Thursday, 1 December 2011

PCT Multi-Cultural Health & Wellbeing Banners

Having been working in partnership with Liverpool Primary Care Trust  Community Development Workers Team for a few years now, one of our recent collaborative projects has been to create a series of community language based visually inspiring banners to encourage minority communities in Liverpool to explore the 5 Ways to Wellbeing; Take notice, Give, Connect, Be Active and Learn.
 We are finally in the last stage now of waiting for the printing of the banners and their showcasing at the celebration event on 18th December at Toxteth Library.
 We will also be launching a report about our learnings and findings so far from our partnership working and specifically on the great project ‘Lifelines’ that has been developing over the past 18months- a men’s mental health and arts project for people from the minority communities in Liverpool which has informed and runs alongside the ‘stART up’ Project.

The Great Art Project- Garston

We are pleased to share that we have been commissioned by Grassendale Detached Youth Service- Merseyside Youth Association and Friends of Garston Park to work with local residents and several other artists to creatively transform Garston Park, specifically the boarding and vicinity around the football cages.

This is our first partnership with these groups and we are really looking forward to delivering on this, in particular our remit of working around digital arts and empowering the local community to be engaged in and deliver the project with us.
The project will be starting January and we will keep you updated…

Platforma Festival

We have been fortunate to receive support for travel and festival entrance costs from the first national Refugee Arts Festival in the UK. Platforma, for 4 SOLA Artists in Exile to join in the festival this year at the beginning of December,

This is a great opportunity and several SOLA memebers will be actively involved in presenting and working at festival through sharing their creative talents and abilities.

Sounds Of The Streets

 SOLA are collaborating with The Rotunda to deliver a project bringing together young migrants and young people from the south and east of Liverpool, together with other young people from the north end of the city, through sound/audio art, dance and drama.
 We are really happy to be strengthening our partnership work with the Rotunda and bringing new opportunities for these young people. In addition for the project, SOLA for the first time will be collaborating with Kensington Community Radio (KVFM) and Ainfield Breck Community Centre (ABCC) to strengthening our relationship with Merseyside Youth Association to involve young people form their Funds, Young and Involved group for this project.
 SOLA will be delivering audio/sound art workshops and working with KVFM to enable the young people to produce a series of pieces which they will offer to other young people from the Rotunda and ABCC to work with in order to create both dance and drama pieces.

Volunteers & Support

New Volunteer-
Welcome to Emily, a Fine Art student, who is helping us out with general project delivery and who will be working with SOLA participants as part of her 3rd Year art piece. We look forward to this experience and thank Emily for her support in our work.

Thanks to all-
SOLA is predominantly run by volunteers from the refugee and wider communities. As a small community arts charity, who does LOADS of projects every year often on small one-off grant funding or no funding at all, we rely on volunteering and both materials and financial donations.

So, we would like to say a BIG HUMUNGOUS THANKS! To all our volunteers.

Also a big THANKS to Rennies Arts and Crafts in Liverpool for their continued support in materials donations and everyone else who has been able to support us over the years.

Film Making With the Positive Progress Group At MYA

Over the past few years, SOLA and Merseyside Youth Association have worked together in various ways for the benefit of young people across the region.
More recently, we have bee able to strengthen our collaborative projects and MYA have commissioned SOLA to deliver 2 film projects, one of which has involved working with the Positive Progress group and the Mary Seacole House partnership for this.
 We delivered several film, camera work, audio recording and interview skills workshops, using Mac Computers, iPhones and professional video camera. Some fo the participants share some skills already that they are able to update, whilst others where new to this area of creativity and film-making. As a result, the young adults documented the Positive Progress Celebration Conference in mid November, and we are able link and share with other young people from Merseyside Youth Association’s Fund, Young and Involved group. It was great to link with the FYI group as SOLA have worked with them on various past projects, including documenting a conference a year or so ago. So, it was brilliant that both sets of young people could come together to exchange skills and support each other.
 It was a long day, so we are so grateful and proud of all the participants in their efforts and ability to concentrate for the whole event.
Some great interviews were done and we were able to showcase at the conference, a short film highlighting the learning and experiences in the workshops and another showing some of the interviews on the conference day.

