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Arts charity wins £65k Heritage Lottery Fund for BHM project

A LEICESTER-based arts charity has been awarded £64,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to document and commemorate the 30th anniversary of Black History Month (BHM) in the city next year.

Led by Serendipity with the support of local volunteers the project, Lost Legends, 30 Years of BHM in Leicester, aims to celebrate and record the achievements and contributions of Leicester’s African and African Caribbean community to the cultural heritage of the UK over the last three decades, culminating in an exhibition, website and digital directory of past contributors and their contribution to BHM.

The project will enable trailblazers to share their stories, with road show events taking place in October 2016 at Newarke Houses Museum and Gardens and the African Caribbean Centre for those interested in getting involved to come along and find out more. The roadshow events will also be an opportunity for people to bring along posters, brochures, leaflets, photographs and any other objects they might have saved from previous Black History Month programmes, which will be digitised for preservation. Lost Legends will document local social history, providing a legacy for current and future generations.

Serendipity is a local arts charity with the specific aim of bringing diversity to the forefront; nurturing emerging artists and showcasing the quality of culturally diverse work. The organisation has also curated the Black History Month programme in Leicester for the last 4 years, with funding from Leicester City Council.

Commenting on the award, Pawlet Brookes, artistic director of Serendipity said: “We are thrilled to have the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Lost Legends and are excited to start work on a project that recognises local trailblazers that have helped to shape Leicester and the UK’s cultural heritage.

"Leicester has held Black History Month celebrations since 1987, and it’s important to preserve these memories before they are lost.”

Sarah Levitt, Leicester’s head of arts and museums added: “It's wonderful that Serendipity has been successful in applying for this award. It will enable many local people to share and feel proud of our city’s rich modern history”.

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