Spoken Word In The Community Hubs (S.W.I.T.C.H)

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In collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre, poet Jemilea Wisdom-Baako of Writerz and Scribez and artist Kay Rufai, S.W.I.T.C.H. is a project aimed at reaching audiences that feel excluded from conventional arts organisations, exploring how to increase arts participation. It involves removing barriers by placing the art in community hubs such as barbershops, youth provisions, salons and restaurants – going to people rather than expecting them to come to us. HERON and the HYPE project are supporting the formative evaluation of S.W.I.T.C.H. to explore whether and why people experiencing community-based projects are more likely to engage with creative arts workshops or events in future.

S.W.I.T.C.H aims to:

  • Improve and increase the involvement and engagement of young people in art and culture
  • Develop community spaces as venues for showcasing art
  • Facilitate a dialogue around barriers to engagement
  • Pilot (proof of concept) for further funding to enable expansion of the S.W.I.T.C.H. programme

Following the S.W.I.T.C.H series of activities and events, members from the HERON research team carried out a focus group aimed to understand how artists involved in S.W.I.T.C.H perceived the project. This explored their experiences of, and thoughts about performing in non-conventional spaces, their ideas about existing barriers to engaging with art and how they thought the S.W..IT.C.H project overcomes these barriers. You can read the full report here

Upcoming S.W.I.T.C.H. related events include:

  • Pupil Referral Unit workshops
  • Musician at London Barberhood – 3rd May (5-7pm)
  • Spoken word street performances on 4th and 5th May (times tbc)
  • Community Workshop at BAC 4th May 1-3pm (times tbc)
  • Photographer at London Barberhood – 10th May (5-7pm)
  • Exhibition/Showcase at Fresh Ground London 10th May – 7:30-9:30pm
  • Spoken Word at Clean Cuts – 17th May (5-7pm)

Jemilea and Kay are also commissioning artists to draw images of barbershops/hairdressers which will be exhibited on 10th May at the Showcase and also in Tooting Market until the end of the month alongside photography and spoken word.

For more information on the events above contact:

Jemilea: info@writerznscribez.com or Kay: kayrufai@universouldbrand.com

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