group regularly at Trinity. Al Ah Wi and will take place every three-months. If you would like to find out more about the group please get in contact with Jen Farmer, Arts Engagement Manager or sign up to our mailing list to keep-up-to-date.

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Emerging Musician performance

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Young People from our Next Gen Sounds programme performed at the opening night of Off The Record's Exhibition

Emerging Musician performance

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Emerging Musician performance

Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

Next Gen Sounds Performance - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

Young people from our free weekly music project, Next Gen Sounds, were invited to perform during Off The Record (OTR)’s exhibition at Trinity. We work in partnership with the OTR team who come along to the weekly Next-Gen sessions as an additional offer for young people.

“It was really great to get the chance to perform live, it’s so much fun, Trinity really give us a lot of chances to perform in front of an audience. It’s really fantastic to be able to play here” - Joe, Next Gen Sounds Participant

On the night, young people from Next Gen Sounds took to the stage for one hour. Giving incredible musical performances, from bands playing covers of much-loved songs by Fleetwood Mac and Radiohead, to acoustic solo performances, rap, and DJ sets, demonstrating the wide range of musical styles that the young people are exploring as part of Next Gen.

OTR’s exhibition featured paintings, drawings, photography, poetry and of course music from Next Gen. Our Next Gen Sounds sessions are supported by staff from OTR who bring their expertise around mental health and wellbeing to the group sessions, ensuring that the support offered by the programme focuses not only on young people’s musical abilities, but also provides a safe space for personal support, in which the young people can develop their confidence, interpersonal skills, and support their mental wellbeing.

As part of our Children and Young Peoples' programme we offer ways in which those aged 0-25yrs can take their first and next steps in creativity. Next Gen creates pathways for young people to develop their musical practice; from supporting song writing, to demystifying music production, and music masterclasses to eventually offering the young people a platform to perform their music to a live audience.

If you'd like to find out more about Next Gen Sounds, or get involved with the sessions yourself, click here for more information.

 

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In Conversation: Liam and Nature Play

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We spoke to Trinity's Nature Play Lead, Liam, about the after-school garden project

In Conversation: Liam and Nature Play

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 27/03/2024 01:06 PM

Nature Play After School Club - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

As part of our children and young people's programme offer free after school provision for children who attend local primary schools. Children who attend are aged 8yrs-11yrs and many may limited access to any green space at home. We caught up with Liam Callaghan, who delivers the Nature Play sessions to find out more.

Hi! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background

I’m Liam, the Nature Play lead at Trinity – I have a passion for youth work, having written and illustrated my first children’s book, worked with SEND children for several years and facilitated a variety of workshops for young people.

A How did you get involved with Nature Play at Trinity?

I've been leading the Nature Play project since its beginnings in September 2023. I spent a lot of time at Trinity Centre attending various events before I became a part of the team – I first helped with a Nature Play workshop over the summer of 2023 and through this, Trinity reached out with the opportunity of working together long-term on a similar project, and here I am!

What is the Nature Play project?

The after-school Nature Play sessions we run are a perfect opportunity for local 8-11-year-olds to spend some quality time out in nature, thanks to our beautiful garden space in the heart of Bristol. We operate a walking bus from 3 local primary schools to maximise our outreach and have seen amazing results. We began by having the children create a set of ground rules, which they all agreed on, based around respect and getting involved.

So what do the sessions involve?

After introducing the children to the garden space at Trinty, there was still fruit growing in the garden, so the children would pick apples from the apple tree when they arrived as a tasty snack. Most weeks they would forage flavours to make their own tea, learning about when certain plants fruit, the physics of heat drawing out the flavours and nutrients to make the tea, as well as the communal nature of making and sharing tea together. The group are always very happy to show any newcomers around the garden space – they have found a real sense of security and belonging in the garden and have a great sense of agency within the space.

As the nights grew longer, the children learned about how winter is a necessary part of the life cycle, and how we can relate to the seasons within our own lives, have ‘sunny seasons’ and ‘chilly spells’. They also learned how to safely make a fire to get us through the wintry weather, with some children helping others overcome their fear of flames. The children loved sharing stories around the fire (some scarier than others!), instilling a warm sense of community.

What's the plan for Nature Play going forward into the spring?

