Bristol Music Trust announces award-winning creative producer to lead £5m Lantern Project as part of concert hall’s transformation

Bristol Music Trust have announced the appointment of an award-winning Bristol artist and curator as creative producer to lead a key part of their National Lottery supported Lantern Project.

Cathy Mager is most recently known for creating and directing ‘Sign Night’ – a short film that formed part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine series. In 2019, she won the best large-scale art and culture project at the National Living Waterways awards for ‘The Ring’ – a Canal & River Trust commissioning programme that explored the hidden histories and heritage of 21 miles of waterways in Worcestershire and Droitwich.

The Lantern Project forms part of the venue’s multi-million pound transformation and is funded by a £4.75m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project’s aim is to bring to life the story and history of the Hall in an interesting, playful and artistic way. Cathy’s role will be to work collaboratively with local communities and other creatives to develop exciting installations and other activities that give people a deeper insight into the social and musical history of the building.

Cathy said: “I am over the moon to have been appointed to this role. I don’t often get the chance to work in my home town of Bristol, and the transformation of Bristol’s concert venue is a hugely significant project. Particularly as an artist who is deaf, it is fantastic to be able to play a key part in the development of an inclusive, accessible and engaging programme that both reflects the past and celebrates the future of the transformed building. I’m looking forward to getting started and working with local partners and community organisations to create something really special.”

Todd Wills, Artistic Director at Bristol Music Trust said: “We’re really excited to have Cathy on board for the Lantern Project. Cathy’s designs will bring the history of the Hall to life and will mean that visitors will have a great reason to visit us throughout the day. It’s an ambitious brief that needs to be creative and collaborative, inclusive and accessible to non-traditional learners, and brings together our values along with the history and heritage of the building. We are huge fans of Cathy’s previous work and she has exactly the right blend of experience and understanding to deliver a captivating and engaging programme.”

Cathy will work alongside the activity team at the Trust with a range of community groups and partners, including Bristol Culture, UWE Bristol, University of Bristol, Bristol Institute of Modern Music, St George’s Bristol, Bristol Old Vic, Rising Agency, Youth Moves, South Bristol Youth, local communities centres and children’s centres.

Other previous projects that Cathy has been involved in include Art on the Underground – working with young people across London to create collaborative exhibitions seen by millions of commuters; and the Museum of ’51 for Southbank Centre, an exhibition created from thousands of items of donated memorabilia to commemorate the 1951 Festival of Britain. She has also directed a number of permanent and temporary artworks inspired by the heritage of the Forest of Dean for Forestry England’s Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, including Bristol-based artist Natasha Rosling’s 2019 sculpture Threshold.

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