You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.


The Leeds-based South Asian Arts UK (SAA-uk) has hosted an array of Find Your Talent workshops across the city since September last year which has given young people the chance to explore their cultural heritage through music, dance and theatre.

SAA-uk was established in 1997 to promote engagement with traditional and contemporary South Asian arts. It delivers a diverse range of programmes and activities for children, young people and their families through education programmes, concerts and investment in South Asian arts development.

Supported by Find Your Talent, SAA-uk have held guitar workshops for 9-10 year olds at Shakespeare Primary School in Burmantofts, led by the accomplished musician Giuliano Modarelli. The group also visited a live performance by Alex Teymour Housego’s Alcazaba, a flamenco/ middle eastern fusion band at the Seven Arts venue in Chapel Allerton.

Since January members of the Punjabi Language School have met regularly at the GNNSJ Sikh Temple in Beeston on Wednesday evenings. The project included an introduction to the theatre with a trip to The Carriageworks to see a production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The visit was followed by a day-long workshop at the GNNSJ temple facilitated by leading storyteller and drama coach Ursula Holden Gill. The day included games based on Animal Farm, looking at representations of animal types and characteristics with mask-making and live performances.

During the final phase of workshops girls from City of Leeds High School took part in Bollywood dance workshops at The Cardigan Centre.

The after-school sessions, hosted by Rushia Uzmi (Dola), came to an end in June and the group are now looking forward to attending the new show Britain’s Got Bhangra at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The hit play from Rifco Arts traces the history of Bhangra through the story of Twinkle (an 80s British Bhangra icon who goes bankrupt with only dreams of a number one hit to keep him going) and will be coming to Leeds in July.

The confidence of the workshop participants has developed in many ways throughout this project which has seen young people build on their creative skills, gain Arts Award qualification and establish new friendships.

Advertisements

Watch out Leeds – preparations are gathering pace for the start of the Summer School Musical (SSM) 2010!

Last year SSM, delivered by the White Rose Learning Centre, saw young people from Morley work with 3 artists to create a fabulous performance in the space of just one week.

This year the event is raising the bar and joining forces with young people from across the 3 FYT localities to create a performance which will showcase at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds city centre.

SSM is a fantastic platform to build young peoples talent and has been brought to life by the White Rose Learning Team, Derek Fatchett Learning Centre and the BBC Media Centre at Primrose High School. 

This inspiring partnership will support the young people as they are put through their creative paces by musician, Danny Gough; visual artist, Naomi Parker and drama facilitator, Claire Bleasdale.

Another week and another great example of how culture is creating strong community links through the work of Find Your Talent Leeds.

Year 2 children from Asquith Primary School in Morley are exploring the past through a heritage project led by Creative Facilitator, Irene Lofthouse.

Children and their teachers are bringing to life the history of the markets town’s key buildings and landmarks.  The work will form the basis of a child and family friendly Morley heritage trail connecting the experiences of different generations.

This project reflects  a key strand to Find Your Talent Leeds ethos; linking together different partners to engage all children and families in their cultural heritage and connect communities.

Irene has worked with Find Your Talent , Artemis (Education Leeds), Leeds Libraries; Leeds Museums and Galleries; Morley Archives and Morley Local History Group to create an inspirational learning experience for children. It draws on some of the exciting resources Leeds has to offer to make the history of Morley relevant to children who live there now.

The Leeds Be Healthy! Be Creative healthy schools programme offers a choice of over 100 challenges for schools that involve individuals, classes, teachers, families and year groups to choose to ‘just do one thing well’. This summer’s 2010 term will see a celebration event taking place at the Leeds Met Carnegie site on June 29th.

The challenges last for at least six weeks, which involve changing habits for the long term. For example, using Breeze to access information, visiting heritage sites on a regular basis, or learning a musical instrument.

The celebration event will have 60 schools participating, showing each other their achievements whilst having an opportunity to try out two of the six workshops being offered during the exciting ‘festival’ themed day including Circus Skills, Slam Poetry, Bhangra Dancing, African Drumming, Drama and Singing.

The programme has held five young leaders training days in April at Park Spring Primary, Morley High School, Templenewsam Halton Primary, Abbey Grange High and Wigton Moor Primary. Children and young people on the Young Leaders programme took part in activities that included confidence building, decision making, teamwork, presentation, and recording and evaluation skills.

The Young Leaders go back to their schools to run challenges with other pupils. Creative crew at the Carnegie event will be composed of Young Leaders who will help support the day and organise/plan the event.

One of the yr 4 pupils from Wigton Moor Primary has created this short poem from the BHBC Young Leaders training session, which describes some of the key points from their recent workshops;

Switch off the lights
Turn off the taps
Recycle your rubbish
Think about that
Think about the world
Our environment too
It’s got to last a long time
Not just for me, but for all of you too.

Young people from residential care homes in Leeds are shaping the Find Your Talent programme for Looked After Children across the city. The range of creative interests that young people have shared with us over the past six months reveals their passion for culture and a clear demand for opportunities to develop their creative skills.

All FYT Leeds work in residential care homes is developed in consultation with young people and currently includes keyboard and music lessons; a mini outdoor stage; drama workshops; textile and screen printing; and cultural visits to museums and galleries.

This strand of Looked After Children work is committed to providing cultural opportunities for young people in every Leeds City Council (LCC) care home and is delivered in partnership with LCC’s Out-Of-School Activities team.

Visitors to this blog will be aware that the new Government is making wide ranging cuts.  Today we heard that the final year of Find Your Talent is one of the victims of these cuts and affects all ten pathfinders across the country.  We are yet to hear the final implications of this on the programmes we have been developing.

