Lauren Townsend, Chol’s Associate Artist and Producer, announces the Kirklees Windrush Mural funding success.
After joining the Chol team as a Chol-operative Associate Artist in 2020 I have been excited to bring ideas to the table that: are ambitious; allow myself and the wider the team to continue scaling up our practice; widen Chol’s remit of delivery beyond theatre; and engage new groups, new audiences, and new participants.
It is incredibly important to me to create and facilitate work that uplifts stories of the African-Carribbean community and our ancestors, and celebrates their impact on our towns and cities across Yorkshire. With that being said, I am incredibly excited that my first project with Chol as a lead producer will be the ‘Kirklees Windrush Mural’ (working title). A large-scale, permanent, outdoor art piece commemorating the lives and the shared experiences of Kirklees’ Windrush Generation, funded by the government’s Windrush Day Grant Scheme.
We are working closely with Milton Brown of Kirklees Local Television as a partner on this project, both in supporting the collection of further important first-hand testimonies from the Windrush Generation and their descendants in Kirklees to add to his extensive archive; and in assisting in adapting his vast catalogue of content into educational resources to be shared with local youth/school networks so the first-hand experiences of the Windrush generation can be known.
These stories and testimonies collected by Kirklees Local Television from local elders will create the foundation of inspiration for this mural; we will then work with professional artists in schools, community hubs, and youth action groups to interpret these memories, testimonies and stories into a design for the mural. We hope to unveil the final piece later this year.
We are just at the beginning of this project’s journey and are still in early stage conversations with local groups, schools, and artists, as well as the council’s communities team to look at additional support and resources to ensure this project can reach its fullest potential.
It is my hope that this mural and accompanying educational resources will provoke a sense of pride in the Windrush generation and their descendants in Kirklees as well as providing much needed awareness and insight to their great contribution to our society for those outside of the community.
I encourage anyone who would like to be kept in the loop regarding the development of this mural or who would like to chat more about how to get involved to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.