Arts Council grants joy for rural racism project

27th October 2020

An exciting new project looking at racism and migration issues in Norfolk has won the backing of Arts Council funding.

Rewriting Rural Racism has emerged from Sheringham Little Theatre’s desire to reflect the growing Black Lives Matter movement.

The award-winning community arts venue wanted to add more diversity both to its new work and its existing traditional shows such as the summer drama season and professional panto.

After months of planning by four young people linked to the Little Theatre, they are delighted to learn the project has attracted an Arts Council grant.

The project aims to address the lack of racism education and awareness in Norfolk and tell the history of black people in the area.

The grant will enable those aims to be brought alive through the performing arts.

It will involve a series of stage and screen productions featuring artists from different ethnic groups, and disciplines ranging from hip hop music to poetry, and drawing on real life experience.

They include:

  • A film exploring black migration in Norfolk working with black musicians and writers along with a Norfolk museum
  • A one man show featuring a mixed race young man and his experiences of growing up in Norfolk with workshops in schools and four arts venues.

The young people involved are Katie Thompson from Knapton, Ashton Owen from North Walsham, Daisy Winchester from Thursford, and Tilda Fassih from Sheringham.

Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson

Ashton Owen

Ashton Owen

Daisy Winchester

Daisy Winchester

Tilda Fassih

Tilda Fassih

Katie said: “The Theatre prides itself on its work within the community but as part of this, comes a responsibility to combat cultural stigmatisation. The project’s events will give a platform for the artists’ stories and histories, as well as their craft. These artists will be instrumental in teaching us how to become a welcoming space for all races within our audiences and our employees. We are working alongside an anti-racism specialist, a local museum and have lots of amazing partners for this project.”

Debbie Thompson, director at the Little Theatre which is producing the project, said: “We are thrilled at getting the grant for these exciting projects which were inspired by the community and also match our long-term vision to change our programming and casting to embrace greater diversity.”

Arts Council logo

Arts Council logo

Rewriting Rural Racism