How long have the Creative and Cultural team been doing arts work together in Hull?

Alan as arts worker at KiYC
Alan lantern making 1995

So, how long have the Creative and Cultural Company’s Alan Raw (CEO), Darren Squires (Project Coordinator) Lou Duffy-Howard (Chair), Altu Collingwood (Urban Arts Curator) and Chris McKnight (Designer & Artist) been creating arts and cultural opportunities together in Hull? 

This post was sparked by Lou’s amazing post on Facebook, of photos from her years of event management in Hull. It got us thinking about how we ended up working together now at Creative and Cultural Company and all the events we’ve worked on together over the years. Many of which involved Princes Quay where we now have galleries and studios. We’ve got the team together now to write some history down. Here’s just some of the Hull events & workshops you should remember and a little bit of how we all worked together over 25 years.

Let’s start back in 90-91 when Alan worked with local bands and Amnesty International’s Martin Foreman to bring back Rock against Racism to Hull. The events were held at the Tower and Hull Uni Union Bar. There are only a few of the posters left. Your band may be on them.  Alan drummed in a few of them; Legislation, U4EA, Fusion & Joyrider, so soon got a crew together. Click on a poster to see the full picture and scroll through…

Through these gigs Alan met a Youth Worker called Bo Deyal and a young Graffiti Artist he was working with called Chris McKnight (Dhers). Alan completed his Youth Arts Training whilst working with them both at Amy Johnson Youth Centre as the Arts Team. By the time he was qualified he was made worker in charge and they further developed the arts offer of the centre. Alan was living in the communal 18 Hutt Street with excellent Comic Artist & Musician Simon Crook, who trained with him in Youth Arts and was in the band Fusion, doing local gigs like the fabulous Rainbow Festival. Click on an image below to see the full picture and scroll through…

True Colour Arts

 In 93 Alan, Chris and Simon were encouraged and supported by Bo to start what’s now known as a social enterprise. Then did workshops as Dr Charisma’s Music Workshop & Graffiti Art as True Colour Arts. Eventually just using the TCA name for everything. TCA did loads of workshops all over the area with lots of groups.

In March 94 TCA worked with Deborah Clarke, Liz Woolmington and Ruth Drake on the excellent HU1 Arts & Culture Day in Princes Quay Shopping Centre.

Then again in October on Humberside Youth Arts Festival transforming Amy Johnson Youth Centre into AVIATOR, redesigned by the members. This made it the perfect venue for TCA’s COMSEM94 Illustrative Arts Festival, supported by Marvel & Deadline.

Creative Arts Union

By the 1995 Youth Arts Festival we had done loads of workshops, diversified into all sorts of arts and acquired some extra members on the team, as Alan was now at Humberside Uni doing Community & Youth Work. We were also faced with the problem of artists getting paid for the work they all did. So we decided to change the name of the company to the Creative Arts Union and actively support each other. We also started Prime Promotions as a booking agency. We took on various parts of the 95 Festival and co-organised the FFF Festival Final Fling at Kingston Youth Centre, where Alan was the new Arts Worker.

Vapour Festival

Also in 95 Chris’s enthusiasm for Graffiti Art and Alan’s involvement in HIP HOP as a drummer and DJ, gave them the motivation and contacts to pull in the great and the good for a festival. They chose Kingston as Alan worked there, the walls were not bad and it’s city central. Liz Woolmington was running KYC and shared the enthusiasm. So Vapour Festival was born. The show attracted some great artists, dancers, bands and photographers, many of which have gone on to have amazing careers. Altu Colingwood, Si2, Paris, Redeye Feenix, Xenz, Pinky, Remi/Rough, Mac1, Pryme, Rota1, MrZee and many more. Vapour became one of the UK’s premier Graffiti festivals and ran for 10 years 1995 to 2005 with Chris leading the team. Have a look through this gallery, just click on an image to see the full picture and scroll through…

In 1997 the Council Young KUH programme asked Alan to organise a musical arts festival and music industry conference in the city centre. This was the start of IMPRO Festival (Improving Opportunities in Music) The 97 & 98 IMPRO’s were held at KYC and proved very successful.

In 1999 it was Hull700

Lou was the Hull700 Celebrations Manager and worked with dozens of community groups to celebrate with over 200 events including 700 Ideas young people’s project which culminated in the young people’s charter and Our City Our Lives annual conference run by and attended by hundreds of young people. John Peel came to the party and Alan and Lou got to show him round the city for his TV show.

Hull700 included Vapour700, where Alan & Chris did a Graffiti display for the Queen & with support from visiting Belgian Artists, we raised one million Belgian Franks to help rebuild Kosovo.

In late 1999 Alan took on the roll of Music Worker at the Warren and IMPRO moved too. The combined elements of our CAU team, the Warren team (including arts heroes Darren Squires & Chris Smith) and Lou’s crew with Richard Duffy-Howard made IMPRO 2000 a major event over 3 days and nights in Hull City Hall & Victoria Square. Scroll through gallery here…

In 2000 we morphed Prime Promotions Artist Agency & CAU into Tall Orders Arts & Media

With Alan as CEO of Tall Orders, the multi talented Darren Squires joined in and delivered workshops and managed projects for Tall Orders, whilst freelancing and teaching for Hull College and Hull schools. Tall Orders was developing in 4 directions;

  • Carnival Arts with processions and street circus, in partnership with The Grinigogs (Quentin Budworth & Amanda Lowe)
  • Festival Events, Projects & Workshops,
  • Media with video/radio production and Camera Skills. Including OCN courses for BBC Learn Xpress, & BBC CITZN H (we made 80 Short Films for BBCi), Production & Location Management for BBC2 My Life As A Child and we made Music Videos that are still showing on MTV.
  • Music Work, world music/drumming/fare trade of drums, music Industry conferences and music festivals.

