This summer a host of major talent from the worlds of music and film come together in a new project funded by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Billy Bragg, Michael Nyman and Emily Young are amongst those who have given up their time to work in hospices on music, song and film with people facing long-term and terminal illness. The Rosetta Requiem, a cycle of songs and films forming the latest project from hospice charity Rosetta Life, enables people in palliative care to use artistic expression to share their hopes and fears at a time when words are simply not enough.
From July and running throughout the year, the Rosetta Requiem will showcase performances and live webcasts connecting people of all ages isolated by illness. The website can be found at www.rosettarequiem.org from late July (preview sections available at www.rosettalife.org).
Other artists involved in the project around the country include composers and musicians Jarvis Cocker, Orlando Gough, David Matthews, Robin Walker, Julie Yount-Morgan and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, rapper Roots Manuva and filmmaker Asif Kapadia.
The first live webcast on July 6 will link London primary school children, Great Ormond Street Hospital and a South African children's hospice in a performance of their songs. Also that week, Orlando Gough and members of The Shout make the music for a hospice performance in Greenwich and David Matthews sees his composition for voice and strings premiered at Clapham's Trinity Hospice. These events begin the rollout of finished work being made available over the summer to the hospice community and audiences through performance, the website and the internet.
Lucinda Jarrett, Rosetta's Artistic Director, says: "Our ideas of death and dying are rooted in sadness and melancholy. We wanted to make this Requiem one that celebrates the hope, laughter and intense love of life experienced by the people we meet in the hospices."
Arts Minister David Lammy, said: "The strength of Rosetta Requiem from Culture Online and Rosetta Life, lies in the genuine warmth of those people involved. Filmmakers, musicians and composers have given up their time and it's humbling to think of the courageous and open-hearted contribution of those people who face long-term and terminal illness. No one can fail to be moved by this incredible project."
The extensive website carries inspirational and moving personal stories, insight into how the artists and patients work together and the finished songs and films. Broadband links and internet messaging connect the hospice users and provide a vital networking path for patients, volunteers, relatives and friends from Penrith to Weymouth and from England to Africa.
The project is backed by Culture Online to help people from all parts of the community gain access to the arts through new media and technology. The children's webcast is being made possible with the support of MSN.
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Notes for editors:
* Rosetta Requiem is funded by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Culture Online commissions interactive projects to extend access to the Arts. Many of the projects involve mass participation and encourage people to connect with cultural and heritage organisations in a fresh and exciting way. Culture Online uses technology to bring people together to reach new and existing audiences. For more information visit: www.cultureonline.gov.uk
* Rosetta Life (www.rosettalife.org) was founded in 1999 by Lucinda Jarrett as an artist-led organisation set up to run artist-led residencies in hospices, help families facing death tell the stories that matter to them and share them with an audience of their choice. With a grant from DfES multi-media arts centres have been set up in the hospices which allow participation in learning activities and contribute to the quality of life at the end of life.
* Wireless outreach networks in hospices make digital arts available at a patient's website. The shared website helps create a collective voice for palliative care users and currently links 15 specialist palliative care centres in England.
* At each hospice site Rosetta Life have installed an Apple-based Digital Arts Centre, comprising desktops, laptops, video and stills cameras. Rosetta Life artists train hospice users, their families, staff and volunteers in the use of this equipment - with Photoshop, iMovie, Word, e-mail etc - so that they can tell stories that matter.
* The website is designed by Alex Roberts, Eurologic, and Andrew Walker of Thin Martian.
* The children's webcast is facilitated by Microsoft, supported by Microsoft, Logitech and BT, as an exemplary model for the latest version of MSN Messenger.
Support for the Rosetta Requiem
Billy Bragg, songwriter and musician
"Working with hospices to make songs for the Rosetta Requiem has been inspirational for me. I've been constantly surprised to find how open people are to expressing themselves once they have been given a way-in. The women brought the words and I've simply helped channel them into songs and music to make a way through serious illness and emotional turmoil."
Carrie & David Grant, vocal coaches and presenters of BBC One, Facing the Music and Fame Academy
"The Rosetta Requiem project is an absolutely fantastic idea. Music has a profound effect on both the well and the unwell and we should never underestimate its healing power. We support it wholeheartedly."
Orlando Gough, composer and musical director of The Shout
"Writing songs with the people at the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice has been great. Persuading them to sing what we have come up with is even better - just up my street!"
Jarvis Cocker, musician
"It's been a real eye-opener working with children, seeing what they put in and get out of the project. Its exciting absorbing their ideas and helping them shape the words and music they've generated for the Requiem."
Oliver Sacks, neurologist and writer
"Art, story-telling, and, above all, music have a unique and powerful ability to bring meaning and coherence to human experience, even when it is threatened by severe illness. Rosetta Life brings the arts into the lives of people faced with life threatening conditions, providing a remarkable opportunity for creative self-expression and, in the deepest sense, access to the health within."
