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Citizens Workshops

by sarah last modified 25/09/2023 04:25 PM
People across the West of England Combined Authority region will take part

Citizens Workshops

by sarah last modified 25/09/2023 04:25 PM
Citizens Workshops

Black Creatives

Panel discussion as part of 'Final Frontier'. Image credit: Khali Ackford

In partnership with St Paul’s Carnival/Trinity and Citizens In Power, we have been exploring how a representative group of citizens from across the west of England could create a cultural strategy and delivery plan for the region. Following our research phase we are now undertaking a series of ‘citizens panels’ with people from across region.

We will host three panels during September and October in which we will ask citizens to review the initial model for a Citizens’ Assembly for culture that was developed by the working group. The findings of the three citizen panels will be assembled into a report that sets out how the recommendations have been implemented in the design of the 2024 Citizens’ Assembly for culture. We are then planning follow-up sessions with people and organisations working in the cultural sector during November and December.

The citizens panels will be hosted by David Jubb (Citizens In Power) and small discussion groups will be facilitated to ensure everyone has a voice in the process. The reason for involving citizens in the design process is that we believe that a wide range of citizens can help improve the idea and make it more relevant to more people from across the region.

If you would like to find out more and explore questions about the idea and the process then we will be at the ‘Festival of the Future City’ on Oct 19 at Watershed where we will share our journey so far. The event will be open to questions from and conversation with the audience at this free event.

The citizens panels mark an exciting next-step for the Citizens For Culture project, made possible with the support of the Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Arts Council England through the West of England Cultural Compact fund.

Find out more about the project

  • Read our previous blogs 1, 2, 3,  4 and 5
  • Keep up-to-date about the project by joining our mailing list
  • Read Freddie Wulf's article: Identity Capital
  • Watch Trinity's take over of the Radix Big Tent
  • Join in the conversation using #67MillionVoices
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    Summer in Review 2023

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 21/09/2023 09:00 AM
    Looking back on a summer of arts, music and community events at Trinity

    Summer in Review 2023

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 21/09/2023 09:00 AM
    Summer in Review 2023

    Trinity Garden Party

    Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

    We’ve had an amazing summer of music, arts and community events at Trinity and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the amazing things that have happened at Trinity over the last few months.

    Garden Party

    On May 14, 2023, Trinity Garden Party welcomed the community to our annual, free event featuring live music, arts, workshops, and performances.

    The Den, our outdoor stage, showcased a diverse lineup of talented artists from Bristol and the South West. From Laimu's soulful jazz, Ben Baddoo's Ghanaian percussion, and Magugu's Nigerian rap set the musical tone, we had an amazing range of musical talent on display. The day concluded with an energetic performance from jungle legends Ruffneck Ting duo Dazee and Jakes. Upstairs in Fyfe Hall, local poets, comedians, and spoken word artists entertained, including familiar faces and new local talent.

    Workshops throughout the day offered diverse experiences for attendees of all ages. Movema's Dance Workshop ignited the Main Hall, while DMAC's Drumming and Storytelling circle was a hit. Crafts, garden activities, and a Recycle City workshop engaged children and the local community.

    With over 2,200 attendees and £3000 in donations, your generosity enables us to host more community events like Garden Party in the future.

    Movema

    We continued our partnership with award-winning Dance company Movema throughout the summer, delivering a programme of Dance and Movement-based workshops with two Hannah More and St Nicholas of Tolentine Primary Schools.

    This summer we celebrated the end of the project with a series of weekly after school Carnival Dance workshops. Held at Trinity, children and their parent/carers, along with Movema, created their own carnival procession that celebrated and took inspiration from the rich cultures and heritages of the group.

    Day Parties

    Day Parties in our outdoor venue, The Den, continued throughout the summer. We hosted a range of in-house day parties, including a Booty Bass x RepresentAsian takeover, as well as fan-favourites Teachings in Dub ran their first ever day party at Trinity in August. Rave on Avon, a multi-venue festival around Bristol, found it's new home on Old Market this year, and we were lucky enough to host the main stage at Trinity.

    House of Weaving Song

    As part of Bristol’s Playable Cities project, we hosted The House of Weaving Songs in Trinity’s Community Garden, an outdoor interactive artistic installation celebrating Somali culture. The House of Weaving Songs was created by dhaqan collective, a Somali Feminist art collective led by Ayan Cilmi and Fozia Ismail. The installation featured traditional Somali tapestries that when touched ignited the stories and musicality of Somali women’s weaving songs.

    We've got loads of amazing events lined up for autumn and winter at Trinity, click here to see what's on.

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    Cost of Living Vouchers

    by sarah last modified 13/10/2023 10:03 AM
    Trinity distributed over ₤8,000 in supermarket vouchers

    Cost of Living Vouchers

    by sarah last modified 13/10/2023 10:03 AM
    Cost of Living Vouchers

    Trinity Garden Party Alastair Brookes

    Movema Children and Young People

    Movema's Easter Dance Club. Photo credit Alastair Brooks

    We were able to provide 150 local residents and users of the Trinity Centre supermarket vouchers as part of the Winter Crisis Fund. The support has come at a crucial time when families are grappling with unprecedented costs due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

    To allow for a fair and accessible process, we developed a user-friendly online form where individuals could indicate how they met our four predefined criteria for receiving vouchers. We then worked with key stakeholders to share the scheme, including printing flyers to distribute among resident groups and parents/carers whose children participate in activities at Trinity.

    "I am in receipt of a low income. The shopping voucher really helps with everyday shopping, e.g., food, cleaning products. Furthermore, by being awarded the voucher, I feel listened to and valued. Thank you."

    This initiative enabled us to offer some relief to the challenges posed by rising living costs, and the distribution of vouchers primarily benefited local residents with caring responsibilities. 78% of the vouchers were allocated to families whose children attend local schools or children's centres or take part in Trinity's Children and Young People program.

    About the Winter Crisis Fund:

    The Winter Crisis Fund is an initiative of The Society of the Merchant Ventures.

