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Celebrating Black History Month - Part Two

18th October 2021

We're continuing to mark Black History Month by celebrating three more inspiring National Lottery funded projects that are making a difference within the Black community.

Black in Power

Black in Power podcast cover.
Black in Power podcast cover.

Black in Power is a podcast series that aims to demystify the roots into leadership roles, with a specific focus on arts and culture. The host, Koko Brown, talks to Artistic Directors, Executive Producers, Founders and Leaders about their journey, what they wish they had known, and what being a ‘leader’ means to them.

Throughout the ten episodes, Koko speaks to an incredible array of leaders with powerful stories to tell. Including theatre & films directors, dance specialists and music producers - to name a few!

Want to learn more about Koko and the Black in Power podcast? You can read her insightful interviews featured in Vanity Fair, The Stage, and Love London Love Culture.

The Black in Power podcast is available to listen to here and on all streaming platforms.

Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens

A poster about Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens.
Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens.

Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens is a one woman show celebrating the lives of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald & Nina Simone. This interactive adventure through history introduces children and their families to the greatest female jazz vocalists of the 20th century.

The show is written and performed by vocalist, storyteller, and educator Helen McDonald. She plays a fantasy jazz singer from the future who, together with her time travel chair, transports the audience back in time. Along the way, they also meet famous band leaders Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong and hear some of the best known standards from the Great American Songbook including ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do’, ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Strange Fruit’ and ‘My Baby Don’t Care’.

The show teaches us that in spite of adversity, discrimination and segregation, these icons rose to define Black history, civil rights and the future of music as we know it.

A National Lottery grant in March 2021 supported the development of promotional materials for the show including a website, a trailer, press pack, a live or live streamed preview performance and paid for the time promoting and gaining dates for a 2021 autumn/winter tour to London arts centres, libraries, schools & theatres.

Following the show being commissioned by Discover Children’s Story Centre in 2019, Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens has now been performed three times: at the Discover Children’s Story Centre, as part of the Black History Month programme in Dulwich and, most recently, at the Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club in London.

Discover more about the show by visiting their Instagram page.

The Centre for African Entrepreneurship

Two pictures with different people from The Centre for African Entrepreneurship.
The Centre for African Entrepreneurship.

The Centre for African Entrepreneurship (CAE) is a Swansea based organisation that tackles issues of inequality and poverty by empowering BAME communities to succeed through enterprise and employment. Their services cut across integration guidance and support for Refugees and Asylum seekers, providing holistic support for these and other marginalised groups, and they specialise in professional and personal development for these groups.

Their work includes,but is not limited to:

  • Housing and tenancy support particularly for groups at risk of homelessness
  • Transport services through the Community Transport Project
  • Food bank delivery services to the homes of beneficiaries
  • Employment support services, for example CV writing, Job Search and Application, Job Coaching and Interview Preparation
  • Entrepreneurship support, for example hosting bespoke workshops, providing one-to-one support and connect entrepreneurs with business networks and mentors
  • Wellbeing support offered by our mental health first-aid trained Caseworkers
  • Support for BAME ex-offenders, helping them reintegrate into society and develop personally and professionally
  • Advocacy work for typically underrepresented groups
  • Volunteering opportunities across all their work
Two pictures with different people from The Centre for African Entrepreneurship.
The Centre for African Entrepreneurship.

This year alone, the CAE has grown by over 250%, and they have provided over 1,700 one to one services. The growth they have experienced is a testament to how critical and beneficial their services are to the BAME communities in and around Swansea, and the CAE intends to continue bridging the gap on their behalf and ensure that they are empowered to succeed.

Visit the CAE’s website to find out more about what they do, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for a glimpse into their day-to-day activities.