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Engaging audiences and the community

A CBSO Ignite project





Found in Ladywood original composition by Duncan Chapman


Short film by Shei Ahmed and Ben Cresswell


Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 performed by the CBSO’s Leo String Quartet

Found in Ladywood is a unique musical event that is the culmination of work that took place during community-based workshops between the Leo String Quartet, composer Duncan Chapman and members of the Ladywood community. The project has involved community members working with the performers and the project team to create an innovative event whilst learning more about event skills for future projects.

“My favourite parts were meeting the people and knowing that I will be involved in something very exciting.”

The event is taking place within the engine house of the Ladywood Community Fire Station as an unusual venue in the heart of Ladywood, and the community event team has worked throughout the project to create the event space that surrounds you, from the technical and design aspects of the performance space to the recording of the live sounds that will be used during the performance.

Sophia Bennese, community event team

The Found in Ladywood event will be a performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 by the Leo String Quartet and an original sound composition by Duncan Chapman inspired by the sounds of Ladywood recorded by the community event team. A short film inspired by Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 and the area of Ladywood will also be screened during the event. The film was produced by Ben Cresswell and Shei Ahmed, members of the community event team, as a response to Shostakovich Quartet No. 8, Ladywood and the artistic process of the project. 3

Found in Ladywood was written and produced by Claire Farrell EC-ARTS. The project conception was inspired by a MADE artistic project ‘Lost in Ladywood’ with artist Simon Whitehead in 2007, following an artist residency within the community of Ladywood. ‘Lost in Ladywood’ is an illustrated book which contains a series of walks taken regularly by community members around Ladywood. Throughout, community members tell their stories of Ladywood and their experiences of the area.

Found in Ladywood – A project background The Found in Ladywood project is part of the CBSO’s long-standing Ignite programme, engaging audiences and the community.

The project aimed to engage the Ladywood community directly, taking classical music out of its traditional settings and making music more accessible through performing in an unusual but familiar venue, the Ladywood Community Fire Station. These aims are in line with the Birmingham City Council initiative ‘Culture on your doorstep’ which aims to bring artistic events into communities and involve community members within the conception and implementation of the project. The project has been funded by the Working Neighbourhood Fund (WNF) as part of Birmingham City Council. This funding body is specifically designed for community engagement and empowerment within the arts, focussing particularly on community participation. The CBSO believes that music plays a vital role in all our lives, and particularly in our cultural, social and intellectual development. In response to this, the CBSO’s education team stimulates the creation and enjoyment of music, and reaches over 36,000 people of all ages every year. The Found in Ladywood project aims to aid this endeavour and reach as many members of the Ladywood community as possible, through participation in the workshops, the performance of the musical pieces and hopefully future projects within Ladywood.


The personal nature of the book, the direct input from community members and the genuine love for the Ladywood area that was conveyed all inspired the feel for the project that was later to become Found in Ladywood, a direct response to the link the two projects share. So, as ‘Lost in Ladywood’ suggested, we took a walk... ‘Lost in Ladywood’ 2007 by Simon Whitehead


Project event team Shei Ahmed Dalbero Kaur Bains Sophia Bennese Viola Brade Ben Cresswell Claire Farrell Mary Lindsey Harry Naylor Joe Steele Coral Sutherland Jan Tween Chris Vaughan Lynette Webbe Kate Whitlow The ‘Lost in Ladywood’ map of Ladywood



The project workshops 27 July – First artistic workshop at Ladywood Community Centre – This session involved Ladywood community members, together with the composer, taking a tour around Ladywood and recording sounds around the area. These sounds were all then brought together to create the original ‘Ladywood’ piece. 10 August – First event skills workshop at Ladywood Community Centre – The participating Ladywood community members talked through events they had attended and what event management involved. They were then given an overview of the project and taught basic event skills, techniques and terminology that could then be built upon during the future project sessions. 17 August – Second event skills workshop at Ladywood Community Centre – The participants listened to Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 for the first time and discussed as a group their responses and the impressions that the piece inspired. This session also involved talking through the event management roles in more detail and decided upon roles and tasks during the project and the event. Ben and Shei conceived the idea of the short film inspired by Ladywood and the Shostakovich piece during the group reflection on the piece. 24 August – Third event skills workshop at Ladywood Fire Station – The group was able to view the performance space for the first time and apply their ideas for the event. The group also worked on the individual tasks within the team with the help of the project team. 8


31 August – Fourth event skills workshop at Ladywood Community Centre – The group worked together on the event tasks and held a project meeting to discuss key ideas and points in regards to the event and specific departments such as design, technical and event coordination. 10 September – Second artistic workshop at Ladywood Fire Station – The community group set up the event space in preparation for the musicians to rehearse. The session concluded with Duncan Chapman leading an artistic workshop to add to the original Found in Ladywood composition. 21 September - Final event skills workshop at Ladywood Fire Station – The group created the final flyers for the event and discussed distribution within the Ladywood community. Ben presented the rough cut of the short film to be screened at the performance. The session concluded with the group deciding on images that will be exhibited during the event.


The venue - Ladywood Community Fire Station “Ladywood Community Fire Station is happy to host the Found in Ladywood event; we see ourselves as an important part of Ladywood and this is a great opportunity for the local community to see what the West Midlands Fire Service can offer at its stations. I look forward to this being the start of many local community initiatives that we can support from the Fire Station. And hopefully encourage community groups and the public to utilise Ladywood Community Fire Station fully, as a legacy of the Found in Ladywood project.” Steve Harris, Station Commander

The event is being staged in the engine house of the Ladywood Community Fire Station. An unusual performance venue in the heart of Ladywood. As it is in a central location within Ladywood, it was felt that it would be a great way to signpost the facilities of the Fire Station to the community while also making it easier for the event to reach as many members of the community as possible. The choice of venue was in part influenced by the 1942 Time magazine cover depicting Shostakovich when he was serving as a fireman in his native Russia! 11

The floor plan for the Found in Ladywood event 12


Go to the people Live among them Learn from them Love them Start with what they know Build on what they have: But of the best leaders When the task is accomplished Their work is done The people all remark “We have done it ourselves”. Lao - Tzu


I would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support, hard work and enthusiasm. Without their help, the project would not have been possible. Claire Farrell EC-ARTS

Project Team: Kate Whitlow Joe Steele Shei Ahmed Dalbero Kaur Bains Sophia Bennese Viola Brade Ben Cresswell Claire Farrell

Mary Lindsey Harry Naylor Coral Sutherland Jan Tween Chris Vaughan Lynette Webbe Daniel Rowlinson of the CBSO

Support and sponsorship: Steve Harris and Orange watch, Purple watch, Blue watch, Green watch, Red watch and White watch of Ladywood Community Fire Station. Janice Mayers, Katherine Farrell and Margaret Obodo and everyone at Ladywood Community Centre West Midlands Fire Service Simon Bennett BCC Jenny Sills and St John and St Peter’s Church Councillor Kath Hartley, Councillor Carl Rice and Councillor Albert Bore Shabana Mahmood MP Clinton Simmons Neighbourhood Forum Summerfield Residents Association Tim Newbold and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Fairbridge Karis Neighbour Scheme Simon Whitehead for Lost in Ladywood Ian Richards of Heavy Objects Thank you to the people of Ladywood for coming to the event.


Found in Ladywood  
Found in Ladywood