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    Carnival Workshops celebrate culmination of dance project

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 14/07/2023 12:18 PM
    Read about our project with Movema devolved in partnership with local schools

    Carnival Workshops celebrate culmination of dance project

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 14/07/2023 12:18 PM

    Movema Carnival Workshop - Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

    Since autumn 2022, we have been delivering a programme of Dance and Movement based workshops in partnership with award-winning dance charity Movema and two local schools, Hannah More and St Nicholas of Tolentine.

    'I liked that we had parents and children together, not just drop them off, they still need our (parent/carer) support, its good to dance together.' Parent at after-school Carnival Dance workshops

    We recently celebrated the end of the project with a series of weekly after school Carnival Dance workshops. Held at Trinity, children and their parent/carers, along with Movema, created their own carnival procession that celebrated and took inspiration from the rich cultures and heritages of the group.

    The project began with Movema connecting with local schools, Hannah More, Evergreen and St Nicholas of Tolentine, to deliver movement and dance workshops to children from reception to Year 6. Following this they hosted an Easter Holidays Dance Club where children were invited to come along and take part a mixture of dance games, routines and craft activities. Across the project a total of 190 children took part.

    This schools-based project is part of Trinty’s Children and Young People programme which is co-created with our partners to enable children and young people to take their first and next steps in creativity. The project was supported by funding from the Coutts Foundation.

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    Summer Programme

    by sarah last modified 13/07/2023 01:58 PM
    From free stay and plays to unicorns come on down to Trinity this summer

    Summer Programme

    by sarah last modified 13/07/2023 01:58 PM
    Summer Programme

    Trinity's Garden Party

    Many of the events this summer will take place in the community garden. Photo credit Alastair Brookes

    Check out our free and affordable activities to take part in as part of our Summer programme of activity.

    Meet the Unicorn

    Head down to Trinity and uncover a mystical unicorn as part of this yrs city-wide arts trail that is raising money for Leukaemia Care, the UK's leading leukaemia charity. Trinity’s unicorn, named 'Silence Provokes', has been painted by Bristol-based artist Emma Blake-Morsi. People can visit the Unicorn during opening hours (9am-5pm Monday - Friday) and most weekends. However, as Trinity is an active community space, we do apologise but access may be restricted to the site during day parties or wedding.

    Explore Somali Culture

    As part of Playable City we are hosting 'The House Of Weaving Songs' (07 July-09 July) an outdoor interactive artistic installation celebrating Somali culture featuring 360 audio and tapestry.  Click here to find out more.

    Nature and Play

    Throughout the Summer we are teaming up with Central Bristol Children's centre for 'Stay and Play' for 0yrs-11yrs (and their grown ups). These sessions, on Friday's, will offer nature and play activities - for free. We will be also running a cafe where you can buy hot drinks and healthy snacks. Click here to find out more.

    Family Theatre and Picnics

    Following the success of The Ash the Oak and the Standing Stones early this year we have again teamed up with Tidel Tales Collective to bring another magical show The Hare, the Moon and the River Picnic Series (18 Aug). Come along - and bring a picnic.

    Arts Workshops

    We've got a selection of community-focused arts workshops running at Trinity throughout the summer.

    During July and August Newtown residents are invited to take part in free community painting sessions where you can take part in a mandala painting activity. Hosted by Brick Project CIC the sessions will run between 5:00pm-7:00pm - the meeting point is located just across the Clarence Road, which is next to the Trinity Centre.

    Starting on 17 July we have Creative Wellbeing Workshops at Trinity, delivered in partnership with Age UK Bristol and Alive Activities. Take part in free in art, crafts, and activities as well as learning ways to look after your wellbeing, while exploring ways to unwind and relax. These drop in sessions are open to everyone. Age UK and Alive Activities would particularly like to welcome Refugees and Asylum Seekers aged 50+, as well as locals living close to the Trinity Centre

    On 21 July we will have an Artwork Design Workshop with artist Molly Mural. This is a creative workshop and help design a new public artwork for Stapleton Road, drawing inspiration from local culture, history, and community values you will be able to use various techniques. Click here to sign up.

    Community Cafes

    Starting on Weds 19 July we are inviting our key community partners to 'take over' The Den and Garden for the afternoon. We will be welcoming key community partners such as Newtown Network to host activities and celebrate the work that they do. We will provide free hot and cold drinks as well as healthy snacks.

    Day Parties & Weddings

    During the summer months (July-Sep) we will be hosting full-site Days parties. These are for 14+ (under 16's must be accompanied by an adult). This includes veteran soundsystem Downbeat Melody (16 July) and Booty Bass x RepresentAsian (29 July) - tickets start at £5.

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    Advocating for Community Infrastructure

    by sarah last modified 14/03/2024 03:01 PM
    Read CEO Emma Harvey's statement to BCC's Full Cabinet Meeting regarding the planned disposal of Jacob Wells Baths

    Advocating for Community Infrastructure

    by sarah last modified 14/03/2024 03:01 PM
    Advocating for Community Infrastructure

    jacob Wells Baths Credit Martin Booth

    Ice Road by Raucous - Photographer Jack Offord

    Ice Road by Raucous performed in Jacob Wells Baths. Photo credit Jack Offord

    In October 2022 a decision was taken to pause the process of awarding fixed-term funding to the arts and cultural sector of Bristol, in order to ensure transparency and independent decision making.

    Trinity are advocating for a similar level of scrutiny regarding the future of our city's community infrastructure, given these decisions will have a far greater long-term impact on our social and cultural fabric.

    Our work to promote the plight of the city's community buildings falls in line with Trinity's charitable objective to "provide or assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare". Recently we outlined the value of our many community spaces in Bristol in our report: "A community canvas – building the case for community infrastructure 2022-2026"

    The disposal of Jacobs Wells Baths

    Since January this year we have been working with stakeholders to create a vision for Jacobs Wells Baths, a Grade II Listed building that holds within its walls a wealth of architectural and social heritage - from its time as a public swimming baths to its 30 year history as a dance hub.

    Following the information that Jacobs Wells Baths is now being put forward for disposal Emma Harvey, CEO of Trinity Community Arts, has submitted a statement to Bristol City Councils Full Cabinet meeting 04 July 2023.

    Emma Harvey CEO Trinity Community Arts Statement:

    For over 15 years, I have been raising concerns about Bristol City Council's failure to adequately classify and protect its community buildings.