We are sorry to share this bad news, especially as with our wide range of project partners we have built some great relationships and delivered real change to young people’s lives.

We are currently working hard to identify what can be salvaged from this and the team is exploring all possibilities to ensure we can deliver as much of the programme as we can.  We are trying to work through these issues rapidly and hope to share more information about what we can do and what we can’t.

We will be contacting our project partners directly over the next few days but if there are any specific immediate concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will tell you as much as we know.

Further updates about these funding cuts and how they are affecting the Leeds pathfinder will be posted on the blog as and when we receive the information.

Leeds Find Your Talent Team

Families from across the city have been busy creating paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages as part of this year’s Open Show workshops. Hundreds of entries have already been submitted for this year’s event, organisers are encouraging even more families (young people, children, pre-schoolers and adults) to try out their artistic skills in the run up to Leeds Art Gallery’s August event.

Supported by Find Your Talent, the artist-led workshops have enabled children to explore their creativity and ideas in the run up to Open Show.  

The workshops will be held at Leeds Art Gallery on midweek days for the city’s primary and secondary school pupils. There are also free additional Children’s Art Day workshops for families and their children on Saturday 3rd July (pm), with two all-day workshop events on 10th July, and on 17th July. 

Children and Young People from all regions of Leeds have taken part in local workshops in areas such as Seacroft, Inner North West, and Morley. By encouraging families to participate and enter Open Show the gallery hopes to expand on the vibrant entries that have already been received for this year’s event.

The Hawksworth Wood Fun Club provides school holiday activities for children and young people on the Kirkstall estate aged 8-13.

During the past six months volunteers from Leeds University Union have hosted creative workshops to encourage local children to create and explore new art forms and develop their confidence (and interest) in the arts. 

Some of their activities include how to design a garden, a Spanish Cafe, flag-making, writing and recording their own music and food art from produce they have grown from seed.  

Regular summer activities can improve concentration, encourage participation and re-affirm positive behaviour/interraction within a variety of art forms including drama, dance, crafts and visual art.

The half term, Easter and Whitsun sessions have led to a Junior Youth Theatre being established at Hawksworth which will be a weekly gathering for young people in the local area to learn performance and drama skills. The theatre will be a long-term project for the area which will develop productions beyond the Find Your Talent programme.

Seacroft has been captured on film by young documentary film makers in East Leeds in a new film titled Seacroft Past, Present and Future. Established in August 2009, the Seacroft Youth Film Factory project has been running in partnership with Space2, Leeds Bridge community film organisation and the Youth Service at the Denis Healey Centre.

Seacroft Film Factory’s documentary film trailer was shown at Hyde Park Picture House in April  as part of Screen Yorkshire’s slot at the Young People’s Film Festival, with the final complete film along with Bloopers and outtakes at the David Young Community Academy at the end of April. 

Find Your Talent  have supported a further film project with the young people, through the Film Festival’s 24 hour Film Challenge.  Another film called Blue Boundaries was created based on the local history of Temple Newsam where a rumoured ‘Blue Lady’ wanders the grounds.

The project worked with young people 11 – 19, who explored local history through the medium of film. The group took part in practical delivery sessions, visited the National Media Museum, and also Bradford and Leeds Metropolitan University’s Northern Film School.

This innovative scheme developed arts and media-based skills, increased self-esteem, raised aspirations, and introduced pathways to positive future education and/or career choices in the arts and media. Following the sessions – where the group learned how to edit, shoot and plan their own films – four young people gained their Bronze Arts Award in January 2010, with a further 3 collecting Bronze PAYP awards and 1 Gold PAYP award.

A group of eight pupils from Parklands Girls’ High School in Seacroft are developing a Find Your Talent supported dance performance which will represent Leeds at the prestigious Share Your Talent  arts showcase at the Southbank Centre in London on 22nd of July.

The performance is the result of a collaboration by Phoenix Dance Theatre and Space2 – an organisation which uses the arts to work with disadvantaged communities in Leeds.

All the girls are taking part in a five-day dance workshop during half term  working alongside ten members of the Phoenix Youth Academy, and supported by Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, a former Parklands pupil, and choreographer Gary Clarke. 

The performance will be part of Firebird, a massive dance and arts community event that is being developed to celebrate Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 30th Anniversary in 2011 and the cultural Olympiad in 2012.  

Emma Tregidden, Creative Director of Space2, believes that this is a fantastic opportunity for the girls:

“They not only get the chance to work alongside professional dancers and choreographers, but they will also represent their city at a really prestigious event in London” she said.  “The girls will be ambassadors for the larger Firebird project which we are currently developing in time for Phoenix’s 30th Anniversary in 2011.”

As part of the workshop at the school, the pupils will be supported by Leeds Metropolitan University graphic design students who have created a film to act as a backdrop to the performance.  Music is being specially composed by Leeds-based singer and song writer Christella Litras.

The performance will also be showcased at the Seacroft Expressions Festival in Leeds in September as part of Parklands Girls High School’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

What was FYT?

Find Your Talent was a national programme to explore new ways of opening up cultural and creative opportunities to young people. Leeds was one of the ten FYT Pathfinders in England.

The programme was led by Leeds City Council and Education Leeds, working closely together and with the city's cultural and community sectors to find ways for more young people to participate in the cultural life of the city.

FYT was funded to operate between 2008-2011 but its legacy in Leeds continues through activities under the Breeze banner, as well as other initiatives.