Welcome back to our monthly review. This month will be a little bit special as we decided to not just bring you Junes review but also Mays as well! The past two months have been filled with planning approvals and the many different art and community projects we are involved with.
Throwing it back to the beginning of May, our friends at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival took their festival to the world of radio with NNFest Does Radio Local with Hunt and Darton. This ran for 17 days between 3 and 4pm local comedians Hunt & Darton bringing the locals of Norwich and Norfolk local artists, entertainment, competitions and everything in between. The radio festival was a huge success through these troubling times and brought smiles and laughter to the local community.
Over at Park Hill, our art consultant Matthew Jarratt sent us some exciting behind the scenes photos of the public art which will be placed in the landscaped area outside our new student development, Beton House. Russ Coleman is ‘knocking out’ the letters and then welding in little loops to support the centres of letter ‘O’s, A’s and P’s. The steel screens will then be turned into shallow boxes and galvanised, then filled with concrete so that the letters are flush with the surface.
The past couple of months also saw us launch a mini poetry commissions feature. Our first one was back in April with St Andrews. May and June saw us look at the poetry we commissioned for Sheraton Park in Durham, Grand Union at Leamington Spa and Pablo Fanque House in Norwich. These poetry commissions are complete and can be viewed by the local community and on our website. Our last two commissions we looked at are for our two up and coming schemes at Beton House in Sheffield and Benedicts Gate in Norwich. These will be on permanent display later this year when the schemes complete.
As lockdown continued, many of the world’s galleries and museums treated the public to virtual tours and lectures on their collection. The Museum of Sheffield contributed with the release of an interesting film on the history of Park Hill. The current residents really appreciated the history and legacy this site has to offer. Beton House is due to open in Autumn where will see a new mix within the ever growing Park Hill community.
The past couple of months also saw the approval of our Manchester scheme which will bring a positive note for the future of the site. This project will also see Alumno work in partnership with the charity One Manchester to secure a 50,000 pound fund for local projects.
Progress is going well for both Benedicts Gate, Norwich and Beton House in Sheffield whilst observing Covid 19 safeguarding measures. Scaffolding has come down for both sites with the stunning brick work finally on show for Benedicts Gate and the regeneration of the façade for Beton House. John Fielding Photography also graced us with updated photos of Benedicts Gate from above. Click here to see the site progress from March 2019 to now.
June became a very exciting month for our good friend and author of our Beton House poem, ‘We were never derelict’ Otis Mensah. Otis launched his debut poetry book ‘Safe Metamorphosis’ online. The book is a collection hip-hop and spoken word poetry, the book explores the transformations experienced in everyday life and the unspoken traumas caused by the uprooting of self. Check out Otis on social media for more information.
We rounded off the amazing past couple of months with a great update from our friends at The Norfolk & Norwich Festival with the many other ways they have brought the festival to the local community during this lockdown, read here to see what they got up too. We also submitted our planning application for our brand new Leeds student residence and artist complex. The new 11,955 square metre project will regenerate the current run-down, disused site and comprise 105 units that will house 411 students. Facilities will include a range of communal areas, including a central hub, gym, cinema, laundry room, roof terrace with a garden and extensive secure bicycle storage.
These past months have been a fun filled experience in our art and community side, even with the lockdown. With the lockdown easing and projects underway for completion later in this year, we look forward to bringing you more progress, behind the scenes and arts.
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