    Today, I once again bring forth my concerns regarding the disposal process being tabled today. It highlights a lack of protective asset class for buildings like Jacobs Wells Baths and Ujima House, which have been listed for disposal alongside disused plots of land, an old lock-up garage and a former public toilet.

    The reduction of irreplaceable community buildings to footnotes in a 400-page agenda pack raises questions about how irreversible decisions are made about the assets we own. Disposing of irreplaceable assets without adequate scrutiny or a consistently applied process jeopardises our connection to the past, erodes our present identity, and threatens the resilience of future communities. Such a decision should involve greater care than may given by an ‘estates rationalisation’ exercise, when these decisions risk eroding the city’s landscape of public spaces where our communities - growing in size and diversity - can connect, build trust, and foster unity.

    "Bristol has the opportunity to lead the way and, rather than disposing of these cherished spaces with a dismissive wave, we could seek to adopt a new ‘Public Realm’ asset use class that can change the way we define and protect civic and cultural domains for all citizens. These assets belong to the people of Bristol and as our elected representatives you are entrusted by us to act as our guardians of these shared spaces."

    These spaces are more than physical structures and worth considerably more than an old bog or a dumping ground. They represent a tangible connection to our city's heritage and have witnessed countless memories and community gatherings that have shaped our city's social fabric. Not only do these spaces connect and improve the daily lives of people in their surrounding areas, they can also act as significant local economic multipliers, generating jobs and supporting small businesses. Specifically Jacobs Wells Baths is the only community hub within a locality with a combined population of 25,000 residents.

    As Trinity has already set out, it has every potential to service the needs of this locality’s diverse communities; residents of HMOs and adjacent social housing blocks, older and young people, who have no other hub for locally based service provision.

    I ask the members of today’s Cabinet what is the legacy you want to leave behind?

    I urge the Cabinet to re-evaluate this process, as the Mayor has done with other recent called-in decisions, such as the Cultural Investment Programme.

    I urge members to consider the 2019 Land for the Many independent report, which advocates for changing the way we make decisions about these critical assets.

    Bristol has the opportunity to lead the way and, rather than disposing of these cherished spaces with a dismissive wave, we could seek to adopt a new ‘Public Realm’ asset use class that can change the way we define and protect civic and cultural domains for all citizens. These assets belong to the people of Bristol and as our elected representatives you are entrusted by us to act as our guardians of these shared spaces.

    Though your time in office may be limited, the decisions you make today will have lasting consequences for the communities of tomorrow. Please do not miss this once in a lifetime chance to make a positive impact to safeguard the legacy of these and other community buildings for the enrichment and well-being of present and future Bristolians.

    Further information

    We support Power to Change's We're Right Here Campaign that is building a united movement for community power.

    Read more in George Monbiot's Land for the Many independent report that focuses on changing the way our assets are used, owned and governed

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    Unicorn Fest 

    by sarah last modified 05/07/2023 03:03 PM
    Visit a unicorn as part of the magical city-wide arts trail

    Unicorn Fest 

    by sarah last modified 05/07/2023 03:03 PM

    The unicorn at Trinity

    We are pleased to be hosting a Unicorn as part of the magical arts trail taking place throughout July and August in celebration of Bristol’s 650th anniversary.

    The art trail features 60 life-sized unicorn sculptures that have been individually designed and painted by some of the South West’s leading artists and will be raising money for Leukaemia Care, the UK's leading leukaemia charity.

    " I recognise our health care systems aren't exempt from many of the inequalities in our society, and wanted to create a contrasting design that hopes to raise awareness of this while also celebrating the vibrancy of colours, patterns and textures commonly associated with some ethnically marginalised communities." Emma Blake-Morsi, artist Unicorn Fest

    Trinity’s unicorn, named 'Silence Provokes', has been painted by Bristol-based artist Emma Blake-Morsi and is inspired by leading research by the British Journal of Cancer on ethnic disparities within cancer patients, with the intention of raising awareness about inequalities within healthcare.

    People will be able to visit the Unicorn most days between 9am and 5pm. Throughout the summer holidays we will also be offering a programme of affordable/free to access activities as part of our Children and Young People's programme so if you are bringing family, or young people you care for, and want to plan your visit - click here to find out more.

    Click here to find out more about the trail including how to download the app and buy a map.

    Please note that Trinity is an active community space, visitors are advised to check our listings as access may be restricted to the site during day parties or weddings.

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    Deliberative Workshops

    by sarah last modified 25/09/2023 03:04 PM
    Reflecting on our series of research sessions exploring how citizens can co-create a cultural strategy

    Deliberative Workshops

    by sarah last modified 25/09/2023 03:04 PM
    Deliberative Workshops

    Citizens Assembly

    Citizens Assembly

    In partnership with St Paul’s Carnival/Trinity and Citizens In Power, we are exploring how to co-create a cultural strategy for the West of England region with citizens.

    During this research phase, funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), we invited a range of collaborators from the sector who place participation at the heart of their practice to hear from some of the best speakers working in democratic decision making right now.

    Part 5: Deliberative Workshops

    In January and February 2023 we organised three deliberative workshops with the aim of devising a long-term, citizen-led process that will shape a cultural plan for the area.

    In our first session, we heard from Sarah James, the Creative and Cultural Programme Lead at West of England Combined Authority. She spoke about the Combined Authority’s Cultural Compact – a group consisting of representatives from four Unitary Authorities (Bath and North-East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire) that aims to focus and amplify the role of culture in the region as a driver for economic success, placemaking, community cohesion and personal wellbeing. Sarah talked us through the evolving Cultural Plan for the region and how this connects with other active cultural conversations in the area.

    The group then briefly discussed the application process for previous rounds of the government’s City Of Culture competition, from the initial expression of interest through to the judges’ panel visit and interviews. It was agreed that it would be up to the Citizens’ Assembly for Culture as to whether an application for future competitions would be relevant or not.

    The group then moved on to discuss the idea of Deliberation – a key methodology used in Citizens’ Assemblies. We heard from Professor Alan Renwick (Deputy Director at UCL’s Constitution Unit) who described the key components which lead to deliberative and consensus decision-making and how this differs from a more conventional debating approach.

