Signals is a multi award-winning arts and education charity based in the heart of Colchester.
Signals provides creative digital learning through projects that enable disadvantaged groups to work in mediums they wouldn't otherwise have access to. Beginning as a community media and video workshop back in 1988 and backed by the Arts Council and Essex County Council, among others, it has now become a regional hub for filmmaking and digital arts.
In 2016 Signals’ Dig Deeper project brought together a diverse selection of over 50 young people to learn about Colchester’s Roman Heritage and work together to create an animation and app for the Colchester Roman Circus - which is now free to download.
More recently they worked with Colchester Iceni Academy as part of their Essex Girls project. The students created an animation about the Suffragettes which was subsequently nominated for an Into Film award in the ‘Best Documentary under 12s’. For an idea of the impact this project had on its participants, just take a look at the following from the headteacher at the Academy:
“The students shoulders are back, they are talking and offering opinions in class. They've smiled all week and looked truly alive and joyful for the first time since joining the school. They have pride in themselves and they feel special. Thank you for what you did for five young ladies who didn't believe in themselves but now have a real chance for the future. You made a difference.”
Alongside their community projects they run a wide variety of creative workshops from filmmaking to video game design, special effects make-up to stop motion animation. This Easter holidays they're offering two exciting workshops that teach computer programming through the making of video games. The first is Minecraft Hack 9+, which is all about learning code through playing Minecraft, and the other is Game Maker Studio 11+, aimed at young people who are looking to take their programming skills to the next level.
All the details of the courses are in our events listings and take place in Signals' accessible learning space right in Colchester's town centre. Concessionary rates are available on most courses for those on means tested benefits.
Signals may be small but they always dream big and they are constantly looking for ways to extend their network of partners across the region, to be able to work with more children, young people and communities, making art and sharing new ideas.They have set their direction as a centre for creative digital learning and are ready to grow and work to support more innovation, learning and creativity in film and digital technologies. Who knows where this journey will take them? Colchester Life will certainly be following their progress eagerly!