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Archive for May, 2019

Knowle West a hotspot for ‘Creative Civic Change’

Knowle West is one of fourteen communities across England set to transform their local areas as part of the new £4 million Creative Civic Change programme, which launched this week.

With funding of up to £200,000 for each community involved, as well as a programme of support including advice and mentoring, Creative Civic Change will ‘help every area make social, economic or environmental changes that matter to them locally.’

In Knowle West, Filwood Community Centre will work with residents to transform spaces in and around its building and support people to develop their own creative projects. The Community Centre is an 80-year-old former school, which now houses event space, dance studios, a gym and an art room. It is run by Community in Partnership Knowle West (CIPKW).

Through the three-year Filwood Fantastic programme, CIPKW aims to help the Knowle West / Filwood community thrive by responding to local priorities in creative ways.

As part of Filwood Fantastic, Knowle West Media Centre will support Filwood Community Centre and local residents to develop creative projects in collaboration with artists, and use new digital making technologies at our manufacturing workshop KWMC: The Factory.

Filwood Fantastic

During Filwood Fantastic, residents can get involved in activities including:

dance, drama, community radio, arts and crafts, and sewing
building street furniture, signage, lighting, and planters for Filwood Broadway
making furnishings and features for Filwood Community Centre

They can also apply to CIPKW for small pots of funding to set up their own group or event.

Makala Cheung, Creative Director & Business Manager at Filwood Community Centre, said: “We’re looking forward to working with people of all ages over the next three years to make Filwood even more Fantastic: having fun, getting to know our neighbours, and making the changes that people have told us they want.”

Melissa Mean, Head of Arts at KWMC, said: “Knowle West is already full of fantastic people and community energy. The Filwood Fantastic project is a great opportunity to tap into that energy and KWMC is excited to be part of the mix. We’ll be helping by bringing in specialist artists and lots of creative tech, like 3D printers and laser cutters, to create some fantastic things with local people.”

Find out more!

On Thursday 16 May, Filwood Community Centre and KWMC will launch the Filwood Fantastic programme with a ‘Mix Up Party’.

The evening event will include circus performances and a showcase of creative projects and art pieces designed by artists and residents working together.

Makala explains: “the event aims to ‘mix up’ different people and types of art and see what happens next! If you’re interested in creative things happened in Knowle West or are an artist or creative person making work in the community, then this event is for you.”

Tickets to the Mix Up Party are free for Knowle West residents and £5 for others.  Visit the KWMC Shop for details.

For more information about Filwood Fantastic visit the Filwood Community Centre website or call 0117 914 9216.

Creative Civic Change

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust, the Creative Civic Change initiative has been launched in response to the Inquiry into the Civic Role of the Arts Organisations.

It aims to explore a new approach to funding community-driven projects, and share experience to inspire others to use the arts and creativity to make positive local change.

Sarah Benioff, Director of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “People are at the heart of what we do and we believe it is important for them to get involved, have their say and make the changes they want to see. Thanks to National Lottery players and this partnership, the Creative Civic Change programme is building stronger networks within communities, whilst bringing them together to tackle issues that are not only affecting them individually, but collectively.”

Artists selected for project celebrating local culture

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve selected three artists to work on the project ‘100 Years of Knowle West Style‘. The project will celebrate Knowle West’s culture, style and stories, and make sure that it’s Knowle Westers who choose what goes down in history.

The artists are: Holly Beasley-Garrigan, George Lovesmith and Lukus Robbins. KWMC Arts Producer Martha King commented: ”we’re excited to be working with passionate artists who identify as coming from working class backgrounds. It felt really important for a project like this – which focuses on looking afresh at the histories and value of social housing – that the artists selected had lived experience of council-built estates and strong practices in socially engaged work”.

We’re also thrilled to be working with Cheryl Martin to create a series of neighbourhood walks. Cheryl grew up in Knowle West and lived here for 50 years. She is an experienced health walks leader and also a photographer. Cheryl wanted to work on this project because she believes it’s important to know more about our history: ‘to understand where you’re at, you have to know where you’ve come from’.

Here’s an introduction from Holly, George and Lukus, in their own words:

Holly Beasley-Garrigan

Holly says: “I’m a Performance-maker & Choreographer originally from South London and now based in Bristol. The “100 Years of Knowle West Style” project really excites me. I grew up on benefits on the St. Helier estate in South West London, an estate with many historical parallels to Knowle West. Five generations of my family have lived, and continue to live there since St. Helier was built between 1929 and 1936. My experiences growing up on, and then leaving, this estate have become central to my practice as an artist. I’m obsessed with storytelling, visibility and learning to take up space.

“My most recent work has focused on celebrating working-class stories, particularly the stories of women. Stories from estates like Knowle West are interesting and relevant but they are often forgotten, judged or not given the platform they deserve. My practice attempts to foster an environment where people feel supported and able to celebrate their own unique stories in ways that feel meaningful both personally and culturally.”

George Lovesmith

George says: “there’s special stuff in Knowle West – that’s why people call it home. I’m an architect interested to work hands-on with people who feel stuff about a place. The 100 Years project is an opportunity to ask: ‘how can we celebrate the thing you would lie down in front of a bulldozer to protect? Which bits justify some nurture? What makes you roll up your sleeves and get stuck-in?'”

Lukus Robbins

Lukus says: “I am a participatory theatre maker and digital artist with a background in devised participatory performance and locative media. Growing up on a council-built estate and as someone who proudly identifies as working class, with some of my family living in Knowle West, I inherently understand the language, culture and social challenges of the neighbourhood.

“I wanted to join the project because I am fascinated to uncover, explore, understand and tell the rich narrative of Knowle West’s hidden heritage. More often than not, the residents of council-built estates are marginalised from the wider art world. This rich and exciting culture should not miss out and it is the collective responsibility of individuals and art organisations to engage with, learn from and celebrate what it has to offer. The core focus of my practice is to create intimate encounters between individuals, focusing on the here and now meetings between people in unconventional performance spaces.” 

More details

100 Years of Knowle West Style is part of Homes For Heroes 100, city-wide projects marking a century of council housing coordinated by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.Homes For Heroes 100 is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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