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.

African Connexions - The Batiks
African Connexions was a project which explored the similarities between traditional African dances and contemporary social dances.  It led to 24 Batiks which were then exhibited. You will find a ful description of African Connexions under Dance (not yet available). The Batiks were made by Jan Green. Read More
02-12-2017 1 day 15 hours ago
African Connections - 1992 -1997 02-12-2017 1 day 17 hours ago
Merseyside Firsts - The Summer Tour-1989
Merseyside Firsts Summer Tour  The idea was an expansions from the 1986 playscheme 'Liverpool Firsts.'  In this instance the idea was to take young people on visits to places where there had been a Merseyside First and make a video illustrating  it. Read More
20-03-2018 2 days 18 hours ago
Liverpool Firsts - 1986
Intro The majority of Themed Playschemes have been written up specifically for the Archive Website. This is not the case with 'Liverpool Firsts'.  Below is a Report which was written at the time.   It is unaltered apart from the condensing of some of the statistical information which in the original runs to several pages. Read More
24-08-2016 3 days 18 hours ago
Black Dance In Britain - 23 August 1993
Left is the flye Read More
17-11-2017 1 week 3 days ago
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 15 weeks 5 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 16 weeks 4 days ago
(13) Still Crazy After All These Years - Summer/Autumn Winter '81 Spring '82 27-10-2017 17 weeks 14 hours 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 18 weeks 2 days ago
Community Arts In Great Britain By Rufus Harris 01-11-2017 20 weeks 2 days ago
Creating Hand Greetings
The players are invited to move around,  each time they meet another player they create hand-greeting repeating this three times until both partners are happy with the hand-greeting created. Both players must contribute equally to the greeting (that is, the greeting does not reveal one active player and one passive player). Read More
07-05-2015 2 years 45 weeks ago
Cultural Bingo - March 1970
"Bingo ...is a moronic activity" "......... the encouragement of large numbers of people to sit vacantly gaping at a numbered card in the usual vain expectation of totally undeserved reward is a questionable activity"  Lord goodman Chairman of The Arts  Council Cultural Bingo was a game invented by Bill Harpe; the idea was simple, the audience played bingo but won not only prizes but also a 'cultural' activity'.  Read More
22-11-2016 1 year 16 weeks ago
Democracy Is Tested To Its Limits
The activities in the space look something like a scene from a divine comedy. Read More
23-06-2012 1 year 46 weeks ago
Directors Report On Lorry Theatre - 1969
Lorry Theatre took place very early in the Blackie's history  and it was the first attempt of working with communities in the open air.  Bill Harpe directed the event and, not surpringly, his Report On Lorry Theatre considers the role of the arts and artists when working with audiences who traditionally have had little or no relationships with either. LORRY THEATRE EXPEDITION 1969. DIRECTOR'S REPORT Read More
17-07-2017 35 weeks 3 days ago
Disco In The Blackie Fashion - Summer 1972
Making The Clothes When young people think of the arts, fashion and music come tops. In line with this enthusiasm the Summer Playscheme of 1972 culminated in a Fashion Show and Disco.  The playscheme ran for six weeks from 24th July to 2nd September.    Read More
18-01-2014 4 years 8 weeks ago
DIY of Meeting and Greeting Games
There is no single structure around which meeting and greeting games may be devised.  Meeting games may explore and celebrate the physical interactions of meetings and greetings, the verbal interactions, or both.  Players may be creating hand greetings which have never been seen before, introducing themselves in ways which they have never done before, or meeting other players whom they cannot see.  Games along these lines are described in this chapter. Read More
07-05-2015 2 years 45 weeks ago
DIY Of Obstacle Courses
THE DIY OF OBSTACLE COURSE GAMES The creation of an obstacle course is a game in itself, and may indeed be structured as a game for players to undertake before they venture into an obstacle course of their own creation. Read More
06-05-2015 2 years 31 weeks ago
DIY Of Upside-Down Children's Games
The four games described in this chapter are upside-down versions of the party games musical chairs and pic-a-stick, the playground game tig (or tag), and 'blind man's buff'.  Turning a familiar children's game or competition upside-down, however, is not easy.  It only seems easy and natural after it has been done.  Read More
30-04-2016 1 year 46 weeks ago
Doors and Gates
This games was played over two weeks and the intention of the game was to end up with a photographic exhibition of Doors and Gates. Read More
16-09-2013 2 years 43 weeks ago
Dotto - 1998 onwards
Dotto (originally titled ‘Thirty Something’ after a TV series exploring the lives of 30 year olds) was a game invented to celebrate our 3rd decade 1998-2008.  We started playing it in 1998 and played on until we left the building for redevelopment in 2003   Read More
10-03-2014 3 years 44 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.