I came across this wonderful initiative called State of Trust, a charitable project set up State of Emergency, a performance and production company established in 1986 with a wide network of artists and a proven track record of delivering high quality work.
State of Trust was launched to address social need, provide education, and support community cohesion through arts activity. Their projects include literacy for hard-to-reach young people, inclusive dance and movement practice, and an historic archiving initiative.
I caught up with Steve Marshall, who founded State of Emergency with Deborah Baddoo. Steve is a Grammy-nominated English singer and producer who’s worked and studied with artists around the world, including Clifford Jarvis, Nigerian percussionists Jimmy Scott and Sonny Akpan, and reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry. Deborah Baddoo MBE is a performer and choreographer in the fields of jazz and African contemporary dance. She was awarded an MBE for services to British dance in 2010, in recognition of her work supporting the development of new choreographers.
Tell us about your project?
Remembering Windrush, our unique music and dance project featuring a collective of renowned international artists, was all set to tour the UK from May 2020. Presenting live music at key venues, alongside a programme of African-Caribbean dance and music workshops in schools and colleges. All that changed with Covid and so we went ahead with a special online production entitled Windrush Hour 2020.
There are loads to discover on our website at https://www.stateoftrust.net/windrush-hour including live performance films and Zoom panels featuring renowned British and Caribbean artists discussing the influence of the Windrush Generation and their descendants on UK society and culture.
How have you engaged the public with your project, what feedback have you had?
In 2020, Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns meant we engaged the public through online content including film, live webinars, online classes, website experiences, a gallery, and downloadable resources. We had an enormous response, it was very successful.
Who engaged with your project the most?
We developed an online audience for ‘Remembering Windrush’ with support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Church Urban Fund and PRS for Music Foundation’s Open Fund. We reached almost 100,000 people including young people, with our online audience evenly spread between the UK and the Caribbean, particularly London, Bristol, Kingston and Spanish Town in Jamaica and Bridgetown in Barbados.
Why is Windrush Day important?
It helps to raise awareness of the positive side.
Why should we all be recognising Windrush Day?
Because of the enormous contribution made by the Windrush Generation and their descendants to UK society and culture.
What does Windrush Day mean to you?
It’s a celebration of that contribution and a memorial to the sacrifices the Windrush Generation made.
How are you celebrating Windrush Day this year?
We’re giving a talk online on 22 June and through the year we plan to provide music and dance workshops in schools and colleges, tour a special music roadshow featuring key Caribbean and jazz musicians, present live webinar events covering a variety of themes linked to Windrush, and offer online presentations, including classes and tips for aspiring artists.
How can people get involved and support the project?
Please come to one of our roadshow events! They’ll be on from 4 October 2021 to 3 April 2022, dates to be confirmed.
We’ll definitely be heading to a roadshow so see you there! Find out more at www.stateoftrust.net and follow @windrushhour on Instagram for updates