    Following this first session, we felt that it would be good to bring some of the principles Alan Renwick discussed to life with a couple of stories from inside a Citizen’s Assembly. Therefore, to start our second deliberative workshop, Executive Director of St Pauls Carnival and regular Citizens’ Assembly facilitator LaToyah McAllister-Jones shared some stories that helped immerse us back into the world of assemblies, understand more about their conduct, and remind us that there is expertise around these kinds of participatory processes in our teams and region for us to draw on.

    Following this, we spent some time delving more deeply into the way Citizens’ Assemblies are organised and delivered. Sarah Allan, one of the UK’s leading experts in Citizens’ Assemblies, who is Director of Capacity Building and Standards at Involve, joined us to explore the way assemlies are designed along with some of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the assembly model. She delved into the governance of Citizens’ Assemblies, and how the different stages of assemblies work. After considering the core components of a Citizens’ Assembly, we deliberated together to create a list of other exercises or approaches that we thought could add value to the assembly model.

    In the final session, we came together to explore our ideas for a citizen-led process for the west of England region. We set out to create a long-term and affordable and citizen-led process that could create a Cultural Plan for the region. Our main questions and themes were: How can the process itself be creative & cultural? How can the process be inclusive and diverse at every stage? Who are the stakeholders in the process and how can we bring them on the journey? Could the assembly have a federal structure with sub-groups to reflect the different areas across the region? Based on the experience and discussions from all three of the deliberative workshops, we outlined a process as a basic prototype, to be tested with citizens and the wider sector in autumn 2023.

    Find out more about the project

  • Read our previous blogs 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Keep up-to-date about the project by joining our mailing list
  • Read Freddie Wulf's article: Identity Capital
  • Watch Trinity's take over of the Radix Big Tent
  • Join in the conversation using #67MillionVoices
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    Free cost of living vouchers - CLOSED

    by sarah last modified 23/06/2023 10:48 AM
    In partnership with The Society of Merchant Venturers, Trinity Community Arts are offering free £150 vouchers to help with the cost of living

    Free cost of living vouchers - CLOSED

    by sarah last modified 23/06/2023 10:48 AM
    Free cost of living vouchers - CLOSED

    Trinity Garden Party

    Movema Easter workshop at Trinity. Photo credit Alastair Brooks

    Due to high demand, applications are now closed

    Trinity Community Arts are offering free supermarket vouchers worth up to £150 to help with the cost of living.

    The vouchers are available to anyone aged 18 and over who meets one or more of the following criteria

    • lives within a 0.5 mile radius of the centre
    • takes part in regular community activity at the centre, including Gentle Dance, ROTN and Hype Dance
    • takes part in youth activity at the centre, including Next Gen, Stay and Play and after school clubs
    • is a parent/carer of a child in local schools including Hannah More, Easton CE Academy, St Nicholas of Tolentine Primary School, Evergreen Primary school and Central Bristol Children's Centre

    The voucher scheme will run in May and June 2023 and is supported by The Society of Merchant Venturers,

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    Art of Resistance

    by sarah last modified 13/10/2023 10:00 AM
    End of project report for the Heritage Lottery Funded project

    Art of Resistance

    by sarah last modified 13/10/2023 10:00 AM
    Art of Resistance

    Rebel Walks

    AOR workshop Khali Ackford

    Activism through the lens workshop, photo Khali Ackford

    The "Art of Resistance" project, made possible with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, documented and celebrated the human stories behind activist movements in Bristol. The project focused on the rich histories of five key activist movements from the last 100yrs: Women’s Equality, Workers Rights, Anti-Racism & Anti-Fascism, Counterculture & Reclaim the Environment. Through collecting oral histories and retaining mixed art forms (e.g. poetry, textiles, banners, music, photography) from protest movements we celebrated the rich heritage of Bristol, and its citizens, as a 'city of protest' to educate, inspire and retain this rich history for ours and future generations.

    "What I noticed was by taking part in this project, people discovered that there are so many people battling injustices and fighting against social injustices and yet so often don’t see themselves as an activist." Miranda Rae, Facilitator 'Stories of Resistance'

    The project, led by historian and writer Dr Edson Burton, programmed an array of activities, including interviews, workshops, performances, film screenings, and exhibitions - engaging over 3226 audience members across 45 events and activities.

    As part of the project we created opportunities that enabled first-step engagement with heritage – providing space for people to explore their heritage and learn new skills in research 83 volunteers took part in 69 hours of training delivered by 11 professionals.

    Events included 'The Final Frontier', a creative conference of artists and activists and commentators, we welcomed Soundsystem pioneers DJ Stryda, Lioness, Big D and Vibronics for a 'Desert Island Discs' style event in our outdoor venue. We curated three exhibitions' exploring protest through various artforms. 'Snapshots of Resistance' (online & in person) showcased a selection of photographs documenting women protestors & pioneering artists.

    We preserved local testimonies of activism across generations through 'I Remember When'. During these sessions we collected memories and artefacts that contributed to our end of project exhibition, book publication and online archive. Participants included Laura Corballis, Deasy Bamford, Gill Haugh, Ros Beauhill, Lilieth Morrison and Colin Moody.

    Oral histories collected as part of the project have been captured in the table book ‘Art & Activism Vol 1: A Portrait. Alongside this bringing the project to life, people can explore the stories further via our interactive Heritage Archive, where you can listen to oral testimonies, watch videos and explore photos and other items gathered during two years of the Art of Resistance project.

    To find out more about the project read the Art of Resistance report here.

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    Next-Gen Sounds Strikes a Chord with Young Musicians

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 19/04/2023 10:42 AM
    Showcase event marks the end of term of our music-making programme

    Next-Gen Sounds Strikes a Chord with Young Musicians

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 19/04/2023 10:42 AM
    Next-Gen Sounds Strikes a Chord with Young Musicians

    Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

    Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

    Image Credit: Alastair Brookes

    Our Next-Gen Sounds program has wrapped up its first term on a high note. The weekly open access music session for young people has provided a supportive platform for budding musicians to hone their craft and showcase their talent. This term culminated in an impressive performance that highlighted the remarkable progress made by the young musicians.

