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Archive for January, 2021

MADE in South Bristol – Liz’s Story

In November 2020 the MADE in South Bristol programme kicked off with its first series of workshops: ‘Exploring Creative Enterprise’. MADE is a creative programme at KWMC The Factory that has been designed to support residents and small businesses in South Bristol to explore the potential of digital manufacturing and enterprise.

Liz, who has lived in Bristol for 12 years and is a member of KWMC The Factory, was one of the participants who signed up to the scheme. Liz, who works in education, doesn’t describe herself as a full-time artist but enjoys making work that creates imaginative, whimsical, and playful ways for people to engage with science in her joint enterprise ‘Wisterlitz’.

Liz explains how her hobby has recently become more dominant in her life, particularly as she has become more involved with KWMC and digital making. 

“I was introduced to the MADE programme after taking part in Positive Negative Positive [a 2D design course] which was also run by The Factory. 

“I am the sort of person who says yes to things because you don’t know what is going to happen once you’ve said yes… it’s even better if it turns out great and you can get something good out of it.”  

Getting involved

Liz took part in the Exploring Creative Enterprise strand of MADE, which offers an introduction to product design and running a business, and has been designed for people, like Liz, who have a creative interest or hobby and are interested in exploring its potential as a business or selling what they make. 

Liz explains: “At the beginning of MADE, I was keen to find different ways of earning a living with a sense of meaning, thinking particularly about how to live sustainably. Originally, I had an idea that I could start up a shop that would sell sustainable art materials, and then I realised that I wasn’t a shop keeper in that way. 

“When I was participating in MADE, I was also in the process of selling and buying a house, [It] made me realise there is a lot of ‘stuff’ in the world. I was having to throw away things that I couldn’t re-home or had reached the end of their life.”  

Liz’s idea

Combining her interests in digital making and sustainability Liz was able to refine her ideas through the MADE programme. 

“My idea is to do with sustainable art materials, thinking about how to support people with sustainable making, how to make conscious decisions with their materials, and what they do with their waste.

“Essentially every one of us needs to look at how we approach materials, how we treat raw materials, and how we treat waste to get some sort of sustainable culture going on. I think art and making is an area where there is a lot of awareness going on but not a huge number of things are available for people to make really easy choices.”  

Values-led

During the MADE sessions Liz was able to think about what was important to her: “I was able to re-evaluate what is important to me in a shareable space. I also enjoyed giving myself time to reflect and think about my ideas.  

“Originally, my three core values were creativity, curiosity, and learning. These three things are important to me and have driven my whole professional life. But then I thought about my idea and realised that my overarching values are sustainability, democracy, and respect. 

“From our group evaluation, respect was the main value… it is all about respect! Respect for the environment, respect for people, and respect for materials.”   

Following her experience on the MADE programme, Liz is continuing to explore her idea. She says: 

“Initially I was concerned that what I had created wasn’t a business or if it was it wasn’t something, I would like to run myself. But being able to come up with ways to deal with waste materials such as acrylics is developmental, experimental, and programmatic. 

“The next steps for me are to have conversations with people at The Factory and other similar places whose resources are required for me to develop my idea, to discuss the impact, the commercial potential of the idea, and to continue researching.” 

When asked if she would recommend MADE to a friend? Liz replied: “definitely!” 

More Info

MADE in South Bristol is free to take part in and is open to people ages 18+ in South Bristol who:

  • Don’t (currently) run a business and want to explore entrepreneurship
  • Have an existing creative business, or are a sole trader or freelancers looking for advice and guidance to grow.

The programme provides 12 hours of support through workshops, mentoring and coaching.

There are two programmes available, each tailored to support people at different stages of their enterprise journey.

Exploring Creative Enterprise (Pre-start): For beginners and those ready to kick-start a business and explore creative enterprise. This strand is especially designed for individuals who are currently not running a business but interested in starting one. The course provides a guided introduction to the design processes, streamlined approach to business basics, space to explore and prototype your ideas. Next course starts February 2021.

Business Support (Existing businesses): For creative businesses, sole traders and freelancers currently trading looking for support to grow their business and ideas. Includes a mix of one-to-one business diagnostics, individual coaching and workshops. Begins March 2021.

MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust and KWMC The Factory. 

SBES Logo Bundle

Share your stories of being ‘Active in Lockdown’

Did you become more physically active during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020?

Are you making an effort to stay active in the 2021 lockdown?

If so, we’d love to hear from you!

Active in Lockdown is a new project by the University of Bristol and Knowle West Media Centre that will explore our experiences of staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving them for people to look back on in the future.

We’re keen to hear and record your stories of cycling, running, walking or any form of human-powered mobility during lockdown! We’d love to hear a variety of stories and experiences from people who became more active during the first period of lockdown as well as people who are now trying to remain active in the dark winter months of the pandemic.

What’s the project about?

The project aims to document the huge surge in active leisure in Bristol and the surrounding area during England’s first lockdown (March – July 2020).

It will also record the stories of five Bristol residents who have discovered or returned to active leisure as they try to maintain their activity levels over the winter (January-March 2021).

