Thursday, 24 November 2016

CARGO by Valise Noire celebrates £36,400 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Valise Noire has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), it was announced today. This exciting project, CARGO, in Poole, Dorset and led by Valise Noire, has been awarded £36,400 to bring Poole's maritime heritage out of the archives, interpret and share through performances on Poole Quay during the European Maritime Festival in May 2017. This exciting heritage project also has additional grant support from the Cultural Hub, £2,000, and Poole Culture Fund, £2,000.
Valise Noire is a storytelling theatre company that creates, tells and interprets stories through oral and visual forms. Formed in 2011 Valise Noire was born from a collaboration by Michele O'Brien and Hazel Evans to explore the ways in which stories are collected and communicated, exploring cultural and heritage topics. Working with communities, the public and schools, outcomes of projects are workshops, exhibitions and performances.

As part of the Poole Maritime Festival (celebrating European Maritime Day) CARGO will deliver key information at a crucial time where the Great Quay of Poole is being celebrated. It will be able to reach large audiences through major art/heritage performances. This is a one-off opportunity to deliver a wonderful learning, sharing and celebratory experience for thousands of people who may not otherwise have opportunities to learn about Poole's local and global heritage.

Commenting on the award, Hazel Evans said: “It’s wonderful that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started. Poole is a very special place and there’s so much more to discover and share about our maritime heritage, the mysteries of cargo travelling the seas, the wisdom of heritage and sea life. We are all really excited about creating a dynamic project with interactive way of telling stories and performing for people, in order to share our heritage and history with them.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this project which will enable volunteers and young people in particular to creatively explore Poole’s maritime history and play a key role in sharing this integral part of the area’s heritage at the Poole Maritime Festival.”

About Valise Noire

Valise Noire is a collaboration between Michele O'Brien and Hazel Evans, who have previously collaborated to produce 'Poppy Fields', a Heritage Lottery supported project to commemorate the First World War, and 'The Girl and the Shoes’ a modern fairy-tale that has enthralled audiences young and old. The outreach of their work together includes workshops in a vast range of schools, community organisations, museums and arts centres across Dorset.
Michele combines experience in theatre, dance, storytelling, pre-school, choreography and directing. She brings history to life through characters that educate and challenge audiences. She is an Associate Artist for Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival and is currently working with the National Trust at several properties including a newly commissioned pieces on William John Bankes at Kingston Lacy House and stories of King John at Corfe Castle.

Hazel is Associate Artist at Lighthouse Poole. Her work is inspired by the play between the inner and outer landscapes of the body, mind, soul and environment. As a multi-disciplinary artist she uses illustration, writing, performance and her voice to interpret multidimensional landscapes taking the spectator on a journey, with an invitation to meet a part of themselves. Hazel's work includes artistic direction, exhibition curating, project management, workshop facilitation, working with arts organisations in UK and Europe, schools, community groups.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Michele O'Brien and Hazel Evans at Valise Noire on 07977 969 080