Heart n Soul – The Big 30 Project

Ono Dafedjaiye by Franklyn Rodgers

One of the world’s most inspiring cultural organisations, Heart n Soul gets ready to celebrate 30 years of innovation, creativity and fun.

This summer Heart n Soul, the award-winning creative arts charity for people with learning disabilities, marks 30 years of innovation, creativity and fun with a celebratory series of exhibitions.

The Big 30

The Big 30 is a landmark project documenting 30 Heart n Soul artists, staff, volunteers and participants with and without learning disabilities. Leading photographer, Franklyn Rodgers captured the essence of the people and groups who have made a significant contribution to the development of Heart n Soul.

Images captured by Rodgers will be accompanied by recordings of previously unheard stories, exploring three decades of learning disability culture through Heart n Soul’s work. Spoken in their own words, visitors will hear about the journeys of people who have transitioned from being confined to day centres, to performing their own music around the world.

Pino Frumiento MBE is the co-founder of Heart n Soul and a singer/songwriter, with a learning disability, he 
says: “We want to show people what we can do and we want to reach as many people as possible. My whole life I wanted to be a singer and I thought it could never happen. Well, look at me now.”

Personal experiences

The Big 30 Archive – the first in the UK to show the cultural impact of people with learning disabilities – is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will be made available to the public through the London Metropolitan Archives and Heart n Soul’s Big 30 website in summer.

Members of the public will be able to see and hear the stories featured in the project during The Big 30 Summer Takeover in July. During the festival there will be concerts, public exhibitions, talks and performances featuring people with and without learning disabilities.

For more information on the festival visit The Big 30 website, here.

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