Our mission is to achieve social, environmental and economic regeneration by involving the community in media activity, education and action.
We do this by co-designing, co-producing and co-creating change with local communities, artists and other experts.
The difference these experiences make for a wide range of individuals, including artists, academics, partners and people who have taken part in projects and workshops, is illustrated in a set of case studies about people’s journeys.
We work with people to co-create learning spaces and we provide skills training and opportunities for all ages to experiment with ‘making and producing’. In the last 12 months we have:
– Expanded the Factory’s training programme to include a programme of ‘making courses’ and workshops, designed to provide an easy and accessible introduction to digital fabrication tools and workshop facilities and a series of Product Design courses for young people.
– Developed and delivered Jump Studios, the Young People’s under 18’s programme, through which local young people learn skills for the future workplace, such as coding.
– Developed and delivered Young people’s post 18 opportunities, such as Change Creators, through which 11 young people were supported to bring about positive social change through a music and social media campaign they devised, to challenge sexual harassment on the street, entitled ‘Hack-A-Heckle.’
– Continued to develop ‘Eight’, which supports young people to gain valuable paid experience of working in the Creative Industries. The majority of Eight members have developed freelance contracts and / or permanent PAYE contracts in the creative industries following their work for Eight.
– Conducted collaborative research, such as through the Productive Margins programme working with KWMC’s young people’s programme team for ‘Women, Data and the Future’ project.
– Developed and delivered a professional film and TV training programme, for women, ‘From Her Point of View’, which was devised to support more women to enter the cultural industries workforce.
We develop opportunities for a wide range of people to ‘imagine’ the future, by testing ideas and technology within communities, public spaces and homes. In the last 12 months we have:
– Explored how communities can lead and influence the development of housing in their area, through ‘We Can Make… Homes’. This live R&D programme that brings together local people, architects, artists, policy-makers, academics and industry professionals to develop practical and scalable ways in which the citizen sector can have a greater role in making new homes, including where and how they are built.
– Worked with UOB, UWE, BCC and BiO to inform the development of connectivity and data infrastructure and data ethics, for REPLICATE, and building connections with other city work such as the Clean Air Zone and Can Do Bristol.
– Produced and designed the homes’ user guide as part of a longer term involvement in SPHERE, a project that aims to support older people at risk of isolation, depression, strokes and fractures caused by falls, by developing a digital home health assistant, accessible 24 hours a day.
– Began conducting a piece of work to map the future research opportunities with universities and has secured pump priming to research user requirements for a research programme connected to citizen sensing.
– Continued to lead the Bristol Maker Lab, a concept that addresses a city-wide need for new skills, sustainable employment and innovative business creation by providing open public access to digital manufacturing equipment and expertise, to support a vibrant community of innovation, creativity and enterprise.
– Worked with international research partners to co-develop informal STEM understandings and opportunities (which include: experiences, practices and tools) that support equitable and transformative STEM pathways (and path-making opportunities) for youth from minoritised communities.
We support people to celebrate and build on the assets within their neighbourhood, and we ensure there are meaningful opportunities for people to engage in arts and culture in Bristol – particularly those who have had the least opportunity. In the last 12 months we have:
– Hosted ‘Maker residencies’ at The Factory, for those people who do have a creative idea that they would love to turn into a business or small enterprise, or who wish they could make a living from their creative activity.
– Continued to produce The Knowledge and developed the on line version of the local newsletter to ensure greater accessibility for any member of the community to add an event to the new ‘what’s on’ section, encouraging more local involvement.
– As part of ‘Our Digital City‘ supported organisations with crowdfunding training with Spacehive, including Lockleaze Hub, Knowle West Health Association, and Up Our Street (UOS) and community volunteer Bristol Arts Monster who successfully crowdfunded for community workshops with an artist to co-create window displays with residents for Easton’s Window Wanderland.
– Worked with local people and artist Mimi Chambreto revamp Filwood Broadway. At The Factory, local people learnt how to construct and finish timber planters for growing flowers and herbs.
– Worked with a primary school in Easton, taxi drivers in Easton and Barton Hill and the cyclist community, to monitor air quality in their area and gather data to tell a story that will inspire people to bring about a change, regarding air pollution.
– Ran the South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo, which included a special exhibition to showcase some of the anime, manga and fan art made by emerging artists from across the UK, including from South Bristol.