As we Spring into 2024, the children have begun making use of their raised bed, dedicated to the after-school club (which they have nearly finished decorating) as well as space in the polytunnel, where the children have been learning how and when to plant different veg (and why) and learning about seasonal changes and the effect climate change is having on us and other parts of the world. Some children have some prior knowledge which they have been happy to share with others during the sessions, building a sense of communal skill sharing.

What benefits do you think the children involved with Nature Play gain?

The children who attend the sessions  have really blossomed over the months, and there’s been noticeable growth in individuals’ confidence, knowledge and overall wellbeing as well as seeing friendships being formed. I can’t wait to see how the children grow over the coming months.

If you are a parent/carer of a primary aged child (8yrs-11yrs) who would like to attend Nature Play click here to find out more and sign up.

Nature Play is held on Monday's during term time and is made possible due to funding from Quartet Community Foundation, WESport and Bristol City Council.


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In Conversation: David Jubb and Citizens for Culture

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 27/03/2024 11:30 AM

In Conversation: David Jubb and Citizens for Culture

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 27/03/2024 11:30 AM

Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

In partnership with St Pauls Carnival, Citizens In Power and West of England Combined Authority we are delivering a Citizens’ Assembly for Culture in 2025.

This ground-breaking initiative will bring together people from across the region, to meet with creative practitioners, cultural providers and decision-makers to shape the future of a cultural delivery plan for the region.

We are currently recruiting for a Producer to help with the successful delivery of the Assembly. We caught up with David Jubb, Co-Director of Citizens In Power, to find out more about the role, the Citizens for Culture project and the plans for the 2025 Assembly.

Hi David! Tell us more about the role and what they'll be working on.

This is a role that I wish had been around when I was developing my practice as a producer. I would have jumped at it. The role will oversee the entire citizens’ assembly process over the coming 12 months. This will include all the current development stages, procuring key partners and laying the groundwork for the UK’s first citizens’ assembly to create a cultural plan for an entire region. The role will work closely with assembly members, supporting their needs and ensuring that each one has a positive and inspiring experience. They will also establish the framework for the assembly’s recommendations to be carried forward. I think one of the many exciting things about the role is that citizen-led decision-making, such as citizens’ juries, citizens’ assemblies and panels, are growing in the creative and cultural sector. So the successful candidate will put themselves in an interesting position in terms of the future opportunities in the sector.

The ideal candidate would be someone who believes in the idea of citizens’ assemblies and cultural democracy, is committed to equity and inclusion in their practice, excels in complex projects with multiple partners, and has an interest in the strategic side of producing. What I mean by this is not just a desire to nail the deliverables each day, but on how those deliverables link to a wider set of strategic aims and partners. This project is a lot about inviting people to work together to lead change – so if they have a passion for supporting change then the role would suit them very well.

Who would the Citizens’ Assembly Producer get to work with?

They would work closely with all the project partners: LaToyah McAllister-Jones, Executive Director of St Pauls Carnival; Emma Harvey, CEO of Trinity; Sarah James, Creative and Cultural Programme Lead at the West of England Combined Authority. Each partner brings different experiences to the project. LaToyah works with Involve to facilitate assemblies as well as her extensive professional experience in and out of the cultural sector. Emma has been a driving force for how cultural buildings can use creativity as a tool for civic participation. Sarah is leading Culture West, a regional programme which brings practitioners together to create a transformational shift to co-created models of practice. The producer would also work with me. My background is in the cultural sector. I was artistic director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre from 2004-19, before becoming more interested in citizen-led decision-making. Last year I co-founded Citizens In Power as a not-for-profit organisation, with the purpose to co-design ways for citizens to lead decision-making.

In addition to the project partners, the producer would work with the assembly’s Oversight Panel and Advisory Panel, independent groups who will advise on equity and inclusion, and select evidence for the assembly to consider. They will also collaborate with the Lead Facilitator, the Combined Authority and four Unitary Authorities, the assembly’s funding partners, Arts Council England and Gulbenkian Foundation, and everyone involved in the production and logistics of the assembly itself. It’s a big team!

What does success look like for you within this project?

By having a citizens’ assembly for creativity and culture, the project aims to democratise decision-making in the cultural sector. The assembly will empower citizens to co-create a vibrant, inclusive cultural delivery plan for the West of England. It’s important to know that when we say “citizens” we mean people who live, work or stay in a place – i.e. everyone! Success will be a project that constantly challenges itself on issues of equity and inclusion.

