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Living Legacies: Spoken Word Films Celebrate Leicester Landmarks

Pedestrian are pleased to share three filmed spoken-word performances which were created as part of our Living Legacies project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The films were created by three different groups: young parents from Highfields, residents of The Y and young people attending the Transgender Centre of Excellence at Leicester LGBT Centre.  Each group was matched with a professional spoken-word artist who helped them to create, perform and film a spoken-word piece telling the story of three heritage sites in Leicester.

 The first short film, featuring poet Jess Green, tells the story of Leicester market place and the life of suffragette Alice Hawkins, whose statue was recently erected in New Market Square.



The second film features performer Jenny Hibberd and celebrates the Clock Tower, a famous Leicester landmark and symbol of the city.



The third and final film tells the story of Top Hat Terrace, a lesser-known landmark that is significant in Leicester's history because it was built by and dedicated to Francis 'Tanky' Smith, Leicester's first police detective and later famous private detective who is said to have been the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.  The busts on the facade of the building show Tanky in his various disguises, which he used to infiltrate Leicester's criminal gangs and obtain incriminating evidence.



The above videos have been created and shared online thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, and exist to celebrate the groups' achievements and Leicester city's diverse heritage.  We would like to thank our funder Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as our partners at The Y, Leiecster LGBT Centre and the young parent's group from Highfields.


Thirty Young People Achieve Arts Award Qualification Through Pedestrian Projects

We are delighted to share that thirty young people have succeeded in achieving a Level 1 Award In The Arts through projects delivered by Pedestrian.


Three young people completed their Award through our Evolve project, and the remaining twenty seven through our Concept programme.  To achieve the Award young people had to choose an art form (in this case, music), participate in a music workshop, attend and review a music performance, research an artist's career, and create work and learn new skills which are then shared with other members of the group.  Altogether thirty Bronze Awards (Level 1 Award in the Arts) and two Discover Awards were granted by awarding body Trinity College London.

 Arts Award portfolios awaiting moderation

Some of the young people are now progressing onto Silver Arts Award, which is a Level 2 Award In The Arts and provides extended and in-depth opportunities to develop professional skills, creativity and leadership qualities.  Three of the young people are even starting to work towards attaining a Gold Arts Award, which is a Level 3 Award In The Arts and carries 35 UCAS points.  This qualification provides the opportunity to further develop professional skills, including devising public-facing performances and exhibits alongside creating a professional portfolio of work.


Our Concept project gave young people the opportunity to create and record original music with professional artists.  We worked with three groups across three intensive studio residencies, which included a group of Looked After Children supported by The Virtual School, young people attending The Core in Corby, and learners at a Northampton-based supplementary school.  The young people had a range of needs and requirements, including Autism, SEN, ADD and English as a second language.  The sessions took place between August and November 2017.  At the end of the residencies the young people's work was shared as a live performance: the group at the The Core shared their musical pieces with friends, family and the Mayor of Corby at a celebration event, and the Northampton based young poeple shared their creative efforts at the Association of Northamptonshire Supplementary School (ANSS) annual awards ceremony.


Pedestrian wins National Lottery support for ‘Living Legacies’

Pedestrian has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £9,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support ‘Living Legacies’. This new programme will match young parents from Highfields, residents of The Y, and young people attending the Transgender Centre of Excellence at Leicester LGBT centre with professional spoken word artists to retell the stories of three heritage sites in Leicester.

The Clock Tower, Leicester Market Place and Top Hat Terrace are to be the subject of spoken word pieces created by the young people involved to retell their stories to a wider audience.

These city landmarks are well-known, but some of the stories attached to them are less familiar, including the history of protest at the Market Place, and the lives of the people represented on the Clock Tower. Top Hat Terrace is a building easily missed on London Road, but the busts on the building’s exterior illustrate the story of local private detective, ‘Tanky’ Smith, and his undercover disguises, bringing alive the history and character of the area.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the final spoken word pieces will be filmed and shared online as a celebration of the groups’ achievements and the city’s diverse heritage.

Bob Christer, Director, Pedestrian, said: 'We’re delighted to have been awarded National Lottery funding, and the project gives us a great chance to bring these colourful stories back to life in a way that is fun and engaging. A great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary year.'


Concept - October 2017 Residency

Concept is an inclusive music project funded by Youth Music and lead by Pedestrian. During the October half term we hosted a five-day intensive ‘Pop up Studio’ residency at The Core in Corby.  The focus of the residency was to compose original music based on a theme agreed by the young people. The young people also completed Arts Award at Bronze level through the week.

The young people chose the theme 'Nature vs. Manmade' to base their music making and song writing around. They used a range of techniques to express these ideas through music, production and lyric writing. The theme evolved to provide the album name ‘Skies and Skyscrapers’.

Through the week the young people worked with a team of artists and used a range of instruments, music technology and composition techniques  to develop their musical skills.  The final album features 12 original pieces of music. The young people also created two music videos and three pieces which they performed live.  We had a packed house for the performance, and were delighted that the Mayor of Corby attended and stayed to meet the young people after the sharing session. 

In summary we had a fantastic week at The Core - thank you to the artist team, the staff at The Core, and especially to the hard working and creative young musicians and producers!




The City Classroom: The Art of Maths

We were delighted to take part in the first City Classroom summit ‘The Art of Maths’ hosted at The New Walk Museum on October 10th 2017.  The City Classroom Partnership works strategically to strengthen cultural education activities with the vision that every child and young person will thrive through a rich and adventurous cultural education.

Representing Pedestrian, Akshay Sharma and James Sykes worked with three groups of children to explore fun and creative ways of learning mathematical topics through music. The children were encouraged to roll a dice, triggering different aspects of the music. Through a progressive approach the children were able to notice how different options resulted in either a greater or lesser probability of particular musical aspects occurring - and it sounded great too! Many thanks to the City Classroom team for hosting a superb, inspiring and creative day for all involved; we look forward to being part of this exciting organisation over the coming year.

Our partner organisations at Soft Touch Arts and The Mighty Creatives had this to say:


Thanks for your kind words guys, see you at the next summit!

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