Swimming Rachel Bollen

Star & Shadow Cinema Micro Projects Commissions 

Star & Shadow Cinema Cooperative are very pleased to announce that this summer we received an Arts Council of England (ACE) Emergency Fund grant of £34,569 towards setting up a Micro Projects Commissioning Fund for our volunteers, part cover some of our overhead costs and provide a broader programme of practical volunteer support. 

When the COVID-19 virus arrived earlier this year and the subsequent lockdowns started to bite many of our volunteers lost, not just work, but also the vital creative bonds and networks that keep us all happy and healthy. Like many other cultural venues, pubs, clubs and social centres we’ve lost all of our income from our bar, cafe, ticket sales and venue hire.

The Star & Shadow is completely volunteer run and we have nearly 1000 active members who help keep the cooperative running. Outside of Star & Shadow many work freelance and part time in the creative and cultural sectors, many in service industries that have been forced to close over the last 8 months. A lot of volunteers are single, live on their own and experience isolation. When the pandemic hit, it was important for us to support our community in whatever ways we could, including providing volunteers with the opportunity to lead on and provide financial support for them to produce their own creative projects and help realise new ideas. 

When the lockdown started in March we adapted very quickly, creating our radio and streaming platforms, moving our programming and meetings online and making the building safe and accessible for small numbers of volunteers to work in the venue whilst it has been closed to the public.

The ACE award has enabled us to build on this and we have currently commissioned 37 Micro projects to be delivered by volunteers and completed before the end of the year. The commissions represent the healthy diversity of our volunteers with projects from all ages, backgrounds and genders.  Amongst the commissions we’ve got creative projects that are both online and in some cases in person; gardening projects, community interventions on our doorstep, films, sound, music, radio series, documentary, photography, print, zines and physical transformations of the building. 

The projects are all happening now and we’re very excited! We’ll be sharing them over the coming months. We’re grateful to Arts Council of England for supporting this and also to our members, volunteers and audiences over the last 8 months. We’ve always been a resilient and adaptable organisation of people and the Star & Shadow will come out of this stronger than ever.

Star & Shadow Cinema Cooperative