Essential success measures are inclusive participation, constructive deliberation and actionable recommendations. We are involving both citizens and practitioners from the sector in the design of the assembly to help us achieve this. Of course, the real test of success for Citizens for Culture will be the delivery of the assembly’s outcomes. This will require the collaboration of lots of different partners: from councils, sector organisations, communities, funders to individuals, all working together to make change happen. We need to grow many of these partnerships in advance of the assembly happening in 2025. We also hope Citizens For Culture provides inspiration for other councils and funders which are seeking to create future delivery plans by putting citizens at the heart of the process.

Anything else you would like to add?

I think this promises to be an inspiring project. I can guarantee that the successful candidate, whether coming with a cultural sector background, or a background in deliberative democracy, will learn lots and widen the kinds of opportunities they can pursue in the future. Come and work with us! Deadline for application is Tuesday 9th April at 5pm and application information is here.

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Protecting community Spaces

by sarah last modified 14/05/2024 02:48 PM
Trinity, Eastside Community Trust and Windmill Hill City Farm launch joint manifesto calling to protect shared spaces

Protecting community Spaces

by sarah last modified 14/05/2024 02:48 PM
Protecting community Spaces

Igloo

Trinity Garden Party

Trinity's Garden Party. Credit: Alistair Brookes

Trinity join Eastside Community Trust, Windmill Hill City Farm and 13 other organisations to call for urgent action to protect and enhance Bristol’s shared spaces.

The initiative calls for urgent measures to safeguard and improve Bristol’s shared spaces, which are currently under threat due to various challenges, including legislation facilitating council property sales to address budget shortfalls.

“Unfortunately, without changes to how decisions are made about community infrastructure, the future of those spaces will always be at risk. The suggestions we are putting forward will enable us to secure a brighter future for our much-loved community spaces" Steve Sayers, CEO of Windmill Hill City Farm

In a published manifesto we join others in calling for several changes to ensure community buildings are appropriately valued. This includes:

  • Review the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process, to enable more community organisations to consider this route.
  • Adopt a target and strategy for increasing the number of community owned assets, in line with the One City Plan.
  • Delegate leadership for community assets to a member of cabinet or committee, recognizing the sector’s role across council departments.
  • Delegate authority to officer level to award CAT leases, for 95 years, when these are up for renewal.
  • Include representation from Neighbourhoods and Committees in the CAT decision-making committees.
  • Create a framework for protection and disposal of council owned assets, including creating a new ‘community’ asset class which prioritises preservation of community spaces.
  • Implement a fair rent structure which recognises the social and investment benefits of community-owned assets.
  • Develop a capital investment strategy for organisations with CAT leases

How you can help:

  • Read the full manifesto here
  • Decisions makers, city and business leaders are invited to talk to us directly, understand more about the work we do and see how these changes could enable us to make a much greater impact across the whole city.
  • People of Bristol are invited to share their thoughts and feelings on what their local community space means to them, by writing on a ribbon or sharing a word, sentence or memory on social media using the hashtag #CommunityRoots.

The Community Anchor organisations who created the campaign and manifesto are:

  1. Eastside Community Trust
  2. Trinity Community Arts
  3. Windmill Hill City Farm
  4. Black South West Network (The Coach House)
  5. Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust
  6. Knowle West Health Park
  7. Knowle West Alliance
  8. Southmead Development Trust
  9. Redcatch Community Garden Limited
  10. Ambition Lawrence Weston
  11. Bricks/St Anne’s House
  12. Artspace Lifespace
  13. St Werburghs Community Centre
  14. Filwood Community Centre
  15. Voscur
  16. Learning Partnership West

 

 

 

 

 

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Free creative courses for Young People

by sarah last modified 12/03/2024 02:29 PM
Find out more about about Speak Out Free creative workshops for young people

Free creative courses for Young People

by sarah last modified 12/03/2024 02:29 PM
Free creative courses for Young People

Speak Out - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

Speak Out!

Speak Out Celebration 2023. Credit Alastair Brookes

Speak Out is a programme of free creative courses exploring ways in which creativity can be used to shine a light on Future Proofing (or, thinking about our impact on the planet), Neurodiversity and Injustice.

