Annie Griffiths on her Artist Respond Award
Choir leader Annie Griffiths updates us on the grant she received in 2021 which has supported the 'SCONE Steampunk Choir of Notorious Excellence' to emerge for Lockdown self sufficient and more inclusive than ever before.
Since Lockdown ended, I have used the grant to restart and re-invigorate the Steampunk Choir. The grant has enabled me to:
- Rent a 100% accessible venue for the choir every week - enabling new members with mobility issues to join.
- Make sure that all music is available in all formats required for the differing needs of the members - including large print and digital formats.
- Source some items of “uniform” to make everyone feel part of a single, cohesive unit.
- Double the number of members, whilst remaining open and understanding to those with differing needs. We are now offering breathing therapies for those living with COPD and long Covid, as well as working with some new neurodivergent members on social and performing skills that have a very practical application in their lives outside choir.
The grant gave us the time to brainstorm some fundraising ideas, and I am happy to say that the choir is now 100% self-sufficient, and continues to work and offer singing and therapeutic opportunities to everyone who would like to join in the Greater Lincoln area.
I completed work on the album of pre-Covid recordings, although the choir are now sounding *so* good that they would like to record some new material! We have album artwork and mixing on the tracks already performed, and will hopefully be adding to the material to have a “before/after” type album that shows we are still singing, and refusing to be diminished!
We performed at the huge Lincoln “Welcome to the Asylum” festival this year (pictured above) to great acclamation! Without St. Hugh’s, we would not have managed this. Among the people pictured are those dealing with COPD, PTSD, paraplegia, ME, depression, Ankolysing Spondylitis, Anxiety and Fibromyalgia.
We are all so very grateful to St. Hugh’s for the opportunity that the grant gave us to carry on, and come back from Lockdown stronger, louder and advocating for so many of the invisible disabilities and problems that beset so many people in today’s society.