The Kingdom Projects impact the lives of the artists, participants and audiences involved, some in ways that are quite literally, life changing. Don’t just take our word for it, read some our the wonderful testimonials below.
Max Reinhardt

The Museum of Memory is a fascinating project. And what I found when I actually took part and recorded my own memory to include, was that through the process of doing so it actually did something to the way I considered my life – which was life changing in a way.

The more I spoke during the recording, I found myself playing music also and realised that the Museum of Memory was actually giving my memories, or if you like my long view of my own life, a completely new shape. The Museum of Memory really is a corker of an idea!

Max Reinhardt BBC R3 Late Junction, World Service and Soho Radio presenter, musician, musical director and composer

Theo Sowa CBE

What I love most about Picture Me is the way it provides practical and concrete job skills and career prospects for young women in a still male-dominated sector, yet at the same time works with those young women to unlock their self-confidence, their self-belief and their development of world views that power their journeys through life.
The talent unearthed is amazing and the leadership skills engendered through their work and the networking opportunities invaluable.
Young women holding hands across continents, sharing their experiences, telling their own stories through exploration of their personal and their camera lenses.
Insightful, daring, creative – just brilliant, really.

Theo Sowa CBE
Social activist, independent advisor and recipient of the 2021 Unlocking Big Change award.

Sheema Mukerjee

I have not previously been to Hay-on-Wye, but during the event the streets seemed to be filled with happy people going to and from the various venues – there was a great atmosphere in the town! It was wonderful to be part of this project, I understand it was the first one- amazing as it appeared to be seamlessly put together!
This in turn made me relaxed and comfortable for my performances, the audiences were very interested and engaged in what I/we presented, and I came away feeling like I had had two really great shows.
All the people I spoke to afterwards said they thoroughly enjoyed it and were having a great time.  A lot of people had travelled from surrounding areas to attend the event”

Sheema Mukerjee – Composer and World-class musician – performed at the Kingdom Project Launch

Rita Ray

I found the Kingdom Project launch vital and stimulating full of great music and events performed by outstanding musicians, artists and DJs with something to say. The range and mix of music was inspiring and covered so many genres and cultures including the UK, India, Africa Caribbean and the Middle East. It was a great mix of roots music and contemporary dance floor crackers. The use of unusual spaces – even clothes shops – to host the eclectic program was inspired and added even more depth and texture to the Kingdom Project.

Rita Ray – Musician, Film maker, Afrobeat specialist, BBC producer and presenter
Kingdom curator of Sub-Saharan Music, Philosophy & Oral tradition Projects

Dik Downey

When Ami from the Kingdom Project first told me we would be performing Coulrophobia (a clown show featuring swearing and disappointing nudity) in the local Catholic Church, I thought she was insane. However, I can honestly say it was a genius idea.

Having performed in festivals and theatres all over the World, it turned out to be one of the highlights of my career. The whole experience epitomised the wonderful originality of the Kingdom Project – using small, unusual local venues to bring exciting, challenging performance to the heart of the town. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the town during the build-up of the event and even on its first tentative outing the Kingdom Project felt established. The reaction from the audience for the whole event was fantastic and showed just how popular The Kingdom Project was with the local community and how ready the town was for this event.

Ami has spent many years delivering incredible arts and performance projects and festival events worldwide and is now bringing all these experiences to bear on this innovative new project. I for one have no doubt she will make it a resounding and long-term success and hope to be involved in it as much as possible!

Dik Downey from Coulrophobia about his performance at the Jaunt Through The Kingdom. 

Don LettsKingdom Project

I found the Kingdom Project launch vital and stimulating full of great music and events performed by outstanding musicians, artists and DJs with something to say.

The range and mix of music was inspiring and covered so many genres and cultures including the UK, India, Africa Caribbean and the Middle East.

It was a great mix of roots music and contemporary dance floor crackers. I really enjoyed ancient and classical instruments like the sitar and Uilleann pipe riding cutting edge rhythms. The use of unusual spaces – even clothes shops – to host the eclectic program was inspired and added even more depth and texture to the Kingdom Project. The artists programmed told great stories through their performances. The Kingdom Project is set in Hay, which is renowned for the written word. I am looking forward to introducing the instruments from African oral traditions to this literary town, which is twinned with Timbuktu, Mali’s ancient seat of learning to create a space for new musical stories”

Don Letts – Musician, Film maker, Writer, BBCR6 presenter
Kingdom curator of Film & Music Projects

Charlie Kimberley

The Picture Me project has given our students an opportunity to create work that is presented and seen in a live context. The chance to have their work seen on a wider global scale has given the students a sense of ambition and allowed them to make links with professional photographers.
Despite lockdown and unprecedented times, I feel the students have produced some powerful photographs and the Picture Me Instagram has been a really successful platform to present students work. Picture Me has allowed students to be creative during this unsettling time and working with students from Africa has allowed them to share experiences and given an insight into another’s own lives; giving the work focus and purpose.
It continues to be a very worth-while venture!

