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A group of aspiring journalists who meet regularly in Headingley Library have created the new issue of Chattix, a magazine ‘for young people, by young people’. The club is run with the support of Find Your Talent, Extended Services and Leeds Library and Information Service and is comprised of pupils from neighbourhood primary schools in the Headingley area.
Featuring specially designed Chattix Creatures Cards, puzzles, recipes, a feature on ‘What Makes A Good Book?’, book and games reviews, cartoons, a short story (written by one of the group) and an adventure diary the Chattix project has been created to encourage children and young people to engage with literature.
The new issue of Chattix is now available to download via this link.
Ten young people from Leeds are set to take part in a prestigious cultural exchange in France which will include a presentation of artwork to Prince Charles. Their contribution will be part of a ceremony to commemorate Commonwealth soldiers who died during the First World War. The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor James McKenna, will also participate in this high profile international event in Leeds’ partner city of Lille.
The Leeds group, aged 14-17, are from the Burley, Seacroft, Beeston and Morley areas. They have been developing a role as Arts Ambassadors for the city, supported by Youth Point at the Cardigan Centre as part of the Find Your Talent Leeds programme. They meet regularly to visit arts and culture venues in the city such as galleries, cinemas, and theatres.
Thanks to a special invitation from Lille, the Arts Ambassadors will be representing the UK in France for two weeks from July 17th. Their artwork will pay tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the trenches during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Comprising poems, photographs and drawings the collage will be combined with work by other young participants in the exchange programme from Italy and France.
The cultural exchange will be led by Youth Point’s Andrina Dawson and takes place in Lille. Activities will include daily workshops on dance, DJing, slam poetry and museum/gallery visits. The workshops will culminate in a final performance produced alongside the other European exchange students. Many of those participating from Leeds had not had access to cultural opportunities before their involvement with Find Your Talent.
Cllr Adam Ogilvie Executive Member for Leisure Services said:
“This exciting opportunity for young people in Leeds is showing how important culture is in gaining confidence, personal skills and engaging young people with new experiences. It also gives a great sense of pride to the city knowing that young people from Leeds will be representing Britain at this major commemorative event.”
Cllr Judith Blake Executive Member for Children’s Services said:
“It’s so positive to see young people from Leeds taking part in such a significant event and giving them this opportunity in Europe. Having the chance to create their own work, learn about history and mix with young people from across Europe will give these young people an unforgettable experience.”
Under The Parasol is an early years theatre project by the Tutti Frutti theatre company that will be taking place in Morley’s schools and libraries and at the Little London Children Centre throughout July. There will also be a performance at Shine in Harehills.
Based on the Smarties Book Prize winning novel Hue Boy by Rita Phillips Mitchell, the touring theatre performance explores themes of family, self-esteem, community, food from other cultures, healthy living and fathers and sons. The workshops encourage children to create and perform their own stories and develops literary skills.
A heart-warming tale set in a Caribbean village, Hue Boy is performed by the actor Stewart Thomas to children aged 4-7. Set in a village in Belize Hue Boy’s dilemma is that he is smaller than the other children his age, he has to eat healthy food to make him grow taller. The story follows Hue’s journey of exercise, food and potions to make him grow.
With a stunning theatre set by the designer Alison Heffernan, the children from Morley, Little London and Harehills will be invited to sit in the storytelling zone and enjoy this unique interactive experience.
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.
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.
White Rose Learning Centre have worked in partnership with Find Your Talent to deliver the Performing for Success Arts Award in the Morley area of Leeds.
This term Performing for Success has worked with the singer/songwriter Danny Gough to write and perform original lyrics which were recorded onto a CD. Pupils were also given backstage tours of Leeds’ historic venues and attended a performance of VOICES: The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.
Next term the project goes across the city to be replicated out in two other learning centres where the focus will be on radio production, poetry and martial arts; all of which will be accredited through the Arts Award scheme.
This exciting project (run in conjunction with Connect Housing, Chango Music and Find Your Talent) brings together young people of different ages from all across East Leeds to create a loud, vibrant ‘stomp style’ orchestra.
16 pupils from 5 different high schools and 2 primaries in the East Leeds area have rehearsed on Tuesday evenings to make, thump and dance around old trays, barrels, teapots and saucepans. The result? The amazing and awesome Seacroft Junk Percussion Orchestra.
The sessions have involved young people in a range of activities including basic drumming skills and rhythms, art and craft (making instruments and costumes), performance, dance and circus skills.
Local MC Testament (from the Leeds based hiphop act Homecut) has also run beatboxing sessions with the group. Homecut have recentlycollaborated with Corinne Bailey Rae, Soweto Kinch, US rap legend J-Live, Andreya Triana and the Cinematic Orchestra. Also a member of Schlomo and the Vocal Orchestra, Testament shared his skills with the junk band to help turn their vocal chords into instruments, which will then feature in this summer’s performances.
Seacroft Junk Percussion Orchestra will perform at Bradford Mela on June 12th and 13th, Seacroft Gala on July 3rd and shall play a final show at Seacroft’s Expression Arts Festival on September 25th.
The only word I know that rhymes with culture
I ain’t no beast though,
Culture to me is …
The way I dress,
What I eat,
The way I make a mess,
Who I meet,
The way I speak,
How I do,
The way I seek,
What I pursue,
Whether I can,
I am who I am.
This fantastic poem was created as part of the Find Your Talent children and young people’s reference group at West Yorkshire Playhouse in April.
The sessions, run by The Project / Youth Association involved young people aged 12-20 from Inner North West Leeds and explored perceptions of art and culture.
This creative approach investigated the role of art and culture in young people’s lives and an ambassador’s group has been formed, Arts Uncovered, which will ensure that children and young people have a voice in the decision making process for all of Find Your Talent’s aims in Leeds.
The Arts Uncovered ambassador’s group will engage with children and young people in Leeds, encouraging them to access culture in the city, and will also visit Breeze on Tour whilst participating with the Follow Alex campaign on Facebook.
Last month the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce visited Morley Library as part of a Find Your Talent supported event. Reading from his two novels Millions (winner of the 2004 Carnegie Medal) and Cosmic the writer collaborated with Artemis who supplied artefacts for the event.
The event encouraged young people to engage with literature in a hands-on way, and introduced them to the idea of how being successful doesn’t necessarily equate with fame.
The writer, originally from Liverpool, has worked in a variety of writing roles over the years; from scriptwriter on Brookside and Coronation Street through to an array of prize-winning children’s fiction. As a screenwriter he is best known for his collaborations with Michael Winterbottom (including 24 Hour Party People and Welcome To Sarajevo) and also had his novel Millions developed into a film in partnership with Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. Boyce also wrote and staged his first original theatre production Proper Clever at the Liverpool Playhouse during the European Capital of Culture Year 2008.
During the Morley event, in front of a sold out audience of 350 young people (aged between 8-14) he discussed how money causes problems, and how it inspired the concept behind Millions. The writer engaged with the young audience in this lively reading, and sold out his entire stock of novels on the day. He signed copies of books, postcards, and through an informal Q&A session explained how his own personal process of writing had enabled him to become a successful writer.