    "Though anxious in the beginning, I feel, after settling, that Next-Gen has become a star part of my weekly routine." - Next-Gen Sounds Participant

    The end-of-term performance showcased the progress and achievements of the young musicians. In total, 17 young people engaged with Next-Gen Sounds over the term. During the showcase, the audience was impressed by the quality of the music and the energy and passion of the performers. It was clear that the young musicians had grown in confidence and skill, a testament to the program's effectiveness.

    Next-Gen Sounds has proven to be a valuable resource for young musicians seeking a safe and inclusive space to express themselves, develop their skills, and meet other like-minded musicians. With 50% of regular participants being first timers at Trinity, the program has successfully attracted a diverse range of young musicians who may not have otherwise engaged with Trinity’s programme. Participants have expressed their appreciation for the programme, with one stating "I wanted to come back! It’s easy, no judgement, no pressure, it’s fun."

    The success of Next-Gen Sounds reflects Trinity’s wider commitment to providing accessible opportunities for young people to engage with the arts. The programme has proven to be an invaluable resource for young musicians seeking a supportive environment to hone their craft. Trinity looks forward to continuing to support the musical aspirations of young people through this exciting programme.

    Next-Gen Sounds continues every Thursday - click here to find out how you can get involved.

     

     

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    From the archives: A million bricks of love

    by sarahb last modified 11/04/2023 11:06 AM
    A review of recent talk by manager of X-Church Lincs, Marcus Hammond

    From the archives: A million bricks of love

    by sarahb last modified 11/04/2023 11:06 AM
    From the archives:  A million bricks of love

    Visual arts is an important part of the activity at x-church

    x-church in Gainsborough

    As the push continues to #SaveJWB, we look back to Trinity's 2018 Heart & Soul project and our series of talks where both national and international speakers shared their knowledge and experience on the positives and pitfalls of re-imaging historic buildings. In this blog we invited Marcus Hammond, curator of x-church - a community space in Gainsborough, like no other - to come and share its story...

    Over a million bricks hold together the love and forward-thinking acceptance of x-church. Marcus Hammond

    Marcus Hammond bought a church building in 2006 and the night before he received the keys, the window got bricked. Therefore the first few days of his ownership were spent fixing the windows, and during this time he left the doors open. Children and young people walked right in and started playing in the space. This has lasted 12 years so far. ‘Now’, he said, ‘the building is almost incidental’.

    It was interesting to learn that in the same way as the children wandering in, a lot of x-church’s journey happened almost accidentally: the building was described by someone as built in a slum-gothic way, and as well as enjoying the playful amalgamation of two words, Hammond and what was becoming a small team of volunteers decided it would be the name of a youth project.

    x-church is host to many successful visual art installations

    Physically building a place is hard but assembling the people is harder

    They created a small dome structure for Slumgothic within the huge church space in which young people’s music and band practice can be contained. Immediately Hammond was building relationships with young people with total acceptance of who they are as individuals. Over time these relationships led to so much mutual respect that Marcus handed out keys to the front door. This helped with practical things such as not having to be there to unlock, but also gives the young people a sense of ownership of the building. With a mixture of surprise and pride, Hammond said, ‘So far, nothing bad has happened.’

    The bare-brick architecture has become x-church’s strength and therefore not much has been added to make it more than a vast empty space. Marcus’s view is that physically building a place is hard but assembling the people is harder. For example, Mukhat Dar is open about his poignant story of how not all arts spaces end up in success as he reflects on The Drum Arts Centre (The Life & Death of an Arts Centre).

    The x-church team like it when someone comes in and has a grand plan for an exhibition, show or event to hold there, and x-church is welcoming to almost all ideas. In a community like Gainsborough there is not an active interest in art or culture but x- church’s practice of ‘inconveniencing people with art’ proves that if you take it to the people they will engage.

    From blocking out all the windows with card in order to turn x-church into a camera obscura to holding 24 hours of drumming for Syria, lots of events and exhibitions have taken place at x-church, some instigated by the young people and some by external artists. ‘Increasingly at x-church', according to Marcus, 'people don’t have a fear of making a fool of themselves.’ I agree wholeheartedly that there is a lot to be said for creating a space in which young people can take risks. In a time when young people are called upon to be available at all times via phones, it is increasingly important to allow freedom in other parts of their lives to benefit their wellbeing and independence.

    Through loads of conversations and shared experiences, the lives of individuals and the Slumgothic community has been immeasurably touched. From what I heard at the talk, x-church is an inspiring example of what could be happening to benefit young people all over the world. Over a million bricks hold together the love and forward-thinking acceptance of x-church, but Marcus is not precious about what happens to the physical building, instead it is the people that matter. 'If the building collapsed we could just relocate somewhere else. Even to a field.'

    This write up was by Tess Sieling, who was the project intern on the Heart & Soul heritage project. The talk was part of a series exploring the challenges and achievements of transforming and preserving historic buildings and was programmed in collaboration with Bristol's Architecture Centre and the University of West England (UWE).

    How to get involved

    Click here to sign the Hotwells and Cliftonwood petition to Save Jacobs Wells Baths

    Further reading

    Read more from our Heart & Soul talk series - Father Paul, Fidel Meraz and Dr Katie McClymont

    Read more about the Save Jacobs Wells Campaign here.

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    From the archives: Father Paul - ‘The Rebel Conformist’

    by sarahb last modified 05/05/2023 09:49 AM
    Write up from Father Paul's 2018 talk about the re-purposing of churches as community spaces

    From the archives: Father Paul - ‘The Rebel Conformist’

    by sarahb last modified 05/05/2023 09:49 AM
    From the archives: Father Paul - ‘The Rebel Conformist’

    Father Paul - The Rebel Conformist Priest

    Father Paul moved to Bristol in his 20's and is well loved in St Pauls @Khali Ackford

    Before Father Paul’s talk I did not know much about him and his life in Bristol, but afterwards it was clear that he is regarded as family by the community in which he serves.

    As the push continues to #SaveJWB, we look back to Trinity's 2018 Heart & Soul project and our series of talks where both national and international speakers shared their knowledge and experience on the positives and pitfalls of re-imaging historic buildings. In this blog we reflect on Father Paul's talk the re-purposing of churches as community spaces.

