“What About Us: Empowering Community Voices” is a partnership project which was inspired by the community diversity conference, organised by BEP education at the Bathway Theatre on the 13th October. The conference bought together local residents and organisations and demonstrated that there is a need for a community led forum to share concerns and identify local solutions with local companies, residents and organisations.
This project aims:
- 1) To take direct action through a series of workshops which tackle three areas of social need. Two raised by community organisations, The ROMEL Foundation and Galeforce Productions Universal Ltd at the Diversity event and the third identified through research at the University of Greenwich.
- 2) To listen and build knowledge - Identifying how the Building and its activity can support the local community and reach out to those who might most benefit
- 3) To share knowledge gained from local, national and international workshops and research in areas identified in order to help identify and promote local sustainable solutions.
- (Feb 2019) Involving the organisations involved in the project we co-produced a transnational conference on migration with 11 EU partners, and live broadcast a curated evening of hip hop performance on the theme from our theatre to 8 countries. This has built into an 18 month project where the university has now secured EU partnership status and involves a series of videos, interviews and a local workshop.
- A community Cake and Coffee Meet and Greet
- 16 Workshops took place over weekends at the Bathway Theatre.
- The project helped provide evidence to Galeforce Productions Universal limited in their bid to change the no recourse to public funding legislation, who then presented at the House of Lords.
- 8 Spoken word and Rap Workshops working with young people using spoken word and poetry to tell their story at a time when there voices are perhaps not being heard - Brexit.
- Free Lunch for Participants across the workshop weekends
- A Community Performance involving participants of the workshops and a student from the university and included a local live band. This was performed back to friends and families of the group as well as local people.
- On the weekend of the community performance we were also running a residential weekend with 12 care leavers aged 15-18. Of which, 60% were Asylum Seekers. The free performance became part of these young people’s weekend. In the verbatim project, young people shared experiences of the care system using a verbatim formula technique and stayed over-night at the university of Greenwich.
- An African Storytelling workshop ran by Black Female Entrepreneur Group
There are currently two research papers in review.
- Ellis, Hockham, Rolle & Zigomo (in review) Becoming civic centred – A case study of the University of Greenwich’s Bathway Theatre based in Woolwich
- Franklin, Hockham & Zigomo (in review) Models of Community Co-Design for programming and producing arts and cultural events by and with universities – Book Chapter