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Communications Position

8 December 2017

Creating with our Young Creatives

The last couple of week have been busy ones at GCF with the first workshops for our new Heritage Lottery funded project, ‘Windrush – An Influential Force on British Culture’, Leeds Carnival Choir rehearsals ahead of their upcoming Christmas concert on 15th December, and filming sessions with our Young Creatives for their short films. Phew!

You may have caught a glimpse of us filming at various locations across Leeds over the past two weeks as part of our ‘Portrait of a Young Creative’ film project. These short films follow ten young people as they explore how the arts have shaped and will continue to shape their lives. Actress and poet Melissa was relieved to find the forecasted rain held off during her day of filming in the city centre.

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Filmmaker Ashley and young creative Melissa preparing before filming in Leeds
Melissa and Luke film project shoot, young creative stories
Shooting in central Leeds for Melissa’s short film

We weren’t so fortunate with the weather when we filmed Callum outside on the coldest day of the year – Callum and the crew were forced to take refuge in cars during snow flurries! But the team persevered and managed to capture some very atmospheric shots of the actor in the picturesque grounds of Harewood House.

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Film crew wrapped up to film actor Callum in minus temperatures

Pianist Rowan serenaded Christmas shoppers and commuters alike during his filming sessions playing the public pianos at Victoria Gate and Leeds Train Station. He has been working on a composition especially for this project, and we loved hearing it for the first time.

Filming Rowan in Victoria Gate Leeds
Filming Rowan in Victoria Gate Leeds

Filmmaker Ashley Karrell, who has been working with our Young Creatives to both shoot and help develop their films, said:

It’s great to see them taking artistic ownership of their individual short films. I think a few struggled with the amount of creative freedom they were given with this project at first. However, now we’ve started filming, it’s the perfect opportunity for each young person to start leading the creative direction of their films. After all, it’s their own stories and creative journeys they are exploring.

We can’t wait to share the final films with you in the new year. To find out more about the film project, click here.

9 November 2017

Call for Young Creatives to take part in new performance project

Looking for a new opportunity to develop your creative skills and perform to a wide audience? The Geraldine Connor Foundation is currently searching for young creatives aged 14+ and based in Leeds who are interested in music, spoken word, dance or film to create and take part in a production celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Windrush.

What was Windrush? The ship called ‘Empire Windrush’ brought the first wave of Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948, marking the beginning of the mass immigration movement in the UK that resulted in an estimated 172,000 West Indian born people living in the UK by 1961. To many, they are known as the Windrush Generation. Our brand-new production that you will help create will explore this momentous historical event and its impact in Britain today.

Weekly workshop sessions will be on Monday’s 6-8pm at the Mandela Centre in Leeds, starting on Monday 20th November, and lead to performances in June 2018. We are looking for passionate and creative young people interested in exploring their cultural heritage to sign up for this exciting new project, which will also allow you to achieve the Arts Award at Bronze or Silver level. Please note, these workshops are free to attend and, although this opportunity is unpaid, it is a fantastic chance to develop your creative skills and work alongside professional artists.

Want to find out more and express your interest? Please get in touch! Contact the Geraldine Connor Foundation by email at selina@gcfoundation.co.uk or phone us on 0113 243 1166. For more details on this exciting project, click here.

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1 November 2017

Ashley Karrell on Geraldine’s ‘unique spirit’

Leeds based film-maker, Ashley Karrell, chatted to us about Geraldine Connor ahead of the screening of his film, ‘Carnival Messiah The Film & Documentary’, which is showing at Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 7th November as part of the 31st Leeds International Film Festival…

Geraldine Connor was a professional mentor and personal friend. It was an honour to create the film and documentary that showcases all the fantastic aspects of her epic theatrical production of Carnival Messiah. This incredible musical spectacle shows some amazing carnival costumery, magnetic voices, and a creative cast of over 150 drawn from the local Leeds community and celebrated international artists.

 

The film marks the tenth anniversary of the original production, staged at Harewood House as part of the Trust’s celebrations of the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. A decade on, Carnival Messiah has taken its rightful place as a cultural landmark in Yorkshire’s arts scene and remains relevant today. Geraldine’s vision of empowerment and inclusivity through the arts lives on not only through the film, but also through the work of the many artists she mentored and inspired. It has been a privilege to ensure that her unique spirit and phenomenal impact are cherished forever.

Feel inspired too? Then come join us at Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 7th November at 8.15pm for Carnival Messiah the Film & Documentary. More details here.

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Ashley Karrell at the premiere of ‘Carnival Messiah the Film’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sept 2017

31 July 2017

Creative Lab 2017- Forest Dreaming

A dedicated group of young aspiring performers have been working alongside artists, Khadijah Ibrahiim and Donald Edwards in our summer series of Creative Café workshops.   The young people have been exploring scenes from our new production Forest Dreaming. Building their skills and confidence to prepare them to work alongside professional musicians and singers in our Creative Lab.

The Lab will take place in August bringing together an amazing creative team, artists, semi-professional performers, new graduates and young people to work on Forest Dreaming.  Bringing the newly commissioned score to life for the first time.   When we have finished we will let you know how it’s shaping up!

This project has been made possible through support from Arts Council England which we are hugely grateful for.

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28 July 2017

Remember Carnival Messiah? Anna wants to Speak to you!

Hi, my name is Anna. I’m currently studying English and Sociology at the University of Leeds, and am lucky to have the opportunity of working with the Geraldine Connor Foundation over the next two years as part of the Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship (UGRLS). Over the summer I’m exploring the impact and legacy of Geraldine’s creation ‘Carnival Messiah’, with a particular focus on the production at Harewood House in 2007.

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Carnival Messiah was widely praised for its community engagement, bringing professionals, semi-professionals locals and international artists on to one stage. To this day the foundation is inundated with stories of the effect Carnival Messiah had on individuals.

I’m interested in learning from artists, participants and audiences about their experiences, the influence the production had on their lives, and also their personal memories in order to try and capture the joy of the production. In building an archive of material about ‘Carnival Messiah’, not only am I hoping to record and celebrate its legacy, but I’m also hoping to demonstrate the importance of the arts more generally. Especially in a time when funding is being cut at every corner, I believe that the arts should be valued in all walks of life, both as a creative outlet and as a powerful tool for personal growth and social change.

If you took part in Carnival Messiah, or even if you simply went to see it and would like to share your experience then we’d love to hear it. Get in touch by emailing info@gcfoundation.co.uk with your name, contact details and a brief description of how you were involved, and we’ll go from there.

 

I hope to hear from you soon!

Anna

 

 

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