1st – 31st October 2022
Black History Month was established in the USA by Dr Carter G Woodson, a black American historian who created a month (February) for African American people to have the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge themselves and their achievements.
In England, Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987, in African Jubilee year, as part of a drive to improve racial harmony in London. It has since grown to encompass the whole country and to recognise and embrace the contributions and traditions of other black communities.
From 3rd September 2022
Abstract art is about much more than imitating the world as we see it and it can be many different things. It can be an exploration of notions that all artists think about like colour, shape, space, composition, or materials. It can be an expression of emotion. It can seduce or repel us with optical effects, and it can be the result of experiment, chance, even accident. Often it demands our attention and always it repays our investigation.
The exhibition includes works by great abstract artists like Terry Frost, Steven Buckley, Prunella Clough and renowned black artist Sylbert Bolton.
https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/abstract-artSir John Madejski Art Gallery Reading Museum Big, bold and colourful, the Abstract Art exhibition is a joyful display of paintings and sculptures from the Reading Museum collection.
1 – 5 October
Rivermead Leisure Complex, Richfield Avenue, Reading
10th SHARAD UTSAV 22
The Bengali Cultural Society present their annual Autumn Festival popularly known as Sharad Utsav or Durga Puja (Dusshera). This festival is celebrated widely in all parts of India and abroad by a multi-cultural and an immensely diverse diaspora. Bengalis celebrate this festival all over the world by worshipping the Goddess of ‘Shakti’ (Durga) who is revered as the Female Form of the Supreme Being.
For more information visit www.bcsreading.co.uk
3 October, 1.30pm
Online with Reading Museum
VIRTUAL SESSION FOR SCHOOLS
For black history month Reading Museum will offer a free Black History Virtual Session. Designed in partnership with Culturemix Arts for KS2 and KS3 school groups, the virtual session is an introduction to black history and its importance for understanding our local history.
The free event for schools will take place on Monday 3rd October at 1.30pm. Booking is essential. Please email email@example.com to book a place for your class. Visit our website at https:// www.readingmuseum.org.uk/ schools/virtual-sessions for more information about our virtual sessions.
Passionate about Black History Month and about its place in Reading?
We are looking for people to get involved to help grow the programme of events during Black History Month and beyond. To get involved or register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org
producer and bass guitar supremo Don Chandler. Sign up to perform or attend. Don’t miss this exciting evening of live reggae music, dancing, special guest performances with a Caribbean style bar. Tickets are £10 in advance via Eventbrite or more on the door.
Saturday 8 October, 3.30– 6.30pm
Reading YMCA, 34 Parkside Road, Reading, RG30 2DD
HONOURING OUR HEROES
The Jamaica Society and Friends presents an educational and inspirational event. Presentations – Poetry – Music – Refreshments
Monday 10 October, 12noon – 4pm
Oxford Road Community Centre, 344 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1AF
CELEBRATING THE 10th ANNIVERSARY OF ACRE
An open day featuring a pictorial exhibition tracking the history of Acre, and its work with community partners.
Staff will be on hand to talk to you about the work of Acre and light refreshments will be provided.
Friday 14 October, 7pm – 8.30pm
Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BQ
Live screening of Paterson
Joseph telling the story of Charles Ignatius Sancho
This free event will see acclaimed British actor Paterson Joseph draw from his highly-anticipated debut novel to tell the extraordinary story of 18th-century writer, abolitionist and composer Charles Ignatius Sancho - live from the British Library.
Charles’s story began with his birth on board a slave ship in c.1729, before being orphaned and sold into slavery. Transported across the Atlantic to Britain at the age of two before escaping enslavement and developing a career as a businessman, writer and composer who sat at the very heart of Georgian London, Charles became the first Black person to vote in Britain and led the fight to end slavery.
Beginning with a dramatic reading from his new book, Paterson Joseph shares Charles Ignatius Sancho’s incredible life story and explores what it meant to be a Black Briton living at this time, and how historical fiction can help to breathe fresh life into real historical figures.
Concert Hall, Blagrave
Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Piano
J.S.Bach | Prelude and Fugue in C# minor
Debussy | Estampes
Scriabin | Piano Sonata No.2 Coleridge Taylor | Collection of Works
Liszt | Vallee D’Obermann
Liszt | Hungarian Rhapsody No.2
Jeneba Kanneh-Mason is nineteen years old and holds the Victoria Robey Scholarship at The Royal College of Music, studying piano with Vanessa Lalarche.
Jeneba has won numerous prizes, including Keyboard Category Finalist in BBC Young Musician 2018, winner of the Murs du Son Prize at the Lagny-Sur-Marne International Piano Competition in France 2014 and The Nottingham Young Musician 2013. https://whatsonreading.com/
I BELONG by DORIS ALLIMADI
Sasha Davina stars in this 50 minutes
social issue play about the challenges of a Black student attending a predominantly White learning institution and trying to fit in.
After a public confrontation with a lecturer, the Black student gains allies who vow to fight racism, discrimination and injustice at their university and the world over. One conversation at a time.
