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        Published - June 23, 2022

        Umbrella Project in Stoke-on-Trent

        The Stoke-On-Trent Trent City Centre BID in partnership with the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity and many local businesses are bringing an uplifting and iconic public art installation to Stoke on-Trent City Centre in July 2022.

        The Neurodiversity Umbrella Project is a national arts installation which raises the awareness and understanding of our cognitive and learning differences, and celebrates the intelligence, talents and employability of every human being.

        A vibrant canopy of hundreds of colourful umbrellas suspended above high streets and public spaces, it is designed to represent 1 in 5 people whom are neurodiverse and recognise the many positive strengths and abilities that comes with learning and thinking differently.

        It will be displayed at 10 locations across the UK with Stoke-On-Trent City Centre being the first city to champion a Poetry & Digital Arts Engagement Programme funded by the Arts Council England.

        This is an innovative engagement programme where life, art and technology collide. Professional artists at DYSPLA, digital creators at Carse & Waterman and published poet Jason Conway will be working with local schools and community youth groups to co-create Neurodiversity themed poetry.

        The presentation of this co-creation will animate the high streets of the City Centre and beyond with an Augmented Reality [AR] activated poetry trail, [AR] comic characters, a Text Art wall mural designed by We Are Culla, and a virtual gallery of poetry by young people.

        The engagement programme will embrace Children & Young People’s creativity and the positive strengths they bring to help their community and city uplift and thrive through poetry and digital culture. It is part of a wider campaign to create social change and improve career paths and life chances for neurodiverse individuals by recognising and harnessing the positive skills and contributions that they can bring to a workforce and the wider society.

        Richard Buxton, CEO of Stoke on Trent City Centre Bid said: “We are immensely proud to be hosting such a breathtakingly beautiful art installation that collaboratively works to uplift our City Centre whilst raising awareness for ADHD and the Neurodiverse community. The Poetry and Digital Art Engagement programme is an exciting opportunity to both educate and engage our local community and we are confident the outcome of such a collaboration will captivate an enormous number of visitors to our City Centre.”

        A free launch event will take place in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre on Saturday 16 July on Piccadilly with Augmented Reality characters debut, a bespoke dance performance choreographed with umbrellas by The Crescent Academy, and a Spoken Word recitals by poet Gareth Williams beneath the Umbrellas.

        Contact ivy.wongtebbitts@adhdfoundation.org.uk for further details.

        The installation will be in Stoke-On-Trent City Centre from 16 July – 1 Oct 2022.

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