    On the evening of Tuesday 29th May 2018, we were very grateful to Father Paul who stepped in to cover the planned speaker who was unfortunately unwell. He appeared an unconventional priest, wearing camouflage combat trousers and a shirt, very much living up to the talk title ‘Rebel Conformist’.

    Before Father Paul’s talk I did not know much about him and his life in Bristol, but afterwards it was clear that he is regarded as family by the community in which he serves. He has touched the lives of a lot of people in Bristol, particularly the St Paul’s area where he has lived and worked most of his life.

    Father Paul talked about the need for the church to respond to contemporary issues @Khali Ackford

    Father Paul wants to be able to conduct these ceremonies and to celebrate love without judgement. He told many anecdotes about individuals from the community where he has worked, mostly to show that, "where there is life, there is hope".

    Heart & Soul project coordinator, Dr Edson Burton, gave a warm introduction to Father Paul. Several audience members as well as Dr Burton clearly hold him in great affection, indicative of the widespread impact Father Paul has had over the years. In a childhood anecdote, Father Paul remembers growing up in Pontypridd, Wales, wishing he had a brother to play with as he only had one sister. Not until his twenties when he had moved to Bristol and settled in St Paul’s did he realise he was lucky enough to be surrounded by many many brothers and sisters now.

    Father Paul started by talking about gay marriage, and the fact that in Wales and Scotland you can have a gay marriage in church, supported by the Church. However in England although you can have a civil partnership or gay marriage, you still cannot conduct these ceremonies as a vicar in a church. It saddens him that there is nothing in the wedding hymn book dedicated to LGBTQ marriage. Father Paul wants to be able to conduct these ceremonies and to celebrate love without judgement. He told many anecdotes about individuals from the community where he has worked, mostly to show that, "where there is life, there is hope".

    On many occasions people have gone to Father Paul for help and he has been a huge support throughout the community. These pillars of the community that have not faded despite the move towards communities being started or maintained by technological means.

    A lot of people fear that the sense of community relying on face to face contact is being lost due to societal changes- we all spend more time looking at screens. However, Father Paul is an example that where there are people living together in an area, there will always be community leaders and supporters, no matter the advances in technology. It is our human nature.

    Many local residents attended Father Paul's talk @Khali Ackford

    He says; "Things fit together in ways I don’t always understand but don’t object to." I enjoyed Father Paul’s talk because it shed light on the positive influence one person can have in a community. Tess Sieling, project intern

    After Father Paul’s talk, he invited a friendly discussion within the group. We moved on to explore what is the role of the Church now? Is it to serve the spirit or to serve the law? There seems to be an openness particularly in Bristol and other large UK cities that is calling for the Church to serve the spirit. In contemporary society, issues that need addressing and the nature of human struggles have been changing, so there is a need for the Church to serve them in an equally contemporary way.

    Perhaps a testament to Father Paul’s openness is the fact that at one stage, he was visiting a convicted murderer in prison in Cardiff while also planning the victim’s funeral in Bristol. He says; "Things fit together in ways I don’t always understand but don’t object to." I enjoyed Father Paul’s talk because it shed light on the positive influence one person can have in a community.

    This write up was by Tess Sieling, who was the project intern on the Heart & Soul heritage project. The talk was part of a series exploring the challenges and achievements of transforming and preserving historic buildings and was programmed in collaboration with Bristol's Architecture Centre and the University of West England (UWE).

    How to get involved

    Click here to sign the Hotwells and Cliftonwood petition to Save Jacobs Wells Baths

    Further reading

    Read more from our Heart & Soul talk series - Dr Katie McClymont, Fidel Meraz and A Million Bricks of Love.

    Read more about the Save Jacobs Wells Campaign here.

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    Imagining a Future for Jacobs Wells Baths

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 24/03/2023 10:48 AM
    Dance Producer, Deborah Baddoo MBE, reflects on how Jacobs Wells Baths could be

    Imagining a Future for Jacobs Wells Baths

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 24/03/2023 10:48 AM

    jack Offord

    Photo credit: Ice Road by Raucous, Jack Offord, Jacobs Wells Baths

    "Bristol is brimming with dance talent in many forms, and it is well overdue for a dedicated space of its own" Deborah Baddoo MBE, Bristol Dance Futures Producer

    Former dance centre and Victorian swimming pool, Jacobs Wells Baths has recently been saved from potential disposal by Bristol City Council following their announcement to launch an open process for expressions of interests to manage the building via a Community Asset Transfer.

    In 2019-21 we were part of Bristol Dance Futures, a consortium dedicated to building dance profile, capacity and infrastructure in Bristol. The project highlighted the rich potential of dance in the city and created legacies including cross-sector working across health and community development.

    We asked Bristol Dance Futures Producer, Deborah Baddoo MBE, to reflect on the project and to share how it could help reimagine a community space, such as Jacobs Wells Baths.

    "During my time as producer for Bristol Dance Futures it was clearly evident that there is a huge gap in terms of a dance specific space in Bristol.

    Obviously, it is important to bring dance into other organisations who may not normally have access to dance activity, but there is a thriving dance community throughout the city, hiring commercial studios, performing in unsuitable spaces and trying to book spaces in venues for rehearsals, classes and workshops.

    Post Covid-19, now more than ever, the powers that be are recognising the valuable role that dance and indeed all the arts have on helping individuals on their journey to wellbeing and the special role that dance has in connecting people, improving mobility, releasing stress and enhancing creativity, to name only a few of the benefits of dance.

    A dedicated dance space such as Jacobs Wells Baths has potential to be a place where many exciting initiatives can flourish, a networking space for dance, a rehearsal space, and importantly hub for dance and wellbeing activity in the city.

    Dance in Bristol has gone through many changes and manifestations over the last 25 years, but these have always tended to be piecemeal, short-lived initiatives having limited long-term impact for the sector as a whole.

    Bristol is brimming with dance talent in many forms, and it is well overdue for a dedicated space of its own. A dedicated space will help enable the dance sector in Bristol to continue to grow and be a catalyst for exciting new developments and a much needed home for dance in this vibrant city."