Gill Thomas, art therapist at Trinity Hospice
"Trinity Hospice supports people to enhance their quality of life while living with cancer. The Rosetta Requiem has enabled this to happen creatively for some individuals in the most amazing way. As an art therapist, having the opportunity to be an artist for this project has been both exciting and enriching."
Dawn Halsall, acting Head, Sudbourne Primary School, Brixton
"Sudbourne staff and children have benefited from having a greater understanding of illness. It has been a wonderful, unique and exciting project for everyone."
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13-year-olds design new Hansard Society political website for young people
Whitgift School in Croydon has beaten off competition from 92 other schools to win first prize in the nationwide Web Design Challenge for 11- to 14-year-olds, organised by the Hansard Society and the Design Museum.
The project – commissioned by Culture Online, part by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – launched last year with the aim of inviting children to develop design skills while engaging with political issues. The competition has been supported by Microsoft.
Kiran Purang, Wing Yung Chan and Hari-Vamsa Patel from Whitgift School designed a groundbreaking new website Being Heard which will provide young people with information on current affairs and political matters and enable their voices to be heard in the citizenship and political arenas.
Being Heard is the first website designed by and for young people specifically to encourage them to participate in the policy and decision making process of government departments and other organisations. Being Heard will be hosted and maintained by the Hansard Society. The site goes live in September.
David Lammy MP, Arts Minister, said: "The response to this competition has been awe inspiring. It's fantastic to see such design talent in the classroom. The new Being Heard website will be a welcome addition to the web and gives school children a real opportunity to influence the political environment of the future. Congratulations to Whitgift School - they've done a great job."
Fiona Booth, Director of Citizenship Education at the Hansard Society, commented:
"Congratulations to Whitgift School - we at the Hansard Society are very much looking forward to the launch of this groundbreaking new website Being Heard. Not only will it help young people to gain a better understanding of how the democratic process works, it will also provide a portal for them to discuss political issues with each other. Most importantly, Being Heard will promote and support the effective involvement of young people at Key Stage 3 in the development of government policy and laws that affect them."
Photographs of the prize giving available from 5 pm, Wednesday June 15
Kiran Purang, Wing Yung Chan and Hari-Vamsa Patel from Whitgift School are available for interview. Contact Mrs C J Harwood at Whitgift School on 020 8688 9222
For further information about the Web Design Challenge and the Being Heard website contact Virginia Gibbons at the Hansard Society on 020 7395 4010 or 07812 765 552
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* The Web Design Challenge for 11- to 14-year-olds (Key Stage 3) is organised by the Hansard Society in collaboration with the Design Museum, commissioned by Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and supported by Microsoft.
* All results can be seen at www.webdesignchallenge.org.
* The Hansard Society is an independent, non-partisan educational charity which exists to promote effective parliamentary democracy. The Hansard Society has been responsible for giving thousands of young people throughout the country their first taste of democracy and political debate through Y Vote Mock Elections and national curriculum resources. More details at www.hansardsociety.org.uk.
* The Design Museum is one of the world's leading museums of modern and contemporary design. It is the UK's largest museum provider of design education resources. The award-winning Design Museum web site at www.designmuseum.org is the world's most popular design web site.
* Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, commissions a portfolio of new media projects to extend access to the Arts and culture. All projects encourage active participation. More details at www.cultureonline.gov.uk.
* Microsoft is committed to a long-term partnership with the education sector, working closely with schools, colleges and universities to develop the tools and resources needed to transform the delivery of learning. More details at www.microsoft.com/uk/education.
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Culture Online aims to enable learning and participation where it's previously been difficult to do so. We work in partnership with other organisations to come up with innovative projects.
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Icons explores what makes a national icon through the contributions of everyday folk
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Visitors to the site are invited to shape the collection and interact by nominating their own icons and stories, getting involved in cultural debates and participating in online activities, games and quizzes.
Guest curators offer exciting, unusual and inspirational nominations to the collection, and visitors may examine artefacts from a variety of viewpoints including 3D views, interviews, and personal recollections.
Icons of England includes lots of resources to be used in the classroom for both primary and secondary levels.
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Building Accessible Websites - Joe Clarke
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This is the about us entry
Working in partnership with more than 50 organisations, Culture Online used innovative technology to reach new audiences for the arts, with a particular emphasis on engaging hard-to-reach groups.
Projects ranged from largescale public engagement websites, such as Icons, which attracted more than a million unique visitors in its first year, to The Transporters, an interactive DVD that helps children with autism learn about emotions.
Culture Online aimed to:
Culture Online's last website ProjectsETC shares lessons learned about creating great digital projects in the overlapping areas of Education, Technology and Culture.
The information-sharing site can be viewed at www.projectsetc.org.