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Corn Exchange and Newbury College collaborate with theatre and film makers to explore the idea of work.

Corn Exchange Newbury, along with 39 other arts centres across the country, has taken part in Here and Now, a national and local celebration of culture within communities supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres, to mark the National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

For this artist-led project, award-winning theatre maker Caroline Horton and filmmaker Rachel Bunce worked with students from Newbury College to present The Museum of Listening (The Work Edition), an exploration of work and careers. It was originally conceived as a live performance combined with film and an installation but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the project was adapted to be delivered online with a film created to share virtually.

In November 2020 the six students collaborated with Caroline Horton and Rachel Bunce to create a film that explored the theme of work, asking what it means to work and what it might be like to live without it. Through a series of digital workshops that took place, the students developed their interview and technical skills before gathering lived experiences and recording home-filmed testimonials from one another, staff members and their families. The young people involved are studying a wide range of vocational programmes at the college including foundation learning, film studies, art and creative media, and the project formed part of their work experience.

The footage was self-filmed by the students and has been edited by Caroline and Rachel to create a final film which will be shared in a private online screening on Wednesday 27 January and will then be available on the Corn Exchange website until the end of February.

Steve Greenwood, Head of Learning, Technology & Employer Engagement at Newbury College, said,
‘At the College we are very excited to see the results and culmination of five months' hard work by the students. In this most difficult time for young people, partnerships like this one with the Corn Exchange Newbury show how businesses and young people can work together, build a sense of community and raise aspirations. It is vitally important that young people have opportunities such as this to further their careers, regardless of their needs, and to feel that the future for them is a bright one.

This film with its focus on work and careers has a dual purpose - it allows our student voices to be heard and to be part of a wider conversation with businesses that will open future partnerships. We pride ourselves on being a college that focuses on Careers not Courses and this is true to our vision.

I would also like to thank the professionalism and the dedication of the Corn Exchange and Newbury College staff teams. This has enabled the imagination, creativity and insight of the directors and students to be seen, and I am sure we will see this in the exciting premiere online.’

Corn Exchange Newbury director, Katy Griffiths, said,
‘It was fantastic to work with students from Newbury College and we were thrilled to have Caroline Horton and Rachel Bunce curating the project. Enabling them to share their expertise with these young people has resulted in this reflective film that represents the experiences of the participants over the last year whilst also equipping them with new skills for the future.’

Caroline Horton said,
‘The participants were amazing, despite all the change going on around them, the huge disruption to their education and the restrictions on their activities. Rachel and I were particularly grateful for the personal and thoughtful accounts people offered and – of course – for the moments of humour. We’re so glad that even in this challenging and uncertain time we were able to collaborate with some inspiring young people on the project. We hope that work – and everything else in their lives – starts to feel less unsettled soon.’

An insightful and reflective film using real-life testimonials to explore the importance of work in our lives, The Museum of Listening (The Work Edition) will be available to watch on our website from Thursday 28 January until the end of February. You can find out more about Here and Now via, or on social media @HereandNow2020.