A host of bridge-themed projects took place around Coventry during September 2019. As part of Imagineer’s commitment to developing the next generation of outdoor arts producers, each of these projects was devised by an individual in the early-to-mid stages of their career.
Saturday 21 – Saturday 28 September
Popping up around Coventry
Experience the live reporting of events and bridging around the city as our team of intrepid reporters and artists rove Coventry capturing and commentating on the stories they find.
A dynamic and daft team of roaming reporters invite the public to read today’s news on their bespoke mobile newsdesk.
Make the news in our city centre hub. With zine, placard and t-shirt making, we’ll spread your ideas of what needs bridging, how to bridge and bridges that should be burnt. Make the news and make a change in town.
The Bridge Newsroom is produced by Jess Pinson and presented in association with The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
Sing and Sign flashmob
Saturday 28 September, 8pm
A choir made up of young people with learning disabilities, their friends, and their family, has come together to learn the Pink song Bridge of Light in Makaton, a common form of communication for people with learning difficulties.
The young people are drawn from organisations across Coventry, including Coventry Youth Activists (CYA, pictured above), Open Theatre Company, SpOt Drama, Phonic Hub and Ego. These groups are all made up of young people with learning disabilities who have an interest in performing arts.
These groups have been rehearsing for the flashmob individually throughout the summer, and will come together in September to get to know each other and sing and sign together. They are also supported by local band, Duck Thieves, to create a wonderful performance.
We are really lucky that successful YouTuber MelodySigns – who is known in particular for videos that are used in special schools - has made a YouTube video especially for us to help the choir learn the Makaton signs for the song. Learn the Makaton actions for yourself.
Sing and Sign is produced by Grace Smith.
Foleshill Inter-faith Co-operation
In the years that followed the end of the Second World War, there was a strong history of inter-faith cooperation in Foleshill. Migrants were united as they tried to establish themselves in their new city. However over time families moved to different parts of the city and interactions between faith groups decreased.
This project brings together Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash, Shekinah Temple A.M.E Zion Church, the Hindu community and Coventry SACRE for a community event which, inspired by the themes of Bridge, aims to encourage collaborations across all faiths and none.
Working with talented visual artist Nilupa Yasmin (work pictured above), the community will create a woven artwork made from images that represent the rich cultural diversity in Foleshill, rejuvenating and revitalising the religious square mile.
Meet the team behind this project on Saturday 28 September in Broadgate, Coventry, as part of the Bridge festivities.
The Foleshill Inter-faith project is produced by Diandra McCalla.
Bridge to Life
Frederick Bird Primary school is the largest and most diverse primary school in Coventry, welcoming 865 students from different backgrounds and nationalities. Bridge to Life brings together pupils from the school with Melissa Smith, a talented local Doodle artist, founder of the Coventry based ‘Feel Good Community’ and an inspirational social activist who endorses the importance of creativity to health and wellbeing. She is also a community organiser for Grapevine Cov. and Warks.
A week of activity begins with a Bridge building event and picnic on Monday 16 September, where children and their relatives will bring and share food from their cultures and build several of Imagineer’s Da Vinci bridge kits.
In the days that follow, Melissa leads a week of activity based on the theme of building bridges across divides. Pupils will devise a Bridge to Life game that will be painted on the wall of the playground for all to enjoy; they will design postcards that will be sent to nearby Aldemoor Farm Primary School and create personalised Bridge invitations to send to relatives and friends in the community inviting them to accompany them to the Bridge evening performance on Saturday 28 September.
Bridge to Life is produced by Martina Bussi.
Crisis Canal Project
“We built this bridge on trust
It keeps us safe when the going gets tough
This bridge is unbreakable
It holds us safe and stable”
Working with the Coventry Crisis Choir, we are writing a new song - Unbreakable - exploring themes of bridges both literally and metaphorically. Canals and towpaths are often used by homeless people as a place to go, a place to sleep and a place to shelter underneath the bridges.
Crisis Coventry are working with the Canal and Rivers Trust to adopt a section of the canal to look after and maintain, and this will be the location of the performance of the new Bridge song in September.
The long term ambition of this project is to install a permanent sound installation underneath one the canal bridges which will be accessible to all and link back to stories of those who live and work along the canal.
Unbreakable is premiered on Monday 23 September at the Coventry Canal Basin before being performed in Broadgate, Coventry, as part of the Bridge festivities.
The Crisis Canal Project is produced by Rosie Clements.