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Artist in Residence Project to Make Over Woodrow After £69,000 Investment

Updated: 7 days ago





A new 6-month-long artist in residence project will begin in Woodrow. Severn Arts and Reimagine Redditch have fundraised almost £69,000 from the highly competitive Inclusive Communities Fund. The project will empower Woodrow’s communities, address real issues, and create a lasting legacy.


The ‘Love Woodrow’ project will commission an artist to work with residents in Woodrow to create new installations with local people. The project aims to use creativity to bring people together, boost health and wellbeing, enhance local pride in the area, and brighten up Woodrow Centre with public art. Communities in Woodrow talked about sculpture and murals, and the artworks will be created hand-in-hand with the artist in residence and the people of Woodrow.


The artist will work with Woodrow people to reimagine their neighbourhood creatively. The artist will spend at least one day a week with organisations in the community to get to know local people, but also to get out and talk and meet people wherever they are in the neighbourhood.


Elaine Knight, Arts Director at Severn Arts, and a Reimagine Redditch consortium member, said: “The Inclusive Communities Fund aims to make a difference to people’s lives by supporting projects that will act as a catalyst to address inequalities. That’s why we’re thrilled to have secured an award from this fund -- because of the positive impact it will have for close to 5,000 people in Woodrow. The selected artist will be working with new and established groups in Woodrow communities to co-create a programme of activities which responds uniquely to local issues. We can’t wait to see what they create together.”

 

Richard Bromhall, Programme Director for Reimagine Redditch, said: "People in Woodrow told us they wanted to ‘brighten up’ the neighbourhood. They told us about the challenges they see as barriers to health, wellbeing and creativity.


“The co-creation process will ensure that the work is relevant to Woodrow people and is owned by them. The artist will have office and studio space in four community venues in Woodrow: Your Ideas' The Den (opening June 2024), Woodrow Meeting Rooms, Woodrow Library, and Redditch Borough Council's Housing Department.”


Jordan Cooke, Chief Executive Officer at ‘Your Ideas’ Youth and Community Project, said: “We’re thrilled that the opening of our new state-of-the-art facility, Your Ideas ‘The Den’ in Woodrow in July, will coincide with the start of ‘Love Woodrow.’ Woodrow hasn’t had a project like this before, and I can’t wait to see how the artist will work, what they will come up with, and the difference it will make to Woodrow.”


Jon Elger, Neighbourhood and Tenancy Manager at Redditch Borough Council, said: “We are excited to be supporting the ‘Love Woodrow’ project and delighted that the visual artist in residence will regularly be using our space in Woodrow as a hub for creativity and engaging the community.”


In the lead up to the bid, conversations with people revealed a lack of cultural opportunities. Many young people spoken to had never been to a museum or gallery, so the project proposes a series of sculptures across Woodrow to explore place, culture and heritage. There was an enormous range of ideas put forward by these young people, and it's why a budget has been included for visiting artists so that a range of activities can be provided for them to experience.


Residents also expressed a desire to feel pride in Woodrow and raise their spirits. An artist in residence is best placed to deliver results for neighbourhood projects like this one. Working closely with community representatives, the artist will be recruited in the coming weeks through an open call out process.


Are you from Woodrow? And do you want to get involved in this project? Contact Reimagine Redditch here to share your ideas and sign up to Reimagine Redditch’s mailing or list or follow them on social media.

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