Don’t Settle Programmes empower young People of Colour from Birmingham and the Black Country to change the voice of heritage through the arts, research, and governance.
The curator programme interrogates the relationships between the heritage sector and young People of Colour. It is a development programme that supports young People of Colour in unearthing hidden narratives. Involvement in the programmes gives them the opportunity to develop creative skills and co-design with our partner’s to make changes that are valuable, meaningful and long-lasting.
‘Learning with Grandad’, is a short animation series detailing the adventures of Sipho and his Grandad, Pedro, on their visit to heritage sites.
The project is a creative response to cultural artefacts donated by Helen Caddick now housed at Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery. We Don’t Settle has co-produced the series with young people, Edward Williams and Sanne Chiza Blanco, who have used their storytelling abilities to collaborate with animator Gabriela Bran. The programme was made in partnership with Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery and Multistory.
Reimagining So-ho house – In partnership with Birmingham Museums’, our curators reinterpreted Soho House in Handsworth, making permanent changes to the objects and interpretation of the house.
They centred on the theme of innovation, acknowledging the ways the property has been utilised by its custodians, celebrating the innovation of local business, and including wider stories of migration in the area.
Along with our partner Birmingham Museums Trust, The Curators launched an all-day event consisting of two components:
– A live performance tour of Soho House with an actor playing Matthew Boulton trying to persuade you to invest in his steam engine.
– Outside were a series of stalls with activities that highlighted the dubious world of modern material and production processes, such as ethical makeup and recycling.
Stories of Smethwick – In this Program, our young people worked with our partners Chance Heritage Trust to create an installation piece that communicated the history of Chance. It invited audiences to reflect on the present and consulted with the community on the future of both Chance and Smethwick.
Given the Chance – An installation piece with a live reenactment of the experience of the race riots in Smethwick during the 1960s
The ‘Black is Beautiful. Blackness without Apology’ exhibition at Aston Hall was produced by our curators as part of the Orange is in Season programme.
The exhibition aimed to reinterpret Sarah Newton’s (who owned enslaved people) dressing room into a modern Black girl’s bedroom. The event launching the exhibition was an overwhelming success, featuring local Black-owned businesses, poetry and a panel discussion between inspiring Black women.
Birmingham By Night – Birmingham By Night exhibition focused on the perception of Birmingham’s night shift workers from the late Victorian period to the present day. The exhibition launched alongside the Pens 2 Paper project in one internal event at Roundhouse Birmingham. The event featured poetry and speeches from the curators and partners.
The second curated project with The Roundhouse Birmingham was Pens to Paper which focused on creating a non-traditional guidebook. Titled “Herstory of Birmingham”, it aimed to highlight the women who played an important role in Birmingham’s rich and diverse history.
The ‘We Are Birmingham’ programme was created by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery in partnership with We Don’t Settle to redisplay the museum’s iconic Round Room.
A team of six wonderful young Women of Colour-Lauren Vidal, Justine Luaba, Kiran Samra, Masharah Powell, Gabriella Songui, and Olivia Agbe – worked together to define what it means to be from Birmingham and portray this in the artwork.
My Voice My Path’ is a Black heritage audio tour of Ladywood, Birmingham. The tour is produced in partnership with Roundhouse Birmingham, with contributions from Black Heritage Walks Network.
The audio tour takes listeners on a walk around Ladywood, with a particular focus on Black-centred spaces & businesses there. The tour will not only be an educational tool, but it will preserve Black history and promote Black spaces for present and future generations.
We partnered with Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery and Multistory to creatively respond to the narratives surrounding objects connected to communities of colour in the museum’s collection and to interrogate an object’s journey/life with the museum. This has been co-designed by two young people Edward and Sanne who worked with Animator Gabriela Bran to interpret the story of the objects by creating a short animation series called Learn with Grandpa and each episode aims to interrogate an artefacts’ journey and life with a heritage site.
The Youth are the future…. that’s how the old saying goes. However we at We Don’t Settle and The Museum of Youth Culture think a little differently. To us, the youth are as much a part of the past and present as they are the future. Bringing together ten young people, we commissioned each of them to collect stories about the city’s youth heritage. Together they paint a picture of Birmingham’s rich shared cultural history.