A compilation video is currently being produced, bringing the experiences and documentation together, watch this space.
Thanks again to MYA and Mary Seacole House for bringing us on board, the experience has been fantastic and we have really enjoyed making friendships and working with the young people.

Black History Month Arts Workshops

SOLA was once again invited to return the Merseyside Youth Association’s Black History Month Treasure Hunt around the city centre during October this year. This year we were based in Liverpool World Museum and it was a brilliant experience.

We ran workshops based on this year’s theme of ‘Black Music’, where the young people took part in a sound based game to match a range of audio recordings from world musical instruments, with their pictures, such as saz (from Kurdistan), djembe from West Africa(drum), yirediki (dijeridoo) from Australia, shekere from Jamaica and West Africa (percussion), violin from Kurdistan, oud from North Africa, drums from Algeria, as well as others such as guitar.
In addition, participants completed a visual puzzle about these instruments and finally painted one of them, large scale, to take back to their group.
 Facilitator, Tanor Diop a professional djembe artist, also did some djembe drumming with the young people, which went down a treat.
 SOLA facilitators then joined all participants and partners for food at the end of the workshops to celebrate and taste food from around the world.
 The feedback has been fantastic and we look forward to the opportunity of working on the event next year.

4WORD Magazine

We are well on our way now with contributions coming in from around Liverpool and afar. Check out the web blog for a better view of how things are developing our newer site- still work to do there as we move from tumblr to wordpress but nearly there, so bear with us on this.

We are always looking for contributions of writings, visual art, animation, film, all sorts really so long as it is creative. Also, we have free space in the magazine for adverts from ethical business/projects and community groups about what you are up to.

Over the past few weeks our core group has been working really hard to get the magazine online in time for our launch in the celebration event 18th December.
 The group have been working as a cooperative, supported by SOLA. Lots of new skills are being developed by the week, including storytelling and journalism, music making, web blogging, Mac computer use, internet researching, IT literacy in general, marketing, project strategy and creative programmes development, governance, social networking, fundraising, language development and we have been using a range of programmes to increase skill levels including-, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Sound Studio Pro, etc.


stART up Project Women's Group

Magazine development-

The women have really moved on now, having produced numerous articles about a range of topics from recipes to childcare and culture, asylum issues to Female Genital Mutilation. A range of visual narratives and artwork have also been compiled and we are looking forward to publishing these in the 4WORD online and printed magazine shortly.

A range of other skills have also been developed such as language, marketing and promotion and project development. The women have really been enjoying the experience.

Women's singing group-

Well it's definately coming together now and more and more women are getting involved. The group will be performing in the 18th December event and celebrating the richness of cultures and unity that they bring. A group that started with 3 hesitant, but really with interested women, has grown in numbers to a full choir style set-up. Well done Andrew who has been organising the group as a volunteer, and to Olinga and Emily for their support as volunteers too.

Of course a big thanks to Jan and Siobhan in the Women's Group for helping us make it happen.

ESOL & cookery classes-

Through the support of SOLA staff and fantastic volunteers, we have been delivering informal ESOL class being such an integral part of bringing people from different cultures together, this element of the stART up Project has gone down a treat with the group.
On some days we have had as many as 35 women involved!

One of the various outcomes of this delivery is an opportunity for 3 sets of women to run cookery demonstrations at the stART up multi-cultural celebration event on 18th December at Toxteth Library. There will be a range of food presented and tasting including such as Iranian food. Yummmm!
For this, we are delivering several training sessions in presentation skills and health & safety for the women presenting and really look forward to the event, when we will be able with you to taste the dishes and learn how to cook the recipes.

stART up Music Group

Fun has been had over the last few weeks exploring different music styles from around the world.
We have been using the djembe, saz, oud, violin, bambu/yerridiki (otherwise known as dijeridoo), our voices, wheelchair and many precussion instruments to create some really interesting sounds. To date 5 pieces are being worked on for showcase at our celebration event on 18th December at Toxteth Library. Everyone is welcome (arts workshops 12-4pm and performances  are 6-8pm).

A big thanks goes to Karen for facilitating the group, and Joe, Ciaran and Andrew for being there as volunteers to help out. Could go one thanking everyone on the group but that will have to wait until the event!