In 2015 Junction Arts was awarded Heritage Lottery Funding for a very special project, developed to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. The project was called JA40 and saw several significant outcomes.

The first was the donation and cataloguing of our archive. In December 2015, 35 archive boxes were loaded into our van and driven to the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.

In January 2016 a small group of people consisting of staff, artists, volunteers, some of our project participants and pupils from Highfields School in Matlock, worked under the supervision of archivist Mark Smith. We were given a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the Record Office and Mark explained the function of the building and the services on offer. He then went on to tell us more about the various processes the team would be involved in.

The material we donated was hugely varied, consisting of written documents, Annual Reports, news cuttings, publications and photographs, videos, cassettes and much more. Under Mark’s expert guidance, we got to work and catalogued it all over about six months – getting constantly distracted, in a good way!

The archive is now searchable on the Record Office website and may be the only one relating to a community arts organisation within the public National Archive.

As a whole, the archive represents the creative expression of many hundreds of local people. It tells the stories of individuals and communities that have experienced so much change, social and political, over the last 40 years. We hope it will be a great resource for the public, academics, researchers and artists alike.

The second outcome was to make a film and in May 2016 we put out an Open Call for a filmmaker to document our story and celebrate this significant anniversary. Chris Bevan was the successful applicant and ‘JA40: The Junction Arts Story’ was born. Featuring a series of interviews with people who have been involved with the organisation since its inception, it successfully captures our journey. The film has been screened at several events and exhibitions has also been recognised by the Royal Television Society and has been nominated for an award in the Best Factual Film Category 2017.

The third outcome of JA40 was to gather stories and memories from some of the people who had participated in or contributed to our projects over the years. We designed a series of six story postcards featuring the different logos we’d used over the decades and took them along to our Tea Party workshops held at the Bolsover Gala, AdventureFest in Pleasely and the Tapton Lock Festival in Chesterfield. At each event we set up our stall with refreshments and a creative activity and talked to people about Junction Arts and JA40, encouraging them to contribute a memory. The stories can be viewed on the Yarn Community website.

The penultimate outcome of JA40 was the commissioning of ‘Valiants Arise’ a new piece of music by international composer Paul Lovatt Cooper. It is a celebratory piece and was premiered at our Bolsover Lantern Parade by the Whitwell Brass Band and Handmade Samba in November 2016. We are very proud to report that it has since been performed by bands all over the world!

The final stage of the JA40 project was the creation of a touring exhibition. Designed to tell our story to the widest possible audience it toured venues in South Normanton, Chesterfield, Creswell, Shirebrook and Bolsover. The exhibition includes newly designed exhibition panels, a bespoke selection of archive material for each venue and featured the JA40 film.

Since the project was completed there have been two further requests for the exhibition. Creswell Crags Museum will be hosting it from December 2017 – February 2018 and it will include a special section featuring some of the partnership work we have delivered with the museum.

The Derbyshire Record Office will be the final host, from March – October 2018 and the exhibition will be complimented with a talk and film screening on the 29th of March at 2.00pm

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for enabling this project to happen and to all our partners and everyone who have contributed in so many ways.

Key Information

View the Junction Arts Archive 1976 - 2016 here

Funders & Supporters

Heritage Lottery Fund