Delivered in partnership with City of Bristol College, Bristol Refugee Festival and Our Second Home, from Feb - June 2024 Trinity will host a series of workshops delivered by a professional artist or facilitator. The sessions will offer a supportive young people to develop creative and craft skills, be inspired by new ideas and build interpersonal and collaborative skills.

The programme was developed following an in-depth consultation with over 150 young people that took place in 2023. This included Trinity's CYP team visiting further education settings, schools, community organisations as well as an in-person event at Trinity.

Speak Out Programme:

Future Proofing – Students of City of Bristol College will explore their impact on the planet. Led by Carene, a sustainable fashion expert, the cohort will explore ways in which they can fight against fast fashion. Running Feb - Mar 2024

Neurodiversity - Kabbo Ferdinand, an African Indigenous storyteller and musician, and Natasha Gatward, an immersive performance artist and costume designer, invite 16 – 18 year olds to explore the ways in which movement and expression can explore Neurodiversity. Running April 2024.

Injustice – Hip-Hop artist Moyah, who has lived experience of the asylum system, will lead workshops for young people affected by the asylum system in order to create a performance piece addressing injustice. Running April 2024.

Speak Out Showcase: Young people who have taken part in Speak Out are invited to come together in celebration of their work at a showcase event at Trinity Centre. Each groups’ practitioners will be at the showcase to support the young people and to guide them through the experience of publicly sharing their art (17th June 6-8pm).

If you would like to sign up to the workshops please contact Liam, Youth Services Facilitator on liamc@trinitybristol.org.uk

 

Speak Out! Is supported by the We Move Fund: Youth Social Action aims to empower Black children and young people through Youth Social Action.


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In Conversation: Saláma Kefentse and All Ah Wi Women's Group

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 06/03/2024 02:23 PM

In Conversation: Saláma Kefentse and All Ah Wi Women's Group

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 06/03/2024 02:23 PM

 

As part of the celebrations for this year's International Women’s Day, we caught up with Saláma Kefentse from All Ah Wi Women's group ahead of their Saturday 09 Mar event at Trinity. Click here to find out more about Saturday's International Women's Day Celebrations at Trinity.

Q: Hi! Tell us a little about yourself and the All Ah Wi Women's group:

A: My name is Saláma and I started All Ah Wi Women's group last year under my brand name Just Love Hub.

The All Ah Wi Women's group is a space for all women, especially those from the Caribbean and African diaspora. The group offers a sense of sisterhood and freedom to be just as you are without the added titles of mum, daughter, sister, aunty etc. It's an opportunity to spend time focusing on their needs rather than the needs of others.

Q: Where did the idea of the International Womens Day event come from?

After a joint conversation with staff at Trinity the idea was offered for us host an event to celebrate International Womens Day. They offered this opportunity to us and as the women in our group possess such inspiring skills and talents it seemed a great idea to offer them the space to showcase what they can do and show how amazing they are.

The group was developed because we need to have a space to go to with women who looked like me and could relate to the ups and downs life throws at us, have a laugh, a cry and a moan without judgement. Be free to try new things and talk about topics that aren't typical but create awareness and are thought provoking.

Q: What can we expect from the event?

Expect great music from DJ Kissan and DJ Delicious, Essential oil 101 from spiritual healer Michelle Meridith and a workshop on 5 steps to overcoming childhood trauma with Author Carmen Carrol, hosted by the All Ah Wi Women's group.

Q: Why do you think celebrations like International Women’s Day are important?

Events like these give women the chance to shine a light for each other and be seen for who they are and what they do. It brings women together and shares good energy, healing and connection. We get to congratulate our sister's for their hard work and be inspired by them too.

Q: How can people get involved or help All Ah Wi Womens group?

The All Ah Wi Women's group is looking for volunteer session leaders to help organise and run the sessions and board members / trustees to start as a CIC to help with fundraising to bring the ideas these women have created to life.

The All Ah Wi Womens International Womens Day event is on 09 Mar 2024 from 10am – 3pm and features workshops from Michelle Meridith and Carmen Carol, music by DJs Kissan and Delicious and Podcasting form Keep It Real Podcast, click here to find out more.

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Opinion: Holding Onto Our Roofs When The Sun Ain’t Shining

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 21/02/2024 04:30 PM
CEO Emma Harvey asks: In austere times, how do we retain and maintain community buildings?