    Deborah Baddoo MBE, Dance Producer

    If you would like to join a conversation on what the future for Jacob Wells could be, please click here.

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    Fun Palaces ‘action learning’

    by sarah last modified 01/03/2023 05:17 PM
    Activities coordinator, Stefan Boakye reflects on the Fun Palaces event

    Fun Palaces ‘action learning’

    by sarah last modified 01/03/2023 05:17 PM
    Fun Palaces ‘action learning’

    Fun Palaces

    Fun Palaces

    Activities coordinator, Stefan Boakye connects with UK-wide partners as part of the Fun Palaces project

    Trinity is a key partner in Fun Palaces, a national campaign that is making arts and culture more accessible by supporting people to plan and deliver creative events in their communities.

    As part of my role, Community Activities coordinator, I have connect with local residents and community groups to offer help and support so they can set up their own creative activities. This includes Ruth Harrison and her ‘Recycle City Project’ and new resident group Impact Bristol.

    "I learnt that many other organisations where also exploring developing networks between organisations and we discussed ways to make this more effective"

    In January we hosted an 'action research meeting' with the Fun Palace partners. These meetings are a way to collectively gather feedback, improve working practices, learn from each other and create new connections. Partner organisations are based across the UK and included the Albany Centre, The National Trust for Wales and Rotherham Council Libraries.

    We began the day by introducing ourselves and checking in on what each organisation was currently focusing on. We had a fun icebreaker which involved us talking to each other about what our ‘special’ skills were.

    Following this we took part in an evaluation session with Sarah Boiling and shared our progress within the program, success stories and challenges. This session was more focused on the things we liked about Fun Palaces and how we can develop these themes. This was very valuable as we all explored the ways in which the Fun Palaces message helps us all in our individual roles to talk about the importance of making arts and culture more accessible.

    After this we had lunch delivered from a local Caribbean takeaway ‘Nadine’s Caribbean Cafe’ and we had another opportunity to chat and bond with each other before we went back into our final ‘Open Sessions’.

    ‘Open Sessions’ brought the group together to raise any topics they wished to discuss. If someone wanted to raise a topic, they would announce it in the centre of the room and then find a designated space to host the discussion.

    I took part in several of these discussions and it was useful to pick up tips and hear the experiences of other partners and makers. The fact that we were encouraged to talk freely amongst ourselves meant that we covered a lot of important topics. For example, I learnt that many other organisations where also exploring developing networks between organisations and we discussed ways to make this more effective.

    We finished by sharing what we had gained from the day, how we were feeling and any final thoughts. I mentioned that my involvement in discussions about building networks would be very useful in helping me to form ideas to develop a community network which will connect individuals and organisations.

    The event was really positive and it was great to see so many people who were passionate about what they do and the communities that they are trying to reach, which made me feel more inspired about my role.

    To find out more about the Fun Palaces campaign, how to get involved and how to create your own Fun Palace contact our Community Producer Stefan on: stefan@trinitybristol.org.uk

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    Dance for social prescribing

    by sarah last modified 24/02/2023 07:51 AM
    In 2022, we worked as part of Thriving Communities to use arts as a tool to improve health and well-being

    Dance for social prescribing

    by sarah last modified 24/02/2023 07:51 AM

    In 2022 Trinity took part in the Thriving Communities initiative, to develop a programme of creative activity in response to the increased isolation that many people - including older people and those caring for young children - experienced during and post-pandemic.

    The year-long initiative, led by specialist 'arts-on-referral' practitioners, creativeShift pioneered a new model of using the arts to improve health and well-being. The pilot project helped to connect key partners in the arts, health and social care setting, to help communities rebuild and recover.

    “The art helps you to manage your own feelings and learn how to cope with things. It has given us transferable skills, and I have noticed how the participants have grown in confidence”. Anita, Gentle Creative Dance

    Building on our previous Moving Bristol project that explored how dance can be used in a social prescribing model, we connected creativeShift with some of Trinity's resident community groups to design a programme of activity that was subsequently delivered to service users who were referred by local health and community partners due to their health needs.

    Over the last year, we have been able to utilise our unique position as a trusted community arts hub to build resilient cross-sectors partnerships, including strengthening links with community health providers Wellspring Settlement, who referred patients to our free-to-access programmes.

    Social prescribing delivery in practice

    creativeShift worked with Gerry's Attic - an over 55's dance group who meet regularly at Trinity - to create Gentle Creative Movement, a weekly programme designed to increase well-being and confidence for those who may be experiencing long term health issues effecting their mobility.

    One Gentle Creative movement participant now volunteers at a local dementia café saying that going to sessions had “... given me the confidence to do that.”

    Social prescribing specialists from creativeShift also collaborated with Bristol Children’s Centre (CBCC) to design a play-based programme for parents and carers of young children born during the pandemic to connect with their children and with each other.

     

     

     

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    Speak Out Launch

    by sarah last modified 09/08/2023 03:45 PM
    Trinity x BBC1xtra launch new arts project for 16yr-18yr old

    Speak Out Launch

    by sarah last modified 09/08/2023 03:45 PM
    Speak Out Launch

    Sophia Stefellé

    Image Credit: Sophia Stefelle

    Speak Out is a new project from Trinity and BBC 1XTRA that offers young people (16yrs - 18yrs) the opportunity to take part in a free-to-access course to learn how to use arts to address social issues.

    "Speak Out is a really exciting project that will connect the next generation with present diverse grassroots artists and activists and the wider creative industry" Esther Afikiruweh, Speak Out Producer

    Launching in September, the project will invite leading industry creatives to deliver master-classes and workshops that will give young people artistic tools to tackle subjects that matter to them and develop solutions to issues they and their local communities face.

    In partnership with organisations including Noods Levels, as well as prominent Black artists and activists, young people will have the opportunity to explore different creative tools including poetry, design, audio and film through workshops and masterclasses.

    Alongside this young people will be  able to help shape Speak Out, including co-creating elements of the project and its visual identity.

    Throughout the programme, there will be an opportunity for participants to connect with creative industry professionals through artistic skills-based sessions as well as interactive workshops and external trips exploring the future of social action.

