We’ve been working with Rommi Smith for the past several months, supporting her with raising investment for her multi – tiered performance piece focused on the lives of historical blues and jazz women and subsequently working with Rommi and her team to evaluate the project.The piece has been performed in New York and most recently at Leeds Art Gallery where Rommi was accompanied by brilliant musicians, Kenny Higgins and Dave Evans and directed by Jason Hird.
For us, it’s been a pleasure to work with a talented team unpicking critical success factors, impactful moments and identifying learning that can be taken forward.
Leeds West Indian Carnival
Do you want to play a part in leading one of the North’s favourite outdoor events?
Please note that the recruitment process is managed and administered by Armstrong Cameron on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Leeds West Indian Carnival. Selection decisions will be made by the Board of Trustees.
Leeds West Indian Carnival is a charity responsible for delivering Europe’s oldest authentic Caribbean carnival. Established in 1967, the charity is seeking to recruit three new Board members.
Held annually on the last Monday in August every year, Leeds West Indian Carnival presents and showcases the best of Caribbean carnival culture.The Carnival is governed by a Board of Trustees which oversees every aspect of its operations and strategy. Delivery of the annual carnival and other activities is supported by volunteers and freelance specialists.
The Carnival is currently recipient of an annual grant from Leeds City Council and over the past several years has fundraised significant investment from Arts Council England, Leeds BID and Heritage Lottery Fund as well as attracting commercial sponsorship for its annual activities.
We are seeking talented and committed individuals who share our passion for Caribbean Carnival arts and heritage. Specifically, we are interested in recruiting people with one or more of the following skills:
Finance, safeguarding, health and safety and risk assessment, legal, marketing and communication
If you’d like to join us, please follow this link to a very short Expression of Interest form and one of our trustees will get back to you for an informal chat about how to apply: https://form.jotformeu.com/82904307414352
Closing date for completed applications is Friday 16 November at 1700.
We spent an unseasonally warm day in London on Wednesday with Stella Kanu – Exec Producer at Ovalhouse – and her colleagues. We’d been asked to deliver a training session on unconscious bias as part of a comprehensive development programme for staff at the theatre.
It was a pleasure to spend time with an interesting group of colleagues, working through how an understanding of unconscious bias can be used as one of the ways to tackle unfairness and inequalities in the workplace. Interesting, too, to think about its limitations and how it fits into the panoply of approaches to equality and diversity that have come in and out of favour over the years.
We are of the view that unconscious bias has its place in helping us to understand and conceptualise inequalities; there have been many such terms over the years. What matters and what can bring about real and lasting change is action driven by conviction.
We closed the session with this quote from the consistent and colourful social commentator, James Baldwin:
I’m not interested in anybody’s guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn’t do it, and I didn’t do it either, but I’m responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, for the very same reason.
Thanks to Stella and her colleagues for a stimulating afternoon and excellent food.
We’ve been pleased to support the organisational development of Yorkshire Sound Women Network over the past few months and spent an enjoyable evening at DINA in Sheffield last Friday, celebrating the launch of the Network as a CIC. Board members, supported by Heidi Johnson – the Network’s Development Manager – have done a great job of securing additional funds to enable the Network’s valuable work to continue and expand and we wish them all the best for the future. For more details and to get involved, visit the Network’s newly revamped website at www.yorkshiresoundwomen.com
We’ve just been appointed by Yorkshire MESMAC to evaluate its HLF funded Queer Stories project which aims to collect and share the stories of LGBTIQ+ people from across West Yorkshire.
We spent the morning working with the delivery team thinking about what to measure, how and why. We were struck by the energy, thoughtfulness and compassion of the team and by their commitment to including as diverse a range of voices as possible. They’ve also got the best logo we’ve seen for a heritage project.
To learn more and to get involved, visit wyqs.co.uk
We were pleased to be invited to the opening of Jonathan Straight‘s new exhibition of street photography – Pride – which is at Victoria Gate in Leeds until 16 September and is well worth a visit. It was also great to catch up with lovely people like Bryony Bond, Creative Director at The Tetley.
Here at Armstrong Cameron, we’re very much committed to elevating the discourse surrounding minoritised arts and communities. So it was a great way to spend a very warm Sunday afternoon watching Dawn chair a panel at Bradford Literature Festival with Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, co – authors of Slay in your Lane.
The book’s now on sale and it was also Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.
It was a privilege to work with inspirational producer, Debbie Chan, and the rest of the team at FACT on the evaluation of its ambitious Networked Narrative project. Unusually, I was engaged over the full duration of the strategic touring programme – almost four years. This meant that together we were really able to look at and think about impacts, both expected and unexpected. It was great also to gain the insights of artists, Mark Titchner and Hwa Young Jung who were commissioned by young people to make work for the public realm.
I think we all learned a great deal that we’ll take into future work. FACT has placed the full evaluation report on its website. There’s a lot of it so it’s probably best tackled in chunks!
You can find it here: https://www.fact.co.uk/media/86190632/networkednarrative_evaluationreport_dec2017_dcameron_covera_lowres.pdf
We had the pleasure of going along to Leeds Soup’s 9th event last night. We’d been invited by Loran Lewis, the brains behind the Let’s Do More CIC and one of the pitchers at the event.
Leeds Soup describes itself as ‘an experiment in micro funding, where like – minded individuals come together, pitch great ideas, eat soup and vote on the project they think benefits the Leeds community the most’. Tickets start at £10 with the winning idea taking away 100% of the evening’s takings.
All four pitchers were great and in the event Phil Pearce of Life Experience won. Life Experience takes personal stories into schools, bail hostels and prisons to enable children and young people to make better and more informed decisions.
Plaudits go out to the volunteers and sponsors of Leeds Soup for providing a great platform for social entrepreneurs to pitch great ideas and for Leeds residents to give seed money to fledgling organisations.
We’re delighted that Rommi Smith was successful in her application to Arts Council England for investment to support the exploration of performative ideas for a new work which will be an homage to historical Blues and Jazz figures.
This creative adventure will take Rommi and her eight artistic collaborators from Leeds to New York and back again, culminating in a live performance and special event at Leeds Art Gallery later in the year. Rommi describes the project as ‘a wonderful opportunity for professional growth, personal development, reflection and creative exploration.’
We’re very pleased to have played a small part in supporting Rommi and the team in this exciting venture.
To learn more about Rommi’s practice, please visit her website at www.rommi-smith.co.uk