To read more about the wider project, visit the University of Bristol website here.

Why are we doing this? 

We want to create a freely available digital archive of stories and experiences so that we can learn some immediate lessons from them and also have a historical record of how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed people’s lives and relationship to the world around them.

Your stories would also be used to evaluate the physical and emotional benefits of active leisure and the difficulties of maintaining levels of activity when lockdown ended. This would then help us create a series of policy recommendations for Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), regional public health organisations, and other bodies interested in improving quality of life in the area.

What will I get out of it? 

As well as being part of a historical record of people’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll be able to meet other people, develop your digital storytelling skills and document your lockdown activity through a series of interactive online film-making workshops.

We’ll support you to use your mobile phone and free (‘open source’) editing software to make your films, which will be shown in an online celebration screening at the end of the project! These workshops will take place from February 2021 – through to April 2021. 

Do you have questions?  Want to get involved? Contact Josephine Gyasi at KWMC via josephine@kwmc.org.uk

Illustration of house with trees and buildings with people undertaking phsyical activity inside and outside of the house - walking, jogging, cycling and doing yoga

Project Night explores: Finding Joy in The Dark

KWMC Creative Producer Josephine Gyasi reflects on the final Project Night of 2020

On Thursday 3 December, Knowle West Media Centre invited special guest Tanisha Barrett and the wider Bristol community to gather online for a final Project Night of 2020.

Having entered another lockdown and coming into darker, winter months – it felt like a time to take stock, slow down and reflect. As we are spending the vast majority of our days now online, consuming an overload of content, and working and connecting in the digital realm, as well as looking back on the happenings and events in the past year, it felt important to really look at how we can use these digital spaces for care.

How can we connect in ways that are gentler, giving less pressure but receiving more support?

After programming and experiencing the workshops of Black Girl Convention’s Virtual 2020 series, where Tanisha Barrett ran a session on ‘Creating Space for Joy,’ I felt fulfilled, nurtured and safe – unlike many previous online experiences.

Taking all of this into account, the KWMC team thought it was necessary to use this space to explore what we can do to ‘find joy in the dark.’

We explored the questions:

What practices can allow us to feel more nourished; and evolve within ourselves and others?

What is joy?

What kills or steals joy?

How do we make time and space for joy?

What are the barriers in seeking joy?

Guest Speaker

Tanisha Barrett is a mental health nurse and clinical supervisor. She delivers therapy, runs a private practice and also teaches on diversity and difference. Tanisha is also a published poet and writes about mental health, sexuality, race and body acceptance.

Check out Tanisha’s Website: blacksugarising.com and Instagram: @blacksugarising

The session started with short introductions asking everyone to describe how they were feeling using a sound or motion. This was followed by a mindfulness meditation activity, where Tanisha invited everyone to close their eyes, and guided us through a short breathing exercise. This really set the tone allowing space to reflect (in smaller breakout groups) and delve into the discussion topics around lockdown and isolation, and various aspects of joy.

Key reflections shared by the group:
Joy is…

Joy is like a place of safety and refuge.

Carefree, relaxed, untouchable in the moment.

What steals joy…

Not being heard; feeling you are the only one experiencing something – really helpful to share feelings and feel less alone.

Less sun, less movement.

What brings joy…

Feeling of connection.

Music – takes me to another place – headphones to be totally submerged, immersion.

The bath – soap and incense.

For me, joy is being given a chance, to have space to explore, change. It’s being trusted and being able to trust.

Senses.

Joy is laughing hard, sharing and feeling completely at ease with the company of someone or taking in the wonder and beauty of a natural living thing…

Dissolving your edges; pure warmth and light.

For me it is often whimsical and unexpected.

Feeling carefree and relaxed and content – a real sense, untouchable.

Joy is in my body, warm and in my chest, it’s solid.

Joy to me is being in moments of flow where the heart can flutter and worries subside.  The ability to be happy and grateful and hopeful and energised.

Abundance.

Conclusion

The session concluded with everyone showcasing an object that brings them joy – from loving partners to new headphones – finishing with a short poem about Joy by Tanisha Barrett.

Listen back here:

 

Tanisha Barrett has kindly created and shared these slides as a resource for you to find your ‘joy in the dark.’ 

Joy In The Darkness slides

MADE in South Bristol – David’s Story

At the end of 2020, David saw a post about KWMC The Factory’s MADE in South Bristol business support programme on Facebook and applied to take part.  A member of Sing Out Bristol, the South West’s largest LGBT+ choir, David runs their website and social media pages as a volunteer, and is a part-time retail worker.

He had been searching for things that he could do in his spare time. He said, “I wasn’t necessarily ready to start my own business but the MADE in South Bristol advert came up on my Facebook, and I thought there is nothing to lose by signing up! I went in with no expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

David participated in the Exploring Creative Enterprise strand of MADE, which offers an introduction to product design and running a business, and has been designed for people who have creative interests or hobbies and would like to explore turning them into potential business ideas.

Thinking about the needs and interests of his choir, David was able to expand his ideas during the MADE programme, and as a result of learning about prototyping and making, he developed a business idea inspired by his hobby.

