‘Fab Four’ are first heritage project practitioners

Get to know the first 'crop' of artists who have joined the Heritage Accelerator for Corby.
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A University of Northampton (UON) project to support heritage in Corby and local artists is proceeding to plan with the appointment of its first practitioners.

The Heritage Accelerator supports practitioners in Corby and surrounding areas to deliver heritage-related, hands-on educational projects for children and young people, such as the history of Corby or its built and natural environment.

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The Accelerator – backed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – is informed by UON partner University of Bedfordshire following their successful project in Luton.

The 'Fab Four' of Corby Heritage Accelerator practitionersThe 'Fab Four' of Corby Heritage Accelerator practitioners
The 'Fab Four' of Corby Heritage Accelerator practitioners

The first ‘crop’ of practitioners to join the project have backgrounds in book art and jewellery, textiles, poetry, and pottery. Supported by the Heritage Accelerator, they will spend the next few months researching and developing their ideas, linking with other heritage organisations, and developing how they will collaborate with each other.

They will also have training opportunities, including with Historic England and schools in the area to help them develop local history projects. Clockwise from top left in the photo, they are:

Lisa Lovett-Igo – a graduate of UON’s Primary Education degree – is a pottery sculptor and portrait artist. She says: “After the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the arts are needed more than ever. Arts are tools to connect communities, creates studio spaces in community venues to provide a space for important conversations to happen.

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“I am thrilled to join the Corby Heritage Accelerator to explore the heritage aspects of community-led practice. Although it’s still early days, I would like to start a ‘Corby Room 13’ to research how arts and heritage impact learning with me as Resident Artist across Corby schools.”

Chuck Middleton is a stand-up artist, poet and podcaster and adds: “People may already be familiar with me as I perform under the name of Chuck the Poet. But I certainly don’t see poetry as ‘disposable’ as I’m as passionate about that as I am about Corby.

“As a member of the Heritage Accelerator I want to gather data and create a buzz about the history of Corby and its future for those in the town now and those who are yet to arrive.”

Phiona Richards is a visual storyteller and maker of books and jewellery whose work has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally. She says: “Joining the Heritage Accelerator is something that aligns strongly with what I believe and what I do. I’m involved with projects which include contemporary arts education, wellbeing/mindful workshops, and heritage crafts.

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“My passion has propelled me to develop ways of working that empower people to reach their full potential by using art and craft techniques. With the Heritage Accelerator, I hope to take more people in and around Corby on the same journey.”

Carole Miles is an artist who has worked across several disciplines, including digital imagery, printmaking, site-specific temporary installations, and textiles. She says: “I am a socially engaged artist and enjoy working in schools and community settings. I have a long track record of designing and delivering creative wellbeing projects.

“Both as a practicing artist and as an artist working with people, I am committed to offering creative experiences that leave a real legacy. History and culture are more than dry texts on dusty shelves, by studying the past we can inspire the young, helping them to dream up vibrant solutions to present day problems or work towards future innovations. The Corby Heritage Accelerator will help me open doors and start creative conversations.”

Corby’s Heritage Accelerator runs alongside a Heritage Skills Hub for the county. This will bring together the heritage and education sectors to develop skills and forge new partnerships.

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For more about the Heritage Accelerator and Heritage Skills Hub, please email the team: [email protected]

Follow conversations and updates about the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire Heritage Skills Hubs on their Twitter account: @heritageUONUoB

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