Corner Shop School and Community Project

Wolverhampton’s West Park Primary School has agreed to let Foursight through its doors again to do our next Education and Outreach project: The Corner Shop Project! We are delighted to be working with the school again, after such a fruitful beginning to our relationship with the Special Correspondence Club project earlier this year.

This will be a mirror project of Foursight and Black Country Touring’s The Corner Shop. Having tested the model in schools in Smethwick last year, this is a great opportunity for us to build on its successes in our own local community – in a school situated not only next to Foursight’s base on the Newhampton Arts Site, but which also, so I’m told, is the school closest to Wolverhampton’s town centre. That’ll save on coach hire: the children will be able to walk to see the production! Whatever helps the budget makes us happy!

The starting point will be the investigation of the lives of those both in front of and behind the counter of small family-run ‘corner’ shops. As with all our work, our aim is for the project to be largely steered and shaped by the imaginations and interests of those participating in it. Who knows where we’ll go and what we’ll experience!

We’re thrilled to have secured some funding from the Sir Barry Jackson Trust and the school itself, but are waiting to hear if we’ve been successful with other bids. Fingers crossed!

While we wait, I’ll be meeting with Wolverhampton City Archivists in their fabulous new building this week to discuss ways of working together on this project, as well as thinking about how I might make my first point of contact with the participating class prior to meeting them, to get them intrigued and excited. I’ll be going in and out of local shops, whetting shop-keepers appetites about the project, and probably having mine excited by the goods they sell.

When researching for last year’s Corner Shop Schools project, I discovered a wonderful Kurdish corner shop which sells Basra Date Syrup. This has now become a staple in my house! I look forward very much to many more unknown delights arriving in my cupboard, as well as getting to know the school and shopping community better through this project.

Lisa Harrison
Foursight’s Education and Outreach Co-ordinator


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