A hidden gem in the heart of the city. In the midst of urban development, and the heart of Leicester City Centre, sits a grade 1 listed medieval church which ArtReach transformed into a hive of cultural activity. Thanks to a partnership between ArtReach and the Churches Conservation Trust, All Saints Church, which is located on Highcross Street, just behind Highcross shopping centre, is centre stage for a wealth of arts projects and activities.
Maddie Smart, Executive Producer for ArtReach explained the first project in the church. “Working in collaboration with the Y-Theatre, and thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, the first project in All Saints Church, Sanctuaries, worked with a group of young people to explore local historical sites of sanctuary. Then, with professional artists, they developed their findings into performances, installations and exhibitions all led and created by the young participants. We also had Heritage Lottery funding to further explore the history of the church and to create a sound installation reflecting that history as part of Journeys Festival International in August 2019.”
Sanctuaries: Looking for Safe Spaces was funded by Y Heritage through the national Kick The Dust programme.
For this project ArtReach worked alongside an amazing group of young people from Leicester Y and Attenborough Arts centre, matching them with some incredible creatives, towards producing a series of immersive installations in the church as part of Refugee Week 2019.
Throughout this project we sought out heritage venues in Leicester with a link to the history of Sanctuary. We learned about the concept of Sanctuary itself and shared ideas about what makes a place a sanctuary for us as individuals. Then, in the final stage, we built the young people’s Real and Imagined Safe Spaces in the Church and shared their vision with the public.
See more from the project in the film below.