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The Archive offers a display of 40-plus years of cultural history. Who did what, why, when and to what effect. More than an absorbing archive: also a do-it-yourself kit to contribute to future cultural initiatives; covering events created by the Black-E as well as the work of visiting artists.

The Education For All Show - June 1970
Education For All was the third of the Blackie's participatory theatre shows. It was commissioned jointly by St Helen's Council through its Education Department and North West Arts.  It celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1870 Education Act. Preparations for the Show started with research - all possible participants were provided with a Reading List much of which was compulsory. ( The Reading List can be accessed by clicking here). So by the time the show was being created those working on it had a clear idea of how  governments and educationalists saw the purposes of education and  the differences within these visions. The Idea The Show would be in two parts - part one was a model of the education system.  Part two was a model of the world of work. As with all the Blackie participatory shows there was a central bureaucracy.  This welcomed people as they arrived - provided score sheets - provided certificates - ensured that participants were in the right place. In addition there were those who supervised the various processes and, as necessary,  acted as anything from social workers to a police force. How It Worked The Education System within the Show was based on people's ability to balance and the speed at which they could fulfill the tasks.   Based on the statistics of the time a system was created which mirrored how the education worked and fulfilled the practical needs of the show. Each performance had limit of 60 participants of these:-  30 people would leave the education system without gaining any qualifications 30  would go on to get try to get a 1st degree certificates  (kind of the equivalent of 'O' Levels) 22 would pass and get a 1st degree certificate. 11 would gain  qualify for a 2nd degree certificate 8 would gain a 2nd degree certificate 4 would pass to go on to the equivalent of University (1 in the 4 would 'drop out')   Left a sample of a Certificate of Excellence.  The colour of the stars varied depending on the level of the degree achieved.     Participants were tested by a series of games which ranged from the easy to very difficult. Below are some of these games in process:- Game 1 Progress along a string on the floor.  Participants were invited to hop along the string as fast as they could.    Above and right participants  hopping along a string which is calibrated.  This was the simplest game played.  Participants were scored on how far they got before losing contact with the string, time they took and style. Game 2  With board on head follow the string along a wall by touching it. You lost points if you lost contact with the string or lost your board. Game 3 There were two obstacle courses one was a course over boxes covered with cups where you had to avoid touching the cups. You lost points if you touched a cup or lost your board.   Game 5 This was an obstacle course amongst piles of books.  You had to avoid touching the books.  Below is the best photograph we have of this activity.    Game 6 Progressing along a string on the floor with a board on head and picking up cups placed alongside the string.     You lost points if you touched the floor, lost contact with the string or dropped or missed a cup.  Read More
20-09-2017 1 week 4 days ago
African Connexions - 1992 -1998 02-12-2017 1 week 4 days ago
African Connexions - The Batiks 02-12-2017 1 week 4 days ago
The Education For All Show - The Reading List - June 1970
Reading List for Education For All   1870 Education Act* 1944 Education Act* Half Our Future by Sir John Newsham* Read More
22-11-2017 2 weeks 3 days ago
(13) Still Crazy After All These Years - Summer/Autumn Winter '81 Spring '82 27-10-2017 2 weeks 5 days ago
Black Dance In Britain - 23 August 1993
Left is the flye Read More
17-11-2017 2 weeks 5 days ago
Magic In The Parks - August/Sept. 1970
Please note that unlike most parts of this archive, photos on this page do not necessarily enlarge as they are, in some cases, screen grabs from a DVD of a film and do not therefore have a level of quality which allows for succesful enlargement.   Read More
22-07-2017 4 weeks 1 day ago
Community Arts In Great Britain By Rufus Harris 01-11-2017 6 weeks 1 day ago
Edward Murphy OBE
Ed Murphy friend, supporter, volunteer and Chair of the Trustees from   ?? to his death in October 2016. As can be seen from the obituary below much of Ed's life took place in meetings and offices but reviewing our Photographic Archive it can be seen that he took part in or attended numerous events at the Blackie, particularly in the days when his work load was less. Read More
16-10-2017 6 weeks 1 day ago
(04) Play Is A Revolutionary Activity - Summer 1970 18-06-2016 6 weeks 6 days ago
“Familiar Territory” January/February 1989
The theme of home life - the domestic scene - was interpreted by artists from around the country and featured a range of textile works from soft sculpture and 3D weaving to fabric collage and embroideries. The Artists and Their Works: Read More
27-08-2012 5 years 5 weeks ago
“Wear-With-All” March/April 1989 27-08-2012 5 years 5 weeks ago

Here we provide various ways to view, organise and filter items and events that can be found in the Archive.

Click on "Introduction" to read about the kinds of things archived in that section of the site.

Click on "Recent Updates" to view archive items ordered by the date they were added to the Archive or by when content was updated.

Click on "Alphabetical List" to sort the list of items alphabetically.

As you navigate through the site by selecting from the categories and sub-categories these lists will be filtered to contain items relevant only to that section of the site.

You may also filter the lists by using the filters provided to the right of the lists.

 

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