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SBC backs spaces of creativity

Stevenage Borough Council has come together with community groups and young local artists to install a number of location-based artworks.

Spaces of Creativity, Community & Change is a project celebrating the creativity, diversity, and community spirit of Stevenage. It seeks to offer a vision of unity and equality coming out of a challenging period and looking into the future.

Some 20 young people from the black community led the project from the beginning, working with artists Alfred Oddoye and Kiaski Donkor to develop concepts for mural artwork, which were illustrated by Kiaski Donkor and painted by Carleen De Sözer and Wumi Olaosebikan.

The project is intended to be a healing process for the youth. It enables them to express how they feel as black youth living in the UK, especially in relation to Black Lives Matter and the racial inequalities magnified by the COVID pandemic. They channelled their energy into creating something positive and inclusive, which commemorates this last year – including some of the challenges faced and support received across racial divides – and offers a hopeful future filled with racial equality and harmony.

There will be an online launch event and celebration of the artwork on Sunday 11 July, from 3pm-4:30pm, which will feature video, poetry, and music. The project also includes a creative writing competition led by Toni-Ann Robertson and Yvan Tiako and won by Ailsa Forsyth, who will be reading at the launch event.

This is the first of two projects co-produced by BeMe, Elim Church, and Junction 7 Creatives, commissioned by Stevenage Borough Council, and with support from Hertfordshire County Council. It forms a major part of the Co-operative Neighbourhood Management programme and the town’s Arts & Heritage Strategy, supported by councillors from Martins Wood and St Nicholas.

Richard Henry, portfolio holder for Children, Young People, Leisure & Culture said: “This amazing artwork is the culmination of community effort to enliven our underpasses through the council’s cultural strategy. Our thanks to BeMe, Elim Church and Junction 7 Creatives for an excellent collaboration and bringing to life a wonderful idea. Hertfordshire County Council own and maintain the cycle network and I would like to pass on our thanks for their permission for this work to go ahead. We look forward to working with other groups throughout the town on similar schemes.”

For press enquiries contact Corporate Communications on 01438 242168.

A display of artwork by local artistsA display of artwork by local artistsA display of artwork by local artistsA display of artwork by local artists