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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.

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.

Following a wealth of excellent feedback from parents in the Leeds area 2010’s new Breeze Calendar has been distributed to 107,000 Breeze card holders via Leeds schools this month.

Highlighting interesting events in the Breeze calendar alongside international events (such as World Book Day) the calendar has been produced to raise cultural awareness and activities in the Leeds area.

Some of the images included are representative of major events in the calendar – such as Lightnight Leeds and Leeds Young People’s Film Festival.

The Breeze Calendar provides a monthly listing of events happening in and around the Leeds area. It has been particularly useful to parents during the summer holidays providing a central reference point for all Breeze and Leeds City Council public events.

For further information on events happening around Leeds please check the Breeze Leeds Website  for up-to-date listings.

During November Leeds Find Your Talent took part in two knowledge sharing events with the other ten FYT pathfinders. The events were a great opportunity to see how the national picture was fitting together and hear about some more inspiring ways of how other areas were delivering the cultural offer to children and young people. The events were documented by illustrator Dan Porter who somehow managed to transform our hastily scribbled flipchart notes into fantastic pen drawings.

Leeds Museums and Galleries are working with young people across the city to create text message signage for collections and exhibitions.  Young people have been working alongside poets from The Poetry Business  looking at artefacts and responding to them in text message poetry.

Mobile technology company, Blink, are leading the project which has so far included poetry workshops at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall Abbey and Leeds City Art Gallery. Participants have included members of  Sessions At The Gallery and pupils from Bruntcliffe High School in Morley.

The project will be launched in February when the text poems can be requested by visitors and sent directly to mobile phone. Visitors to the venues can contribute their own poems, by text, to add to the growing archive.

By supporting user generated content the project aims to create a space for young people and families to interpret exhibitions in a new and engaging way. 

More venues will be added to the text message museum map during 2010 and a website will showcase the poems online.

For more information contact lisa@blinkmedia.org

CYPP Handbook

At the beginning of the week the Find Your Talent team attended the launch event of the Children Leeds Children and Young People’s Plan. This event was a great opportunity to promote the  FYT programme to professionals and young people; and to raise awareness about the Culture Network.

The day included different participatory activities including a brilliant Wake Up Shake Up session lead by children from Kerr Mackie primary school. The young people presenting the sessions were fantastic and shared their experiences about the different ways they have been involved in shaping our services by becoming Anti-bullying Ambassadors and Find Your Talent Arts Ambassadors supported by Find Your Talent.

rock school logo

Rock School is a five week course of Jammin’, Recordin’ and Giggin’, specifically designed to give young people the ultimate rock band experience.

Over the 6 session experience, each student will form a new band with people of their own age, learn to play tracks by their favourite artists, write their own original material, record their songs in a professional recording studio and take part in exciting ensemble sessions. At the end of the project a Grand Finale Gig will showcase participants work at a prestigious, national music venue!

Rock School is open to young people between 11 – 16 years (or from school years 6 to 11) and living in West Leeds.

As part of Leeds’ Find Your Talent Programme, Rock School will be hosting (at The Rock And Roll Circus Studios in Armley) a free-to-access five week course, running on Saturdays during the second half of the Autumn Term 2009.

The project will work with young people from West Leeds who have an established interest in music and a desire to improve their skills. Participants do not need to be of a high standard on their chosen instrument, but they must have displayed an enthusiasm and desire to engage with musical activity, either in school, at out of school activities, within their community, or within peer groups.

For more info contact:
craig@rockschool.uk.com
www.rockschool.uk.com

expologo

Find Your Talent have funded the youth strand of the EXPO festival which is taking place in Leeds this year.  EXPO is a national free festival of sound art and experimental music and runs from the 25th to the 29th September.

Young people from across the city have worked with sonic artists to create their own pieces of artwork.  These projects have given the young people the unique opportunity to exhibit their artwork alongside international artists.

Gifted and talented year 6 pupils from Morley primaries worked with Glenn Boulter, sonic artist and Sarah Shaw, Head of Music at Bruntcliffe High School to create an audio trail of the exhibits at Leeds City Museum.

morley expo workshop

Artist Mira Calix worked with young people from South Leeds High School to explore the visual and audio effects of sound by combining unlikely objects such as rice and marbles with bass speakers.

In Seacroft Manston young people from the David Young Community Academy worked with arts organisation Heads Together to create a ‘domestic symphony’ based around the back-to-back kitchen in Leeds City Museum.

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.

LS7 Results

Radiowaves will be working with LS7 Results Carnival Group  to create a new young people’s culture blog between Summer 2009 and Spring 2010. The online channel is being developed for young people to report on events, music, art and performance in the city. Over the next couple of months the group hopes to cover events including Leeds West Indian Carnival and Breeze On Tour. Once the blog is up and running there will be further Find Your Talent opportunities for other groups to take part and become part of the reporting team.

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.