David’s Idea

David explains: “The idea I developed wasn’t my original idea coming into MADE. I enjoy making marketing videos for the choir, but then I thought about the merchandise. As a choir, we wear performance T-shirts and have been looking to expand our merchandising range. We used to use a service in Bristol that became unreliable. I realised that [exploring making] merchandise would be really interesting, after thinking about how you can make things.

“I realised there was a gap in the market for choir merchandising, and from my involvement with Sing Out Bristol I know what is needed – I have knowledge in that area.”

Values-led

During the MADE sessions David thought about his core values, explaining that most members of the choir have experienced oppression or discrimination at some point in their lives.

He said: “My key value is to make my idea inclusive: inclusivity is the most important value to me, quickly followed by sustainability and being kind to the environment. I know that for most people in the choir they would feel passionate about my idea being developed into something that is naturally sourced. Members of the choir are interested in sustainability and sourcing things in eco-friendly ways. It is very important to them.”

Prototyping

When KWMC The Factory is able to reopen to the public, in line with COVID-19 regulations, David intends to make a prototype. He explains: “I intend to trial my idea with my choir after I have used The Factory’s applications to prototype my idea and understand the process of making. If the trial with my choir is successful, I would have an organic way of rolling it out, via word of mouth in the Bristol choir circuit.”

He concludes: “[MADE in South Bristol] was great because you got to mix with other people online, who are similar to you, who are all interested in learning. It helped a lot, having other people who were in the same boat. I learnt to be a bit more confident. For me MADE was a positive experience right from the word go, it was pitched just right for me and I enjoyed it.”

David has already recommended MADE to a friend!

You can see what David and the Sing Out Bristol choir have been up to by following them on Facebook at SingOutBristolChoir and Instagram and Twitter at SingOutBristol

More Info

MADE in South Bristol is a creative programme at KWMC The Factory designed to support residents and small businesses in South Bristol to explore the potential of digital manufacturing and enterprise.

MADE in South Bristol is free to take part in and is open to people ages 18+ in South Bristol who:

  • Don’t (currently) run a business and want to explore entrepreneurship
  • Have an existing creative business or are a sole trader or freelancer looking for advice and guidance to grow.

The programme provides 12 hours of support through workshops, mentoring, and coaching.  There are two programmes available, each tailored to support people at different stages of their enterprise journey.

Exploring Creative Enterprise (Pre-start): For beginners and those ready to kick-start a business and explore creative enterprise. This strand is specially designed for individuals who are currently not running a business but are interested in starting one. The course provides a guided introduction to the design processes, a streamlined approach to business basics, space to explore, and prototype your ideas. The next course starts in February 2021.

Business Support (Existing businesses): For creative businesses, sole traders and freelancers currently trading looking for support to grow their business and ideas. Includes a mix of one-to-one business diagnostics, individual coaching and workshops. Begins March 2021.

MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust, and KWMC The Factory.

SBES Logo Bundle

MADE in South Bristol 2021 – open for applications!  

 If you livin South Bristol and are interested in making, digital manufacturing or developing your own products and ideas, a new enterprise support programme at KWMC The Factory could be for you. 

MADE in South Bristol has two strands: Exploring Creative Enterprise for beginners, and Growing Creative Businesses for people with existing businesses. 

MADE kicked off in Autumn 2020 and its second round of Exploring Creative Enterprise sessions will run from 3 February 2021.  Applications are now open for people who are new to business and keen to learn more about making and how to turn creative hobbies and ideas into an enterprise!

Over 12 hours the team at our making and innovation space KWMC The Factory will guide participants through the product design process, cover the basics of business, and provide support in developing and testing ideas 

The first cohort of Exploring Creative Business took place in November and December 2020.  Since taking part, one of the participants has started exploring sustainable creative practices and how to re-use waste materials from making, such as acrylics.  She commented: “I was able to re-evaluate what is important to me in a shareable space. I also enjoyed giving myself time to reflect and think about my ideas.” 

Another participant developed an idea for sustainably-sourced branded clothing.  He said, “[MADE in South Bristol] was great because you got to mix with other people online, who are similar to you, who are all interested in learning […] MADE was a positive experience right from the word go, it was pitched just right for me and I enjoyed it.”    

 Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, MADE sessions will be delivered online until further notice, through interactive tools including an online whiteboard and video calls. To support at-home learning, participants are provided with workshop packs. 

Get involved!

Applications for the February – March 2021 round of Exploring Creative Business are now open and should be submitted by 23:59 on Thursday 28 January 2021. 

 

 

 

If you like the sound of MADE and already have a creative business, or you’re a sole trader or freelancer currently trading with a company registration number or Unique Tax Reference number, in early 2021 MADE will also be running the Growing Creative Business strand. 

Both strands of MADE in South Bristol are free to take part in and open to people aged 18+    

Credits 

MADE in South Bristol is delivered by KWMC The Factory as part of South Bristol Enterprise Support (SBES), which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund. SBES is delivered in partnership by Bristol City Council, YTKO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, The Prince’s Trust, and KWMC The Factory. 

SBES Logo Bundle

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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