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Leeds student Lucy Cheseldine has blogged about her work experience as a young writer in Leeds over at the Guardian Leeds blog.

Lucy has worked for the Mediafish, the Find Your Talent supported Leeds Young People’s Film Festival and has presented her own culture pieces on Radiowaves’ LsLive channel. You can check out the links here.

Saturday September 25th sees the launch of the second installment of the vibrant Seacroft community Expression Arts Festival, at the David Young Community Academy. Featuring an array of exciting activities, ranging from dance studios, open mics, junk percussion and live bands though to circus, stilt walkers and cheerleading workshops Expression Arts Festival promises to be a jam-packed day for children and young people in the local area

Supported by Find Your Talent, Seacroft Manston Children & Young Peoples Partnership, and organised by Space2, the event is a culmination of six months of rehearsals, workshops and creative learning in and around the Seacroft and Manston areas. Three hundred local young people have taken part in the preparations for Expression Arts Festival.

Based around the concept of ‘HMS Expression’ the nautical-themed festival will hold a  ship’s crew and pirates and stowaways causing mischief, So come aboard, pick up your passports and explore the ships:

  • ‘Theatre Space’ – The Elastic Band Orchestra, West Yorkshire Playhouse’s  production of  The Worm Collector , Parklands Dance, Seacroft Film Factory’s premiere, East Leeds Youth Theatre, and Connect Housing’s Junk Percussion Orchestra and many more will be performing
  • ‘Canteen’ – Leeds performance poet Michelle Scally-Clarke and Stella Litras will host West Yorkshire Playhouse’s ‘First Cut’ open mic sessions featuring young people from the Seacroft area
  • ‘Dance Studio’ – check out DAZL’s cheerleading squad, and Pilates workshops
  • Wicker-making sessions and Leeds’ Children’s Circus outside throughout the day
  • Market stalls, a smoothie-making bicycle, interactive stalls, and a visual arts exhibition
  • East Leeds FM radio broadcasting live all day

Throughout Expression Arts Festival Seacroft Film Factory will film a documentary of the day, hosting a Big Brother style diary room in a garden shed, as well as showing their films in the Seacroft Film Factory cinema .

From 7-10pm East Leeds FM will host Next Generation, a live music event where local up and coming band Hope and Social will play alongside some of the best emerging bands from around Leeds. Tickets £3 each available from Jumbo or Crash Records (50p booking fee) or www.elfm.co.uk . No tickets available on the door. Age 11 – 18.

For more information on Expression Arts Festival check out the Breeze Leeds website.

EXPRESSION ARTS FESTIVAL 2010
SATURDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER, 12-4PM, DAVID YOUNG COMMUNITY ACADEMY, BISHOP’S WAY, SEACROFT, LEEDS, LS14 6NU
ADMISSION FREE

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.

On Sunday 8th August this year’s Open Show competition will open to the general public. Featuring an array of work from all ages – Leeds Art Gallery will be displaying the finalists’ work from this weekend.

More than 600 children and young people from 22 schools across Leeds submitted paintings, tapestries, drawings and sculptures to be considered for this year’s annual show. Find Your Talent have supported workshops across the city, which have resulted in an exceptionally high standard of entries from children and young people in Leeds. 

Curated by the Leeds Met Gallery’s Young Curator’s Group, the under 18s section of the show will be displayed in the upstairs Number 14
Gallery alongside other submissions in the adult category; all children and young people’s work has been professionally framed especially for the show.

This year’s Open Show will be judged as part of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s People’s Choice Award. Voting slips and a ballot box will be available to visitors throughout the show, which runs until September 19th. The winner of 2010’s competition will be announced before the end of the exhibition.

Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Executive Board Member for Leisure commented:

“Much of this year’s excellent artwork has come through local workshops which have helped develop the already burgeoning talent in Leeds’ primary and secondary schools. It is heartening to see so many gifted young artists’ work sitting alongside adult submissions – and matching them in quality, innovation, creativity and depth. This year’s Open Show has proved to be a resounding success”.

A private view for the children and young people’s show takes place on Friday afternoon.

Opening times are: Monday & Tuesday 10am – 5pm; Wednesday 12pm – 5pm; Thursday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 1pm – 5pm; and closed on bank holidays.

Admission is free.

Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA / Tel: 0113 247 8256

Seacroft's Firebird Dancers

A group of pupils from Parklands Girls’ School, Seacroft have taken part in an exciting final celebration of the Find Your Talent programme at London’s Southbank Centre, performing Firebird alongside Phoenix Dance Theatre Academy dancers.

Six girls involved in Leeds’ Find Your Talent programme took part in the ‘Share Your Talent’ event on Thursday 22nd July which featured inspiring music and dance performances highlighting what can be achieved when young people are able to access arts and cultural activity to help them to develop their creative skills and talents.

Young people from across England proudly showcased what they have learnt as a result of the 18 month programme. Groups from all the pathfinder areas performed including a fashion show by design students from Leicestershire; a Bhangra drumming bonanza performance by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), and a gospel choir from Merseyside who re-arranged two classic songs that summed up their positive experiences on the Find Your Talent programme.

 

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.”

Pupils from St.Joseph’s Primary (Hunslet) and Gildersome Primary created vibrant collages and drawings alongside local artist Steve Pool on Friday morning at Leeds City Art Gallery.

They were joined by Cllr Adam Ogilvie for workshops inspired by some of the vibrant abstract images on Leeds Gallery’s walls.  Many of the children have now entered Friday’s creations into the Open Show competition.  

Pupils from across the city have created paintings, sketches and sculptures over the past few months in the run up to this year’s Open Show, which is supported by the national Find Your Talent programme. 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 for Leeds Art Gallery’s August opening.

The next Open Show workshops will be held at the gallery on Wednesday 7th of July for the city’s primary and secondary school pupils. There are also free additional Children’s Art Day workshops for families and their children with two all-day workshop events being held on 10th and 17th July.

Children and Young People from various parts of Leeds have taken part in local workshops, especially in areas such as Seacroft, Inner North West, and Morley which are target areas for Find Your Talent in the city. 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.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Board Member for Leisure commented “This year’s Open Show workshops have proved to be a huge hit with young people in Leeds. By encouraging their creativity and artistic talent in an inspirational environment families and their children have produced a wealth of innovative artwork. It just goes to show how art and design can have a positive impact on ambition, aspiration and approaches to the city’s cultural environment.”

Open Show (with support from Find Your Talent) is open for the first time to young people aged 18 and under. The competition is open to anyone from the Yorkshire region aged 0 to over 100.

200 selected young entrants will have their work professionally hung at Leeds City Art Gallery during the summer holidays. The works will be chosen by a panel of young people aged 16-19 from the Leeds Met Gallery Young Curators Group.

Click this link for information on how to enter.


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.

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.