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Presented by Lyrici Arts

A celebration of Black heritage artists in Medway and Kent

What do home and heritage mean to you?

This summer and autumn Medway based Black heritage artists will be collaborating to create and tour a show exploring what home, identity and culture means to them.

HOMEWARD is an academy devised by Lyrici Arts for Black heritage artists. Through a programme of yearly events, participants will explore how the word ‘homeward’ connects with themes of personal identity, lived experience, culture and heritage.

Co-commissioned by Creative Estuary to launch in summer 2022, this year’s body of work is focused around HOMEWARD: Soul Food and spotlights four local Black heritage artists, working together to develop and create a collection of 20-minute performance pieces linked intrinsically with their lyrical talents. Artists will have access to industry mentorship, training, and profiling. They will also receive directing and producing support to perform in a 80-minute show together, which will be live-streamed and platformed in the autumn at theatre venues in Medway and Kent.

Soul Food is a reference for Black heritage food dishes passed down through generations, examples include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and saltfish. Lyrici Arts are also examining other elements that can feed the soul via aspirations, culture, identity, music, family and more.

The work will be explored through a 8-week programme of in-person and digital sessions through June and July. Creatives are encouraged to sign up to get mentoring and support to get their voices heard and share their stories. Local audiences will be invited to public touring performances in Medway and Kent during October 2022 at GlassBox Theatre in Gillingham, The Woodville Theatre in Gravesend and The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, in a celebration of community and the cultures that exist within it.

HOMEWARD 2022 is a Creative Estuary Co-commission. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England. Creative Estuary Co-commissions support a wide range of cultural projects with new commissions for Estuary-based producers and artists, from activity for emerging cultural activists to large scale commissions with a diverse mix of partners. The Co-commissions will raise widespread awareness of existing creative talent across the region and support creative practitioners and organisations to make and present new work.

HOMEWARD 2022 is kindly funded by Creative Estuary, Arts Council England, Medway Council, Kent County Council and Royal Opera House Bridge. It is supported by Colyer Fergusson Trust, GlassBox Theatre, The Woodville Theatre and The Gulbenkian Theatre.

HOMEWARD

Mon 10 October

ART31

ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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