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Young people delight in day of Black music at Power of Stories, Suffolk.

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

On Sunday 6 November, we saw groups of young people visit Snape Maltings - a place of prestige for music and art in East Suffolk. They came to enjoy Power of Stories and a music programme which included West African drumming workshops with Wooden Roots and a live performance by Hannabiell and Midnight Blue.

Three costumes from Marvel Studios' Black Panther movie (2018) are mounted on black mannequins. They stand on their own black plinths with a tall red brick wall behind them. Each plinth has a description panel next to them. An exhibition rope runs around the plinths. Credit: Britten Pears Arts.

Power of Stories is a partnership project between Aspire Black Suffolk, Marvel Studios, Britten Pears Arts and the Association for Suffolk Museums. It features three original costumes from Marvel Studios' Black Panther (2018) blockbuster, which are on loan from the LA-based movie company.

The outfits seem to carry an emotional charge and symbolism. They mean a huge amount to so many people, particularly people from the Black community. Their extraordinary impact helping us make change in our local society.

The young people were able to explore Snape Maltings and the exhibition, which has been touring throughout 2022, and acts as a catalyst for sharing untold rural Black stories. This is a pioneering project, attracting national awards, including a prestigious Museum + Heritage Award 2022 and the Museum's Association's Museums Change Lives 'Radical Changemaker' award (awarded to Elma Glasgow in November 2022, as the project lead and founder of Aspire Black Suffolk).

Group of young people and adults sit in a crescent, playing djembes. Two adults sit in front of the young people playing djembes: a white woman and a Black man. Large drums are in the foreground. Credit: Wooden Roots.

The young people's feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and has been captured by BBC Suffolk's Belongings' show (from 1:36:26).

One young man said he felt "blessed" to have the opportunity to visit Snape Maltings and Power of Stories. We have a sneaky feeling this was due to being immersed in the experience created by the Oscar-winning costumes, the impressive venue, the drumming workshops, and the high energy performance by Hannabiell and Midnight Blue.

Black woman plays trombone which is aimed at the camera. She wears an African print top. A white man is behind her playing saxophone.
Hannabiell and Midnight Blue gave a high-energy performance at Snape Maltings. Credit: Wooden Roots

Power of Stories is still attracting the attention of thought leaders around the country. Why? Because it's for the first time, opening new doors for rural and semi-rural Black communities, museums, venues and professionals in arts and culture. Its positive vibe is felt across a diversity of people, whilst keeping Suffolk's Black community at its heart.

Power of Stories is on until Sunday 19 February. Free entry.

To find out more about Aspire Black Suffolk, check out our services and who we are.

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