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Breeze on Briggate

Find Your Talent Leeds formally ended as a programme in early 2011, but there’s a host of activity taking place in the city which is continuing to build on the FYT experience. 
 
Arts Exchange
Leeds City Council’s Arts & Regeneration and Artforms teams have worked with CAPE UK to develop a range of professional development programmes for creative practitioners.  These opportunities are responses to needs identified through FYT, supporting those working with children and young people in a range of settings.  They include:
 
Mind Your Own Business (14th June, 12.30-5pm, Mint Hotel Leeds, £10), a World Cafe event for practitioners in the creative sector with Dr Chris Seeley.
 
Safeguarding and the Arts (30th June, 10am-4pm, West Park Centre, £20), for freelance artists and arts organisations.
 
Demonstrating Impactembedding evaluation in art form practice (12 July, 10am-4pm, Howard Assembly Rooms, £20), which will explore how to evaluate impact effectively and with integrity.
 
Artforms are also consulting about the development of further Action Learning Sets for freelance artists and practitioners from arts organisations.  More about all of these activities and events on www.artformsleeds.co.uk
 
Recipe for Life and Stand in the Place where you Live
FYT has also inspired two fantastic live events taking place at West Yorkshire Playhouse this summer.  Space 2’s “Recipe for Life” (15 and 16 July, WYP Courtyard Theatre, 7.45pm) will bring together a mouthwatering menu of presentations from dance and performance poetry to music and film.  It gathers the professional and community arts groups that work with Space 2, showcasing lots of ideas and performances originally developed through FYT.
 
Meanwhile “Stand in the Place where you Live” (14 July, WYP Courtyard Theatre, 7.45pm) is an unique Leeds-wide youth drama showcase, co-ordinated by the FYT-established Leeds Drama Network, and featuring short performances of original work from up to eight different groups.  Booking details and more info on these shows available at www.wyp.org.uk.
 
Breeze and Breeze Culture Network
The practical tools developed through FYT continue to serve the creative community as well as children and young people in Leeds.  More organisations than ever are spreading news about their events and activities through www.breezeculturenetwork.org, while an incredible 160,000 young people in Leeds now have Breezecards and receive information on offers and opportunities.  We’re also looking forward to more from the Breeze Has Talent competition this year following December’s fantastic finale at Leeds Town Hall. 
 
Publications
Cultural organisations and their practice are also supported by the recent publication of Leeds FYT’s “8 Best Practice Principles” for cultural projects with young people, and “Getting in the Frame”, a user’s guide to the range of quality assurance frameworks currently applicable to this area of work.
 
Also forthcoming is a set of FYT Case Studies, which collects experiences, lessons and testimony from some of the finest FYT projects of the last two years.  Meanwhile, “Arts Make A Difference”, to be launched at an Artforms event with FYT area schools on 28th June 2011, will provide guidance about how to build innovative cultural work into school policy and strategy.
 
Times may in many ways be tough, but there is still plenty of cultural opportunity in Leeds and the demand from young people is as high as ever.  Leeds’s youth and cultural organisations, often working with and alongside the city’s schools, continue to do a great job in meeting these needs.
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The only word I know that rhymes with culture
Is
Vulture

I ain’t no beast though,

So

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,
And
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.

Over October half term a group of young people from across Leeds attended a CapeUK consultation workshop at Studio12. The workshop aimed to find out what young people think is important when it comes to providing a high quality arts experience . Their opinions will contribute to Find Your Talent’s on-going quality assurance work.

During the workshop participants created a larger than life  3D collage of the ‘ideal’ artist and the results were captured on stop frame animation. The group created four videos in total – this one describes the kind of knowledge that an artist should have, whilst the others show what young people expect from a practitioner in terms of experience, values and attitudes.

You can view the rest of the animations at: http://www.youtube.com/rawtalentinthemaking

followalex FollowAlex is Leeds City Council’s innovative marketing campaign to support the aims of Find Your Talent and raise awareness of culture amongst young people in Leeds.  The communications initiative combines social media platforms like Facebook and Bebo with traditional advertising media, including billboards, bus interior and exterior, bus stations and radio to promote and support the online activity.

FollowAlex will encourage young people to find out for themselves what is going on in their city, and through peer endorsement, demystify the barrier that the idea of culture can sometimes create.

Join the FollowAlex group on Facebook by following this link here; and keep an eye out for status updates on buses and billboards across Leeds this summer.

 CAPE  Logo

CapeUK were recently appointed to deliver the first phase of FYT’s Quality Assurance brief. Over the next few months CapeUK will be consulting with a wide range of stakeholders from Leeds’ cultural and education sectors to produce the following outcomes:

  • A QA badging system that reflects best practise frameworks currently in use by arts organisations and schools.
  • A Code Of Conduct written in consultation with creative practitioners working with children and young people.
  • An assessment of regional QA training provision and recommendations for QA training themes to be delivered during Phase2

Consultation will take place online; at events; and through phone interviews. If you are interested in participating in this research please contact abby.dix-mason@leeds.gov.uk for more information.

Find Your Talent and ArtForms, Education Leeds are leading a two year project with Seacroft Manston schools, looking at what arts are on offer in the classroom and whether there is fair and equitable provision across the area.  Over the next two years, with schools driving the agenda, new arts activities for pupils and training for staff will be commissioned.  The ultimate aim is to create a model cultural offer: an ideal arts & cultural experience from the point of view of a child as they move through school life.

To celebrate the start of the project, each school has been able to buy in two days’ of an artist’s time to create a project for Shine week. The response is growing.  Schools are keen to broaden provision and to explore the idea of a creative curriculum. St Theresa’s Primary in Manston has just become a Change school with Creative Partnerships.  Their headteacher has a commitment to, and clear vision of, the role arts and creativity can play in raising aspirations and standards. 

On June 5th the whole staff enjoyed an intensive creative day at Temple Newsam (pictured).  Artforms arranged for visual artist, Lou Sumray, radio practitioner, Adrian Sinclair from East Leeds FM, and Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah to lead sessions with teachers.  East Leeds FM broadcast from their caravan, parked outside the magnificent Temple Newsam House.  The whole experience was a huge success, and given even more impact thanks to the fantastic surroundings.

morleyliteraturefestival logo

Find Your Talent are working with Leeds Libraries  and Morley Literature Festival to involve young people in an event planning process which will form part of the annual Literature festival.  The dates for this year’s festival are the 12th – 18th October 2009.

The consultation process started at the beginning of May with young people from across the high schools.  This was done through Leeds Libraries and Information Service and the Schools Library Service.  Members of the schools’ reading and creative writing groups have been approached to help shape an event for other young people which will go on to form part of the Literature Festival.  Watch this space for more details on the outcome of the consultation.

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.