Have a look through the gallery here…

Alan started Alan Raw Arts & Media to manage his BBC commitments and music industry conference work, He also started Rawelements ltd for the world music, drumming and fare trade drums. Then Tall Orders focussed on Carnival Arts and Teaching arts & media skills.

Rawelements opened a fair trade shop in Hepworths Arcade managed by Sara Elvin-Rawe with regular show cases of crafts by local artisans and put on world music events with partners including Albemarle Music Service. Rawelements supplied Albermarle & Scrapstore with fare trade African Drums and Alan delivered their Soundbeam training service. Simon Crook, Lou, Alan and Chris Maynard trained on the Gamelan at Manchester Camerata and brought the Javanese gamelan to Hull from Indonesian called The Honorific Sea Dragon or Kyai Sri Jaladri Naga. We delivered lots of workshops and trained groups to use it. Lou composed and recorded The Gamelan Night Heron by Rich & Lou’s Loudhailer with Alan on percussion, now playing in our POP Gallery. The Gamelan is still used in Albemarle Music Centre.

Hulloween Pumpkin Parades

2002 & 2003 Tall Orders took the lead and we all worked together on Hullaween, commissioned by John Pywell through the Trinity Quarter Consortium which Rawelements was part of. Lou provided workshop space in the Learning Shop in Princes Quay. Hundreds of children made procession characters, costumes, lanterns & masks. 3000 people turned out to join the procession with Darren’s school groups of Drummers, The Grinigogs & 7 Tall Orders stilt walkers. processing to see the Tall Orders fire circus show in Trinity Square. In 2004 Hull City Council Events took over the event.

Creative Projects

In 2006 Darren started Creative Projects Ltd and lots of partnership projects followed. As Creative Projects developed workshop and project delivery very professionally. They merged equipment and resources from Tall Orders with Creative Projects and Darren did a great job of taking the lead on the workshop and project front, plus the teaching of media production, finding paid work for all of us. Many projects and events followed all over the country and plenty in Hull for all ages.

Grassroots Free Festival

Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2008 Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard teamed up with David Okwesia (Full Flava) to put on the annual Grassroots Free Festival in Pearson Park with pop out events and after-parties throughout Hull. Alan, Darren, Chris and Altu were all involved in various ways, MCing, break dancing, producing graffiti art, running the young people’s stage, you name it, we were all there! Scroll through the gallery and see who you recognise…

Meanwhile at Beverley Folk Festival

Alan was one of the founders of Beverley Folk Festival and played at the first 3 years with his fathers band. Since then he has worked on the festival every year for 32 years. Darren & Alan have both been Directors of the festival. Over the years Tall Orders ran children’s workshops and a procession. Alan trained all of the stewards. Creative Projects recorded the event for Festival TV, provided Press Liaison and ran the silent disco. Creative and Cultural wrote the environmental policy and coordinated sustainability with Alan running the Green Team for the last 3 years. We also delivered sustainability training for other festivals at Beverley, funded by Awards For All.

Creative & Cultural Gateway

7 years ago Alan & Darren started developing our partnership work in Holland & Belgium, now a multi agency project, managed by C&C and guided by the Creative & Cultural Gateway Steering Group. Benefiting numerous artists galleries and organisations in Hull. With the generous advice of Hull City Arts.

Where are we all now?

We’re still working with both Quentin Budworth and Amanda Lowe of The Grinigogs, and are delighted that Quentin launched his Changing Face of Hull project at our HIP Gallery and has taught at this week at HIPclub. Amanda is often to be seen creating works in our art studios in Princes Quay with Steve from iota visual arts. They made the amazing Jack Frost which was in the 2014 Hull Christmas Parade.

Chris McKnight was the first Artist to exhibit in our POP (Pride Of Place) Gallery and designed the logos for Creative & Cultural, POP and HIP – Hull International Photography Gallery & HIP Fest 2015. He is currently working on our Vapour retrospective with Altu.

Darren is still running Creative Projects, currently making a Culture Zone series called The Reading Room for Estuary TV and running Festival TV. He also finds time to get his fiddle out, curate shows and makes very fine cocktails for our exhibition launches.  He is a the Projects Coordinator at C&C.

Simon Crook was in POP a couple of weeks ago, showing us his latest comic art. It’s truly amazing work.

Alan still has Alan Raw Arts & Media with 2 weekly BBC radio shows on BBC Leeds & Humberside, writes the Creative & Cultural Column in HULLMAG, plays drums in Endoflevelbaddie, Verne Duels & Celtarabia and is our CEO.

Lou plays in Loudhailer Electric Company and runs Loudhailer Acoustic with Rich in Cottingham. She plays bass in Celtarabia with Alan, Quentin & Amanda and is the Creative and Cultural Co. Chair.

There’s been more since and more people who deserve name checks, but this is getting uncomfortably long now. We’ve had a new exhibition opening on the first Friday of every month in either POP or HIP since 2013. So plenty to enjoy and HIP Fest is coming up again on 2nd October.

hipfest logo

25 years of thanks to HULL and all who make this a City Of Culture! X

So, what’s happening next? Watch this space for the next instalment! 🙂


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