A series of funded literacy projects created by Ian Billings

That’s Your Story is a series of funded literacy projects created by Ian Billings. In previous years it has seen school children throughout the Midlands contributing ideas to books and radio plays, but “Were You Really There?” is very different. 

Working with six schools throughout the Midlands - Stowlawn Primary School, Hill Avenue Academy, Manor Primary School, Northwood Primary School, East Park Academy, St.Anthony’s Catholic Primary School - Ian created a series of song lyrics in response to six pieces of abstract art work from the collection at Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery. Over six amazing days Ian ran a series of workshops sourcing responses, ideas, notions, words, phrases and rhymes based on these works. He then created single lyrics from each school based on their work.

The lyrics were then passed to Stephen Keeling who composed a stunning musical score which in turn was brilliantly arranged by musical director, Will Henshall.

In June 2018 we went in the recording studios at Birmingham City University where actress and singer, Katie Ann Dolling, recorded all six songs.

The result of all this hard work can be heard on this website.

As you will hear it has been an outstanding project.

This project could not have been possible without the support of the head teachers, staff and pupils of the schools.

We must also thank and acknowledge the contributions of Sam Coley from Birmingham City University, Jonathan Davidson from Writing West Midlands, digital media artist Al Pagan, and Sarah Mullen from Busy Parents Network.

We especially thank Tess Radcliffe and Rosalind Manasseh from Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery and Kate Tilley and Jamila Walker for their invaluable help with the workshops.

Production Engineer - Pete Bill
Studio Engineer - Dan Whitehouse
Thanks to Tom and Ella