Charlie Kimberley
Teacher in charge of Photography Hereford Sixth Form College

Chris Bird

Students have focussed on taking pictures that tell a story whilst exploring the fundamentals of taking great photographs, throughout which the creative exchange of ideas between Ghana and the UK has also been an incredibly valuable and enlivening process.
Our Art & Photography students have not only been mentored to a high-level photographically but also continue to be given a fantastic opportunity to develop work and gain experience in a profession creative forum which will lead on to potential apprenticeships and final exhibition of work.

Chris Bird
Head of Art & Photography Hereford Sixth Form College

Bernice Nsiah

The Picture Me project is one that has really given me a head start in my career path and reignited an ever burning love for story telling and being able to own my narrative, hence my decision to further my studies in directing, scriptwriting, photography and production which I’m currently studying at the university right. Prior to the Picture Me initiative, I was indecisive and was at a total loss as to what I really wanted to do with my life but the project brought with it such clarity, self confidence, fresh fire and a refreshing awakening. The mentorship provided in the course of the project gave me the confidence, a voice and recognition in the media community as well as first hand experience on the field with the opportunity to understudy two of the greatest female photographers in Ghana Auntie Tina and Miss Adadevoh, mentorship from the ace award winning Ghanaian Photojournalist Mr David Andoh and World acclaimed photographer Mr Eddie Otchere.

Bernice Nsiah
Aged 22. Kingdom Project ‘Picture Me’ – Ghana participant

Nancy Wudiesu

Picture Me has really helped me to improve my skills in photography and it has also helped me to build my confidence in all aspect of my life. It has really changed my doubt about ladies going into photography in Ghana as it is believed that photography is basically for men, Picture Me has helped clear my doubt about that.

Nancy Wudiesu
Aged 24. Kingdom Project ‘Picture Me’ Ghana participant

Winnie Major

Picture Me has not only opened my eyes (and skills) to the world of photography, but has helped me gain a better understanding of the art industry as a whole as well as photojournalism more specifically. It has been invaluable experience, as I had not been inspired or had the means to experiment in photography like this before hand. As well as this, it’s been amazing to make international connections, and learn about a whole new culture in Ghana. I have also made a great new friend in my Ghanaian photography partner!

Winnie Major
Aged 17. Kingdom Project ‘Picture Me’ UK participant

Florence Aniagyei

The Picture Me project has helped me discover my hidden interest for photography which I viewed as a ‘man’s’ job. Through Picture Me I have learnt the A, B, C of photography from the project and can confidently say that I am now my family’s official photographer. I have gained more respect and recognition in the sight of family and friends which makes me a proud young woman. Because of Picture Me, I was considered, and am now a part of, the Ghana Photojournalists Association (GPJA). The Project has helped me build my confidence as a young woman. It has made me realize that there is more I can do regardless my gender. I hope a lot more ladies will get the opportunity I got, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to the organizers and facilitators of the Picture Me project.

Florence Aniagyei
Aged 19. Kingdom Project ‘Picture Me’ Ghana participant.

Fiona Howard

Having seen the initial plans for ‘Kingdom’ I am already excited and looking forward to this wonderful event. It will celebrate everything that
 makes Hay special and unique, from its landscape and its people to its history, focusing on Richard Booth’s
major contribution to putting Hay on the map and creating the Kingdom of Hay.
This project promises to use the whole town; pubs, shops, homes, with major events not only raising the profile of the town but also engaging locals as well as tourists.
This will be reminiscent of the early Hay Festival days when the town and the people felt a more integral part of the festival.I wish everyone involved every success with this venture and can’t wait for the first event!

Fiona Howard – Hay-on-Wye Town Councillor, previous Mayor 

Aubrey and Clare Fry

As tourism business owners in Hay on Wye, we are well placed to understand how much the town needs a project/event that involves and utilises community engagement, local people and local businesses whilst also attracting more visitors and their positive economic impact to the area at the same time.
The Kingdom project ticks all these boxes and more & we are in full support of its vibrant, well informed, highly skilled, local team…we can’t wait to get more involved ourselves!

Aubrey and Clare Fry – local business owners ‘Want to Canoe’

Stuart Fiddes

As a local resident, musician, and business owner I know that the Kingdom Project is the perfect fit for this place and the people in it.
I can see this is a model for a new view on arts projects that could be embraced across the county.

Stuart Fiddes – local business owner ‘Number Two Style’