Swimming Rachel Bollen

Star & Shadow Cinema Micro Projects Commissions 

We are very pleased to announce that in June 2020 we received an Arts Council of England (ACE) Emergency Fund grant of £34,569 to help support us through the COVID-19 crisis. This went towards setting up a Micro Projects Commissioning Fund for our volunteers, covering some of our overhead costs and providing a broader programme of practical volunteer support. 

When the COVID-19 virus arrived in early 2020 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 year. 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 first lockdown started in March 2020 we adapted very quickly, creating our online 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 enabled us to build on this and we were able to commission 37 Micro projects of £500 each; these were mostly short term projects that were undertaken by volunteers during the first lockdown and aimed to be completed by 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. 

Many of the projects have been completed and we’re very excited to share them here! However some have been delayed due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, so please check back, as we will continue to share them as they become available. 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

The Micro Projects recipients are:

Jona Aal, Rachel Bollen, Deborah Bower, Nick Brodin, Canny Little Library, Susie Davies, Lindsay Duncanson, Mat Fleming, Lukas Alexander Gabrysch & Dulcie Mae Goldsbury, Marek Gabrysch, Laura Hague, Graeme Hopper, Gillie Kleiman, Dawn Felicia Knox, Edwin Li (with Sarah Li & Petra Szeman), Sarah Li (with Bex Harvey), Jenni McDermott, Carmel McGrath, Michael McHugh, Maxine Mallon, Leah Millar, Rosie Morris, Adrin Neatrour, Arto Polus, Chantelle Robinson, Lesley Runham, Janina Sabaliauskaite, Sneha Solanki, Hedley Sugar-Wells, Yilis del Carmen Suriel, Kate Sweeney, Sophie Taylor, Georgia Turnbull, Dan Wallder, Josephine Walker, Christo Wallers and Andrew Wilson.