Opinion: Holding Onto Our Roofs When The Sun Ain’t Shining

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 21/02/2024 04:30 PM

Jacobs Wells Baths - Image Credit: Sam Prosser

Preserving and maintaining community spaces is proving increasingly difficult as local authorities grapple with continued budgetary pressures. Some local authorities are facing or have already issued Section 114 notices – which means expected income isn’t enough to cover expenditure. In response, the Government is considering making it easier for councils to dispose of publicly owned assets to cover rising costs of essential services. Financial news provider, Bloomberg, sets out how, “The move would mark a sharp relaxation of the current constraints, which prevent councils from using money from asset sales to meet budget pressures from day-to-day services without approval from the central government.”

"The choices we make now in response to the challenge of preserving civic and cultural infrastructure in the face of financial uncertainty is a decision that will have lasting consequences for future generations" Emma Harvey

Community groups and charities are collaborating to devise shared solutions to protect civic and cultural assets from disposal and loss; from volunteering to manage local allotments and raising money to invest in parks and play areas, to taking on ownership of local pubs or community buildings and developing their own Neighbourhood Plans.

Whilst there are individual success stories of spaces saved, the challenge lies in how we create a national community asset transfer approach that is replicable, scalable and sustainable. As Brendan Conway, a leading voice in community assets, sets out in a LinkedIn post at the start of the year; “we must not valorise small precedents that have hidden foundations and assume that they are replicable.”

The current model places communities under increasing pressure to do more, though they may not equally hold all the necessary resources to convert short-term passion into sustained success. Existing funding schemes tied to short-term political cycles overlook the complexities of such projects, which require a variety of factors to align. Passionate people who care will inevitably overcommit and inexperienced individuals will underestimate what’s necessary to sustain a recovery effort over time. Some communities may hold the aspiration, but struggle to channel the right energy, investment or efforts consistently and continually. Others may just be overwhelmed, fatigued, or disheartened from past failed efforts to save the things they’ve loved and lost. This could lead to an increasingly disproportionate distribution of social resources, unless we proactively lay the foundations required to enhance success rates equitably across the breadth of UK communities.

The solution as to how we preserve civic and cultural infrastructure amidst financial uncertainty requires a nuanced, adaptable and holistic approach. It’s a delicate balancing act that, if we fail to get right, will leave our communities of tomorrow without the infrastructure they need to allow our more diverse, more densely populated neighbourhoods to function. The more we embark on these ambitious, quirky, complex projects, the more we will see projects fail. Should sites revert back to local authority control at a point where resources and capacity has further depleted, this will only compound risk of future asset disposal, not least because now one might also point to how the community tried, but failed to make it work.

In Bristol, there are a number of organisations driving a community ownership movement and a more strategic approach to community asset management, such as Bristol’s Community Anchor Network who have launched a manifesto to ask for more targeted support and investment to protect the city’s social fabric. More widely, Platform Places are collaborating with councils, community asset managers and owners to repurpose vacant high street properties, whilst Locality are continuing to promote their #SaveOurSpaces campaign by launching a new “community power revolution” to place more power in the hands of communities.

The choices we make now in response to the challenge of preserving civic and cultural infrastructure in the face of financial uncertainty is a decision that will have lasting consequences for future generations. To ensure a resilient and culturally vibrant future for UK communities expanding in diversity and population density, we must adopt a nuanced, bespoke and holistic approach to the assets that underpin our daily lives; one that embraces all the complexities, personalities and idiosyncrasies of our changing social and cultural landscape. And we need to do that pretty soon, before we have no space left to fight for.

Emma Harvey, CEO Trinity Community Arts

#SoldFromUnderYou

#SaveOurSpaces

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Look Back: Models of Listening and Participation in Culture

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 19/02/2024 05:00 PM
Reflections on taking part in Isto é PARTIS & Art for Change

Look Back: Models of Listening and Participation in Culture

by <object object at 0x7f48d9167580> last modified 19/02/2024 05:00 PM

Isto é PARTIS & Art for Change 2024 - Image Credit: Carlos Porfirio

In January, Trinity participated in the Isto é PARTIS & Art for Change 2024 conference held in Lisbon, Portugal, shining a spotlight on the transformative potential of citizen-led approaches in the arts.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and "La Caixa" Foundation are actively working to platform and support the tangible impact of participatory arts initiatives, reshaping cultural dynamics, and fostering more just and cohesive communities. The conference served as a beacon for continued dialogue and action in the pursuit of a more inclusive cultural landscape.