Running time: 50 minutes
Age Guidance: Suitable for all ages
Monday 24 October, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Council Chamber, Reading Borough Council offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU
Annual General Meeting –
Thursday 27 October, 6pm – 8.30pm
Council Chamber, Reading Borough Council offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU
VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY AWARDS Recognition
Acre and Utulivu Women’s Group are celebrating community volunteers with awards in order to amplify the communities’ voices and inspire and empower them to continue with the valuable work they do.
The hard road to gaining recognition & Equality - tracing the origins of Acre and its previous iterations with guest speakers Jane Lane (educationist & founding member) and Joe Williams (Alderman of Reading Borough and the first black Councillor at Berkshire County).
The awards will be under different categories based on the issues we continue to address in the community in order to amplify the communities’ voices, inspire and empower them to continue with the valuable work they do.
READING INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
Organised by Reading International Development Forum. The Forum aims to celebrate Reading’s diverse communities and action groups. The programme highlights the many international activities, twinning links and solidarity in Reading. The theme highlighted this year is:
hungry for change
Let us act together to:
Create a food system that respects food sovereignty
Protect biodiversity by healing the soil and air for life on earth
Protect all human rights
Prevent the displacement of people caused by land theft, war, environmental injustice and climate change
Create an economic system that serves the needs of people and planet The Festival includes Black History Month. https://www.risc.org.uk/images/events/rif-2022-programme.pdf
The Pavilion, 143-145 Oxford Rd, Reading RG1 7UY
A new exhibition at the Lifespring Church at the Pavilion, in West Reading. The exhibition uncovers the hidden stories of the people who are the ‘life’ of the Oxford Road. The exhibition celebrates ‘Lifespring Stories’ through audio and visual media.
Reading Council’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) commissioned the project from artists Baker Street Productions Ltd in partnership with community researchers from the Human Geography Department, University of Reading, as part of its ongoing cultural project, funded by Historic England.
The free exhibition, housed in the foyer of the Lifespring Church, is open to the public 4 days a week, Tuesday – Friday from 10 am to 2 pm –no need to book.
Photo from Gab Gibek, website rosestarred.com
A unique community newspaper, celebrating the diverse and rich culture of the Oxford Road is now available from ‘The Oxford Road Times’ is a oneoff, limited-edition, free newspaper, telling the stories, and highlighting the creativity, of the Oxford Road. It has been distributed in newsagents, shops, libraries and outlets along and near the Oxford Road in West Reading.
Within its pages is documentation of a range of happenings, events and workshops that the artists delivered with various community groups in the area during the summer of 2022. Highlights include ‘Bearing Witness to Grey’ a study of the colours found in between the IDR and West Reading Bridge, and ‘Mango rains’, seven stories from seven local people delving into different voices and personal histories. It also includes an insert inside the paper: Postcards from the Oxford Road.
Reading Council’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) commissioned the project from visual artists Lisa-Marie Gibbs and Philip Newcombe, as part of the ongoing cultural project, funded by Historic England. For more background on the project visit The Oxford Road Times instagram @oxfordroadtimes
Interactive theatre. 16+ by JAMAL HAREWOOD
Wednesday 2nd November, 8pm
They’re pretty special. They give a person the opportunity to express themselves. They can be read. They can be heard. They can be spoken. They allow us to communicate. I was always told that it’s not what you say, but how you say it - is this true? Become the contestant or host in an audience-led gameshow that put the words we use under a magnifying glass.
WORD is a 2016 Spring Festival co-commission recipient with additional support from Battersea Arts Centre, Theatre Delicatessen in Sheffield, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, the University of Chichester & Arts Council England National Lottery fund.
Running Time: 60 mins + post show discussion (audience interactivity can impact on time)
Age guidance: 16+
Friday 4th November, 8pm
Have you ever seen a polar bear in the flesh? Been close enough to notice just how white these magnificent mammals are? Here is your chance to get up close and personal - remove your shoes, coats and bags, as you are about to encounter the Arctic’s whitest predator, with black skin.
Join a well-trained member of staff as we enter the polar bear’s natural habitat and experience this animal like never before. Be one of the privileged few to say they have pet, played with, and fed a polar bear.
This is an audience-led participatory performance that uses the excitement of a polar bear encounter to explore race, identity and the community.
Running time: 60 mins + A post show discussion (audience interactivity can impact on time).
Howling Wind is a portrayal of the Windrush story, starting in the 1950s when British institutions began to actively recruit Black British subjects in the West Indies to come to help rebuild the “Mother Land” following the devastation caused by WW2. Mya and her siblings are left behind with relatives for several years.
Reconciliation is challenging for 14-year-old Mya, but she excels in school amid racism, discrimination and family challenges.
The play outlines both the struggles and the many successes and achievements of the Windrush generation and their descendants.
Written by Noa Abraham and produced by Steve Macauley, Howling Wind is a must see for the entire family.
Running time: 70 minutes
Age Guidance: All ages