"Platform Peterborough" : a series of theatre projects for the city of Peterborough to help its wide and disparate communities engage with the Arts.
It ran from to
Peterborough is a substantial and thriving city, yet it is also a city with little pride in itself and a confused identity. The history books detailing its remarkable dark ages, medieval and nineteenth century history, tend to finish their accounts at 1968 when it became a London overspill town and was given a Development Corporation. By then the city already had significant communities from the Commonwealth and from Italy, but there followed further immigration from Uganda, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Portugal. Most recently people from the new EU countries have moved into the city, partly as a result of its existing communities, job market and easy access, and partly due to its status as an authorised destination for asylum seekers. Many of the arriving peoples have by now formed well-established communities, yet the forty-year period since this process started has barely been documented and certainly not from the perspective of those people making Peterborough their new home. Our project will target many different communities: it is designed to bring people together not keep them apart. It will mean working with many different agencies but will also require a significant partnership with the City Council and its new Arts and Heritage strategies. They fully support this project and are active in the formulation of the plan. Eastern Angles has the support of Arts Council England East to create work in the new communities and the company has long experience of delivering work based on the stories and experiences of local communities. The project will begin with oral history. In partnership with the City Museum and Heritage Lottery, we will record the stories of resident, immigrant and migrant communities, and range across gender, age, ethnicity and religion in pursuit of new voices. This material will be fully transcribed and archived, and will provide the material for theatrical performance with artists and performers from within or connected to the city. This platforming process will be used by the arts development team to encourage further contributions, develop trust and confidence in our project, and to create new audiences for visiting companies and other arts events. Whilst our Arts Council funding allows for core staff at our base in Ipswich and for some rehearsal and production costs, we are looking to raise funding for the extra artistic and support staff to allow us to engage with communities on a one-to-one basis and develop work according to the opportunities presented. For the first year 2009/10, we need ¬£25,000 towards the overall budget of ¬£100k for this strand of our work. In order to extend the project into 10/11 and 11/12 we would be looking for an additional ¬£60k.
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