In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Arts and Culture Projects team in the University of Bedfordshire implemented The Heritage Impact Accelerator, that offers a 10-month incubator programme. The programme will be delivered to two cohorts between 2021 and 2023.
Heritage Support from the University of Bedfordshire & the National Lottery Heritage Fund
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Arts and Culture Projects team in the University of Bedfordshire has successfully applied for funds from our partners the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to develop and deliver an enterprise-focused sector support project for cultural practitioners and organisations working across community heritage in Luton and across Bedfordshire.
The collective objective of the two programmes is to protect and develop our local heritage sector by ensuring individuals and organisations have the knowledge, capacity, resilience and support from an infrastructural partner to negotiate the negative impact of COVID-19.
Heritage Impact Accelerator
Heritage Impact Accelerator is one of two programmes that we deliver with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Heritage Impact Accelerator offers a 10-month incubator programme that will be delivered to two cohorts between 2021 and 2023. It aims to build the capacity of 12 diverse local practitioners and/or organisations to deliver enhanced community heritage projects, develop new cultural and cross-sector partnerships and increase levels of contributed and earned income.
The first cohort has been recruited, and have started phase one of their ten month engagement with the programme. The 2021 cohort of practitioners are:
Perry Louis is an all-round talent with a diverse mix of experience in all things related to Jazz, Soul and Funk Music: Dance, Choreography, Teaching, Promoting, Marketing, Producing, DJing – you name it, Perry’s either done it or doing it.
Perry’s career started in the mid-1970s when he developed a passion for Dance in the UK clubs, listening to Soul, Jazz Funk, and Jazz. Since then he has had a prolific career across the world in music and dance.
He has joined the Heritage Impact Accelerator to create an archive for the jazz funk artform and explore new methodologies for capturing this vital part of social and cultural history.
Carly is a proud fourth-generation Lutonian with a keen interest in social history. She has been an active member of Luton Heritage Forum since it reformed in 2018 and has been researching the history of the town since long before this date. Carly is particularly interested in where built and intangible heritage intersect and uncovering the hidden stories of Luton’s young people, both from the past and today. She read Journalism at the University of Bedfordshire before reaching Director level during her career in Public Relations.
She a proud mum to three fifth-generation Lutonians and continues to work as a freelance writer while pursuing her passion for young people’s heritage through the Heritage Impact Accelerator programme.
Paul is a creative practitioner with a passion for history and 15-year track record of delivery award winning community projects alongside a long career as a writer and director for Stage and Screen, and hopes to consolidate both in his growing heritage practise. In 2020 he wrote an education programme for History Knights and wrote and presented their recent documentary on the History of Pirates. Paul is the chair of the charity Leagrave Youth and founded The Luton Youth Festival, which in 2021 celebrates it’s 16th anniversary.
He is also is a Legend of the Year Award Winner (V Volunteers south east) for inspirational leadership in recognition of his skill and expertise in creating community based support programmes and projects. Current projects including working as an outreach consultant on the restoration of a 12th century church.
Aimee Gomez is a Creative Producer in the fashion industry working on a variety of international events including runway shows, photo shoots and brand development.
She is the founder of The Fashion Breakdown, an inspirational fashion recruitment company that provides careers advice as well resources to help break down the different careers within the industry and how to get into them.
Aimee joins the Heritage Impact Accelerator looking to Luton’s history in textiles to grow a new strand of educational practise for young people interested in a career in fashion and the history of fashion in their town.
After meeting the pianist and composer Mel Davis, who was a supply teacher at his Luton school in 1962, Paul Jolly began to explore jazz and improvised music, commencing a long and continually successful international career as a jazz musician, curator, and educator.
With others, in 1976, Paul was a founder of Luton Community Arts and administrated the multi-disciplinary and iconic Luton arts centre – known as “33”.
His roles included music programming, educational courses, and financial / legal responsibilities for the Charitable Trust (LCAT). In 1989 Paul established 33 Records, which to date has released over 350 albums of contemporary jazz and related music. Paul joins the Heritage Impact Accelerator to explore the archive of “33”, capture the voices of those who were involved, and measure the impact the building and its people have had on the Luton of today.
Lizzy Fretwell is a writer, performer and theatre maker based in Luton. She believes the arts are a tool to connect communities and start important conversations, and joins Heritage Impact Accelerator to further explore the heritage aspects of her community-led practice. She is Co-Director of new multi-arts company “Holding Space Collective LTD” which will explore collaborations between live and digital art forms, building on her existing practice in digital community arts.
She is also a proud Associate Artist and Assistant Director of Next Generation Youth Theatre, and was Assistant Director on Luton’s Pilot Year of Culture “People Power Passion” in 2019. Her recent audio arts projects include: “We’ve Chosen Here”, which explored buildings and green spaces in Luton that spark memories of lost loved ones; and “Listen In My Shoes”, exploring how safe young women feel walking in areas of Luton.
From Monday 4th to Thursday 7th October, the Heritage Impact Accelerator cohort will be opening up their practice to invited stakeholders to share their ideas, provocations, and questions around the capturing of locally significant heritage. This will be aimed at specific audiences, culminating in a collective moment of reflection and the launch of the publicly accessible Heritage Enterprise Hub.
Heritage Enterprise Hub
The Heritage Enterprise provides a programme of needs-driven online and physical training sessions and events. Delivered across Bedfordshire, the programme works in dialogue with Heritage Impact Accelerator participants, regional delivery partners and colleagues from across the University’s academic faculties and professional departments.
Heritage Enterprise Hub is designed to help individuals and organisations who are interested in working across and/or engaging in the local heritage sector. This includes students/local graduates, those who work or volunteer in Bedfordshire’s heritage sector and those who wish to informally extend their skills through informal and free provision. Working in partnership with Bedfordshire’s LCEPs, the Heritage Enterprise Hub also supports local schools, teachers and educational support staff in Bedfordshire to embed culture and heritage into pedagogic, curricular and enrichment activity.
Sessions will include practical help with issues relating to working across heritage, completing bids, building strategic partnerships and networks, building digital infrastructure, engaging with schools, developing archives, and improving professional resilience and diversifying income.
Heritage Education Hub
The Heritage Education Hub will run parallel to the Enterprise Hub in 2022. While Enterprise sessions are more business-focused, the Education Hub will meet the needs of educators across Bedfordshire including teachers, researchers, and those involved in community initiatives and outreach.
The Education Hub will have sessions exploring how to introduce heritage to a learning environment, how to create education partnerships, and how Luton and Bedfordshire’s heritage offer can be embedded into a curriculum.
The Education Hub will work in partnership with Luton’s Local Cultural Education Partnership and Bedford’s LCEP, Bedford Arts and Cultural Education.
For more information on the projects and news about events, please follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram @UobArtsProjects, or email us at email@example.com