A new Community Engagement Programme was launched at the Charterhouse in Summer 2019, as part of our Beautification and Refreshment of the Great Chamber, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The aim of the programme is to reach diverse young audiences (18-30’s) and older people in the local area, who were not previously aware of the Charterhouse.
The Charterhouse is full of stories and we have been using the beautifully restored Great Chamber and its portraits to tell these stories. We have been engaging with our Communities, including the new Charterhouse Young Community – in a programme of creative workshops. These communities have, in turn, been telling us their stories and together we have been creating a Soundscape featuring voices and music from the past and present – capturing our living history. We adapted our plans in response to Covid-19 and created a new online Community Engagement programme.
Older Community projects & partners
We were joined by Age UK Islington, Claremont Project, North London Cares and BlindAid for a series of workshops before and during lockdown, which included a tactile tour of our Chapel, Creative Writing Masterclasses and online art workshops with ‘PomegranART.’
There was a storytelling workshop with ‘take stock exchange’ in our Great Chamber on the theme of Home and a Christmas Carol Concert in our Chapel with the Claremont Singers.
We celebrated the first National Day of Arts in Care Homes in September 2019 with a poetry reading session for our Brothers and Charterhouse Infirmary residents.
Silver Sunday in October 2020 was marked with an Age UK Islington portrait Zoom workshop, where we made frames for our faces and answered the question Who Are We? You will hear the voices of our older community members when you listen to our Soundscape.
The Charterhouse Young Community
We brought two Young Audiences Creators (Interns) on board to help us build a Charterhouse Young Community. Ruth & Eliana engaged 18-30’s in a series of online workshops, including Halloween Meet & Greet, The Legacy We Leave & Charterhouse Pub Quiz, a Cook-along and Creative Writing Masterclass on the theme of Home. We now have a Charterhouse Young Community Facebook page & Ruth & Eliana were regular contributors to our Charterhouse Social media and Blog posts.
They have played a key role in our Soundscape. It is thanks to them that we have music by students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and The Guildhall School of Music & Drama featured on our Soundscape.
Ruth & Eliana also helped to form a collaboration with The Poetry Society, who delivered Zoom poetry workshops for Charterhouse, with their young poets. The workshops were themed ‘Ruffs & Rituals’ and paid close attention to the costumes & fashions displayed in our Great Chamber portraits. The content from these workshops plays an integral part in our Soundscape.
Introducing our Great Chamber Soundscape – an aural journey around a room, its history and its relevance today:
Our Soundscape takes you on a journey through the Great Chamber at the Charterhouse, using our 3D tour as a framework. It is not meant to be a replica of the original 3D tour but rather an immersive, candlelight experience. You can click on 16 different Points of Interest as you travel through time and listen to the voices of our ancient Governors, and individuals from local communities who have attended our recent workshops and events. (Best experienced with headphones!)
Huge thanks for your involvement in this Soundscape:
Caleb Parkin – Freelancer for Poetry Society – Bristol City Poet
Thanks also to Charterhouse Brothers Rakesh & Brian for taking part in these workshops and telling the group about daily life & rituals at the Charterhouse.
Charterhouse Community Engagement Volunteers:
Mat Dobson & team – BYO
Kevin Carter – CHD Works
Charterhouse Young Community:
Guildhall School of Music and Drama – String Trio:
Violin: Gwyneth Nelmes
Viola: Isobel Doncaster
Cello: Jonah Spindel
Harp and Composition: Rebecca Morée Galian
Cello: Rebecca Burden
Flute: Maisie Whiteman
Guitar: Luke Tyrrell
Voice: Polly Green
Mandora: Chris Hirst