At a recent visit to St Mary's Convent, the young adults involved with ATHAC came to present their work from the Inner City in a suitcase project to the community. One of the suitcases was based on the history of St Mary's.
Project Manager Carol Reid discusses the project:
ATHAC CIC works with young people and adults with neurodiverse needs (including Autism and ADHD) and learning disabilities and differences to access heritage, arts and culture in creative ways and to provide opportunities for these people to realise their potential as artists, makers and contributors.
Using the no. 8 inner city circular bus route as inspiration we identified four different stops along the route of people and spaces of historical significance. A local historian facilitated guided exploration of each specific area where the young people explored the location as they gained a deeper understanding of each area of heritage.
- A Grade II listed building (St Mary’s Convent, Hockley)
- Historic green space (Small Heath Park)
- A heritage-rich reservoir with a story linked to a commemorative statue (Edgbaston Reservoir and Charles Blondin statue, Ladywood).
- Five Ways Circus Ladywood
This mini-project, worked with 3 artists to design each suitcase to tell each story, empowering and engaging the young people in the production of each case. The suitcases are being shared across Ladywood with local community groups. A gallery exhibition is planned at The Hive in the Jewellery Quarter during Birmingham Heritage Week.
It was a meaningful experience where all the young people gained skills in research, communication and creativity whilst creating a sense of pride through their collective efforts in their modelled suitcases.