By Peter Devine
LIVERPOOL is building massively on its cultural ambitions with the launch of a community initiative during the Eurovision Song Contest next month
In an effort to spread the magic across the city region, a total of 63 projects have been announced and supported by grants of up to £2,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in collaboration with Culture Liverpool and Liverpool City Council. The areas include Wirral, Sefton, St Helen’s and Knowsley.
There will be a whole host of projects from a Ukrainian themed sing-along sew-along music workshop for young people, inspired by artists of African-Ukrainian heritage, and a series of short films about the Ukrainian community in Liverpool, as well as a cooking day and recipe book delivered by Knowsley Food Bank in partnership with Ukrainian chefs.
With Liverpool being one of the UK’s most multicultural cities and home to Britain’s oldest African community and Europe’s largest Chinese community, many other cultures will also be spotlighted.
Polish Migrants Organise for Change will be putting on cabaret style performance workshops and a public event for Liverpool’s migrant communities; Pagoda Youth Orchestra will mark their 40th anniversary with a celebration inspired by the Chinese diaspora in Europe; and a Song for Europe extravaganza delivered by the Greek School of St Nicholas, will see children singing national pop songs in their heritage language including Polish, Romanian, Spanish, French, Greek and Irish.
Other highlights include:
- A Eurovision Hip Hop Block Party include a breakdancing competition, DJs, beatboxers, and graffiti art.
- Hairdressing and nail art classes for young people inspired by Eurovision styles through the decades delivered by Brook Community Training Ltd.
- Eurovision inspired music and movement workshops for care home residents delivered by Holistic Harmonies.
- Music workshops and live performances at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Eilish McGuinness, chief executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“We’re incredibly excited to see all of these amazing ideas come to life and make Eurovision 2023 a party that won’t be forgotten!
“Eurovision has a long history of bringing communities from across the continent together and we’re delighted to be supporting this dazzling programme as part of 2023’s event in Liverpool, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
“It’s been fantastic to see the energy and enthusiasm of people and communities across the whole of the Liverpool City Region in coming up with the fantastic activities that EuroGrants will make possible. Liverpool is home to a wealth of heritage from many different cultures and beliefs and this collection of projects highlights and celebrates the city region’s diversity.”
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool said: “We were inundated with so many amazing ideas, making it really difficult for us to decide which projects to take forward. We never fail to be impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity of community groups and grassroots organisations in Liverpool City Region and once again they have outdone themselves.
“I think the successful projects reflect a good cross-section of the region. Ukraine is at the heart of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest so it was important to ensure their culture is represented but Liverpool is known the world over for being a cultural melting pot with centuries of immigration having shaped the culture and communities of the city and surrounding boroughs. The chosen projects highlight different cultures, religious beliefs, food and languages. There truly is something for everyone.
“Along with EuroLearn and EuroStreet, EuroGrant has been designed to ensure everybody in the region has a piece of the Eurovision pie. But that’s not all. We are still in the process of shortlisting successful school projects supported by Spirit of 2012 so watch this space.”
For more information head to the Visit Liverpool website.