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This new two year action research project is set in the community of Queen’s Park, Bedford. Residents of all ages will be invited to collaborate with locally-based artists on a series of artworks that explore culture and cultural capital in today’s diverse society. We want to challenge existing concepts of cultural capital drawn from a largely western middle-class framework and explore ideas which are more reflective of contemporary British society.
Working with our partners The Higgins Museum and bpha the project will begin with a research and development phase. Community members and community groups, working with the commissioned artists will be invited to co-create two new artworks. From weaving and woodwork, to kathak and cooking, the Living Archive commission will seek to uncover, map and celebrate the creative skills and talent of the community’s residents. The Community Blueprint commission will invite residents from many diverse backgrounds to come together to dialogue and collaborate on what makes a successful community. In year two the project will extend over the bridge into the Castle and Cauldwell areas of Bedford, to begin an inter-community exchange.
This programme of work presents tremendous space and opportunity to explore how we, as arts organisations, artists and communities in Bedford, can co-create together to develop meaningful and resonant artworks that speak of place, connection and community.
The project builds on the Clubhouse project by artists Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou which began in 2016 on Chester and Carlisle Roads in Queen’s Park. The artists and residents worked together over a two and half year period, resulting in the co-created short film Clubhouse. The project was seen across the UK in 2017 when it was selected for a national TV campaign by project funder People’s Health Trust through the Health Lottery.
There will be an open call in early summer 2019 to invite proposals from locally-based artists for the first two commissions.
If you are a Queen’s Park resident or member of a local Queen’s Park community group, we’d love to hear from you. Do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project will run until April 2021.