We at Theatre in the Mill consider ourselves fortunate to be part of the University of Bradford - a significant leader in social inclusion for many years. Programmes like Widening Participation and the Programme for a Peaceful City have made a significant impact on our city since the riots of 2001. The Mill has a long and honourable tradition of finding places, spaces and time for the communities that surround us with initiatives such as the Asian Theatre School (in partnership with Red Ladder Theatre Company) finding a natural home here.
The University of Bradford's strengths lie in technology and the social sciences ( there are no performing arts degrees here) and we have, therefore, learnt over the last 35 years to engage with a broad range of thinking from outside the arts world. This is, we believe, hugely healthy. It means we can easily team up a performing artist and a neuroscientist; a young person, a performing artist and a peace-maker; use actors to explore issues in epilepsy diagnoses for under-graduate students.
We have been working since 2003 towards a broad programme of work that seeks to explore our meaning to the University in both esoteric and utilitarian ways, that allows us to give voice to the experiences, aspirations and fears of our black communities, allows young people in the city the opportunity to explore their connections to world events and in doing so give voice to their desire for a fairer society.
The project or streams of work outlined below are but a beginning, if our work is to be meaningful we have to find ways to ensuring that the dialogue between artists and the people of this place is properly two way.