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White Rose Learning Centre have hosted an exciting summer project for young people aged 9-12, Summer School Musical, which is to be performed to an invited audience at Leeds Grand Theatre’s Howard Assembly Room on Thursday 12th August. Supported by Find Your Talent Summer School Musical was developed with the aim of creating and producing a musical from start to finish in two weeks.
33 performers, supported by 6 peer mentors (age 14-17) have been selected from Seacroft Manston, Morley and Inner North West areas of the city with the aim of introducing young people to the performing arts and to engage them with the heritage of Leeds Grand Theatre.
Summer School Musical was written, created and rehearsed (at the Howard Assembly Room) within eight days – the young performers have written their own music for the show alongside musicians and artists including Danny Gough, Claire Bleasdale and Naomi Parker.
Themed around ‘a journey through time’ the show centres on a group of teenagers who stumble across a derelict house where they find musical relics from the past which transports them through music from the 1960s into the present day.
The project has taken place at various locations including White Rose Learning Centre, BBC Media Centre at Primrose High, and the Derek Fatchett City Learning Centre. A partnership between Education Leeds Study Support, Leeds Grand Theatre and Extended Services, the project has enabled children and young people to work with a range of artists to develop their creative confidence, build new skills and have the opportunity to perform their own work in this prestigious Yorkshire venue.
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.
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.
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.
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.