After a slightly strange couple of years finding ways to adapt our work, 2022 broadly saw a return to in-person delivery, though valuable learning from the pandemic years has now been brought into our projects (such as moving elements of Making Tracks projects online).
We’ve been busy in 2022, including:
- 12 Music in Prisons intensive projects
- 6 prison Musician in Residence placements
- 1 prison remote song-writing project
- 1 project in a secure unit
- Continuing use of our In Cell Learning Resource
- 1 Lullaby Project with dads in prison
- 3 Making Tracks projects
- 3 international training commissions in Chicago and Norway
- Our pilot Emerging Artists project in partnership with Drake Music got under way
- Special collaborative projects to celebrate 10 years of Sounding Out & Making Tracks
- Other Sounding Out activities included a creative project, online sessions, appearances on National Prison Radio, the Life After Prison podcast and at Trinity Laban’s CoLab Festival
Highlights of the year…
Lullaby Project documentary on BBC Radio 4: In January a beautiful documentary following the stories of three dads in prison working with us on our Lullaby Project collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ‘Resound’ was broadcast (and is still available to listen to on the ‘Seriously’ podcast stream here). As the prison Governor states in the documentary, “family bonding is one of the biggest things that will stop reoffending and returning to prison.”
Educator Award 2022: In March we were delighted that our musician Nick Hayes, who has been a vital member of the team since the start of ITT, was recognised with an Inspirational Educator Award 2022 in Music by the Worshipful Company of Educators. The judges noted they were “very impressed with the variety of innovative teaching methods he uses to enable prisoners and ex-offenders to access the thrill of music-making, and with his success in achieving remarkable musical and educational outcomes, within the unconventional and restricted regimes of the prison environment.
New office team members: we were delighted to welcome Joe Bibby as Finance & Operations Manager in July and Imogen Flower as Projects & Progression Coordinator in November.
Return of the prison pantomime project (oh yes it has, etc.): In December we were thrilled to reignite our partnership with Kestrel Theatre Company, creating a new pantomime with live original music with dads in prison to perform to the families; a truly joyful end to the year.
Celebrating a decade of Sounding Out and Making Tracks: In the summer we began collaborative projects to mark the joint 10 year anniversaries of our community programmes, which included showcase films by Inside Job Productions and writing new music together, culminating in a special live show at Rich Mix, which was made available to all via livestream
“I can’t emphasise enough how forgotten from society one can feel from the rest, on this side of the wall, but projects like this one, and wonderful, genuine, kind-hearted people like yourselves to facilitate it, create positive and life-changing experiences. You are special people, a real example of humanity,” Music in Prisons participant
We have lots in store for 2023, including a showcase performance for our Emerging Artists programme – get it in your diaries now: Thursday 20th April, 7pm, at Rich Mix, East London.
It’s been a challenging time for everyone, with the financial impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, leading to a particularly uncertain time for small charities like us. If you have the means to support us, please do! Find out how to help here.