Featuring panels exploring diverse methods of citizen involvement in cultural dynamics, Trinity Community Arts, represented by CEO Emma Harvey, emphasized the significance of creative community spaces in shaping cultural dynamics in the arts. Emma shared insights into Trinity's work managing the Trinity Centre as a publicly-owned civic arts space, alongside efforts to save another publicly-owned asset, Jacobs Wells.

Trinity shared a panel with Lara Seixo Rodrigues, Marta Silva, and Miguel Atalaia, highlighting examples of collaborative and citizen-led cultural activity, including the Largo Residências in Lisbon and the Bons Sons festival in Tomar. Bons Sons - akin to Trinity's annual Garden Party, the annual community festival involves the entire village coming together to deliver a celebration of music, culture and local pride—an inspirational example of true citizen empowerment.

Trinity's partner, Saad Eddine Said, Co-Director of the Citizens in Power initiative, delivered a keynote speech on avenues for active citizen-led decision-making. Trinity, in is working with Citizens in Power and St Paul’s Carnival, to develop a Citizen Assembly for Culture, supporting communities in the West of England Combined Authority to shape their cultural delivery priorities and plans – funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the West of England Combined Authority. The conference also highlighted Battersea Arts Centre’s social enterprise programme, The Agency, which uses a co-design model to support young people to unlock their creative potential.

This collaborative effort, led by The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, amplified initiatives that are unlocking the transformative power of citizen-led approaches in the arts. The Foundation's commitment to fostering partnerships between communities, creatives, and institutions, as showcased in the PARTIS & Art for Change initiative, exemplifies a forward-thinking approach to shaping the future of towns and cities. This conference facilitates key conversations and projects that contribute to the creation of more just, cohesive and culturally vibrant communities.

Further reading:

  • Read our blogs on creating a Citizens' Assembly for Culture 12, 3,  4 and 5
  •  

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    Celebrating Windrush

    by sarah last modified 02/02/2024 10:22 AM
    Celebrating the stories of the Windrush generation through a year long programme of creative activity

    Celebrating Windrush

    by sarah last modified 02/02/2024 10:22 AM
    Celebrating Windrush

    St Paul's Carnival Film Screening - Image Credit: Donovon Jackson

    Festus market

    Festus Market. Photo credit: KoLAB Studios

    Throughout 2023, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Windrush through our community arts programme. Working with key partners including St Paul’s Carnival, Ujima Radio, Eastside Community Trust and the Malcolm X Centre, we created a community-led project to celebrate the communities who moved to Bristol during the 1950s and to give voice to Caribbean elders' experiences, resilience and memories.

    "I had wicked fun. When are you doing it again?" Feedback, Festus

    In partnership with Tamasha Theatre and Coney, we supported the creation of 'Duppy Hunter', an audio adventure set on the streets of St Paul’s. The script was developed during the summer of 2023 with the support of current and former St Paul’s residents and members of Malcom X elders. The listening experience went live in October to coincide with Black History Month. We organised a special listening party in November for the Malcolm X Elders who were unable to experience the walking tour due to their access needs.

    In partnership with Eastside Community Trust, we programmed a screening of 'Barrel Children' at Easton Community Centre. The film explores the challenges of Black families separated by migration during the Windrush era.

    In December, we hosted 'Festus' - an all-day event celebrating Caribbean/Black British culture. During the day we open the door for an indoor craft market led by Black traders and invited acclaimed, locally-based poet, Zaykia Mckenzie to perform to traders and visitors. Alongside this, Ofeila Balogun from Irie Dance Company led a Caribbean/African dance workshop.

    As part of the evening's celebrations we screened 'Inna Wi Carnival', a documentary film commemorating the role of Bristol’s Caribbean elders in establishing the first St Paul’s Carnival. This was followed with a quiz, party games, dance floor 'foolery' and a performance by rapper/spoken word artist Jonny Steel.

    Across the year the project connected with over 500 people - using arts and entertainment to share, explore and celebrate the history and experiences of the Windrush generations in Bristol. Due to the success of the Festus market, we will be working with stakeholders to bring additional events in 2024 - watch this space.

    National Lottery community fund

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