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> > > Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!
photo of two actors from Fittings who are kneeling in front of two small tables and have shoes on their hands

Master Juba told a forgotten part of Black History and its role in the development of contemporary dance. Photo © Fittings

Liverpool based Arts Company Fittings Multimedia Arts have received very welcome news this week as their application for funding to support a two-year project working with young people across the North and Midlands has been approved by Arts Council England.

Missing! is a two-stage project, the first part beginning this year, that explores the themes of identity, media and going missing. Working in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, East and West Midlands with groups of young people - focusing on reaching deaf and disabled and socially excluded groups - workshops with Musicians, Performers, Digital Artists, Dancers and Hip-Hop Artists will explore the story of William Henry Lane (aka ‘Master Juba’) who toured the Midlands and the North dancing in the 19th century. 

The initial workshops will create digital and online content including video, blogs, music and interactive games. In the second year this research and content will be transformed into a brand new piece of deaf-friendly musical theatre that will tour the UK, returning to the schools, youth groups and community groups who helped create it.

The project has been enabled by the welcome receipt of funding from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund that exists to ensure that more people across the UK can experience the arts, especially in areas where there are few dedicated arts spaces.

Fittings Artistic Director, Garry Robson, said:

"We are all extremely pleased with this funding announcement that will make the Missing! project happen. The project has been in the planning stages for the last two years and is a long-awaited development of our Master Juba touring performance that was developed initially as a street theatre show and then for Black History Month in 2012. 

Juba had to travel to find his identity and somewhere along the way got lost. Searching for their identity is a major factor in many young people’s lives and sadly along the way many of them go missing. 

This new show will be driven by the young people’s lives and experiences and will have a major impact on the look and feel of the final Missing! show."

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Director North, Arts Council England said: 

"Digital development and distribution is very important to the arts and cultural sector and this is a fascinating project bringing together live and online work, providing access to remote parts of the country and to young people who can’t easily engage with the arts. I look forward to seeing how the project develops.”

Workshops will begin to take place in September of this year with online content appearing from October. The public will be able to interact directly with the project and share their own thoughts and feelings with the participants and creators.

For further information about Fittings Multimedia Arts please click on this link to visit their website.