    The project will culminate with Noods Levels collaborating with young people to create platforms for showcasing the content, stories and artistic ideas created throughout the project. Young people will have an opportunity to connect with broadcast media, film-makers and other professionals to kick-start their next steps as future change makers.

    How to get involved:

    Sign up to Speak Out here

    As funded by BBC 1XTRA, we welcome attendees of Black heritage.

     

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    Introducing: The Den Socials

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 17/03/2023 10:05 PM
    Set the vibe for your weekend with food, friends and music

    Introducing: The Den Socials

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 17/03/2023 10:05 PM

    Set the vibe for your weekend at The Den Socials in our outdoor venue

    Nestled in the grounds of the historic Trinity Centre, uncover The Den; a place for food, friends and some of the best music from the underground scene right now.

    From March 03 head down to the The Den Socials on Thursday and Friday evenings and enjoy food from local vendors, drinks and music from resident DJs and collectives.

    The Den will be hosting local independent food traders and resident DJs each month. In March, local vendors Ceylon and Beyond and Small Fire Pizza will offering an array of Sri Lankan Street Food and handmade stonebaked pizza.

    DJ collective Booty Bass - fresh off their sell-out New Year's Eve event at Trinity - will help set the tone for the weekend with their Friday evening residency (6pm-9pm). On Thursdays the Trinity team have connected with some of Bristol’s best producers and DJs to bring you an eclectic mix of artists including Mr Fitz, Kreed and Discobobulator.

    Launching on 03 Mar the Den Socials will run Thursday/Friday evenings throughout the spring.

    There is no booking required and entry is free – just bring good vibes and good friends.

    Find out more about The Den Socials on trinitybristol.org.uk

    March lineup:

    Thursdays: Mr Fitz/Kreed/Discobobulator + more TBA

    Fridays: Booty Bass DJ's

    This series is part of Trinity Presents - our in-house programme in our brand new outdoor venue The Den.

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    Introducing: Next-Gen Sounds

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 24/02/2023 07:51 AM
    Free, open-access music sessions for 16-18 yrs at Trinity

    Introducing: Next-Gen Sounds

    by <object object at 0x7f01454ee580> last modified 24/02/2023 07:51 AM

     

    Next Gen Sounds is a new open-access music education session for young people aged 14-25 that offers the chance to gain knowledge and skills from expert tutors in Trinity’s fully-equipped rehearsal room and production studios.

    The sessions will be student-led, meaning that young people will be able to shape the programme to suit their interests and ambitions; whether that be learning to play instruments, music production, performing live, or anything in-between.

    Trinity’s in-house music tutors, Fern and Pete, will also be on-hand to offer support and guidance to students during the sessions. Students will learn together as a group, offering a chance to work collaboratively and meet other young people.

    Next-Gen Sounds is free to-access and is part of Trinity’s ongoing commitment to offering music education to young people that may not otherwise have access to music equipment. There will be free food at the end of each session, provided by Pret a Manger, as well as any travel costs covered (to and from the Trinity Centre) to ensure that the course is accessible to everyone.

    The course starts on 9 Feb 2023 with an introductory session, allowing participants to meet the tutors and other students, to take a look at the space and discuss what musical skill students may want to explore.

    To find out more about taking part in Next-Gen Sounds, click here.

     

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    Becoming A City Of Culture

    by sarah last modified 27/01/2023 01:00 PM
    In our third blog on Citizens' Assembly's we are exploring Bradford's approach to bid for city of culture 

    Becoming A City Of Culture

    by sarah last modified 27/01/2023 01:00 PM

    Image credit: St Paul's Carnival

    In partnership with St Paul’s Carnival/Trinity and David Jubb of Citizens In Power, we are exploring how to co-create a cultural strategy for the city and surrounding region with citizens.

    During this research phase, funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), we invited a range of collaborators from the sector who place participation at the heart of their practice to hear from some of the best speakers working in democratic decision making right now.

    Part 3: Becoming A City Of Culture

    In our third blog we reflect on the thoughts and experiences of Bradford 2025 team members, May McQuade and Jack Lynch who used the Citizens’ Assembly model as part of Bradford’s successful UK City of Culture 2025 bid.

    May McQuade was the Programme and Community Coordinator for Bradford 2025. It was her role to explore what they would do if they were to win, and what programming could happen during the bidding period. This involved lots of consultation work, spreading the word around the bidding and getting people on board. 

    Jack Lynch worked on creating the campaign and brand for Bradford 2025. His role looked at how the City of Culture bid looked and felt, and the story they wanted it to tell. Jack spoke about being particularly keen to make something that felt truly original in Bradford, particularly with regards to how people normally spoke about the area.

    The group were interested to explore what the catalyst was for this groundswell of positive engagement with the Bradford 2025 campaign. Jack shared that there was a focus on taking public opinion and universal truths about Bradford, and working them into the campaign. They found this was a way that everyone – from people in the arts sector to people in the street – could understand the aim of winning a City of Culture bid, and that this helped create a high level of engagement. The group discussed that ‘finding the city’s universal truths’ could be an important part of a City of Culture bid for Bristol.

    Delving into the local authority’s involvement in Bradford 2025, May shared how the council had set up and invested in the trust then fully supported the bidding process. The decision for the bid to be separate from the council gave the team creative freedom.

    There was a question posed from the group about the high number of people of Pakistani heritage living in Bradford, and how the bid was representative of this community. May spoke about several staff and steering group members being of South Asian heritage and the broad consultation events taking place in every ward of the district. May also shared that part of the bid’s focus was around improving representation in decision making roles within the arts, and supporting growth of the South Asian arts offer in Bradford. She went on to say that there are also many other Global Majority groups living in the area, and they wanted to make sure everyone was involved - which was admittedly difficult. The group spoke about Bristol’s arts sector not being fully representative of the diverse population of the city, and how there would need to be careful thought put into that during the bidding process. 

    When asked what the biggest takeaways were from the process, Jack spoke about understanding that from a marketing perspective this is essentially a political campaign. May shared that, on a personal level, she felt it was important to start with a pace that makes sense with the communities you’re working with and not push too hard from the beginning – it’s a fast paced process and can easily become overwhelming.

    Interested in finding out more?

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