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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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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.”


Holmfirth artist Kate Woodfield hosted a regular workshop group at Gildersome Children’s Centre for parents and their children during July. The grand opening of the finished mural will take place at a celebration on 23rd July.

The workshops have included a fantastic range of activities including storytelling and crafts which have inspired the creation of the mural. Parents and children have worked together to create acetate mobiles and a curtain with stories and photographs encapsulated in the plastic as part of the garden display. Bright printed cushions and a wicker scarecrow have also been produced for the Gildersome Scarecrow Festival 2010.

The children’s centre has used this opportunity to work with the artist on enhancing their outdoor playspace. It has also supported  parents in finding their creative feet and encouraged families to develop ways of applying their skills in the home environment.

Earlyarts will be hosting a Professional Development Day at Temple Newsam – themed on Engaging Parents – on Friday 16th of July.

Leeds’ Earlyarts will host a day of networking activities including two practical workshops – drama techniques with Tell Tale Hearts (children’s touring theatre company) and visual arts with Kate Woodfield – there will also be a presentation based around the Parent’s Arts Award.

Earlyarts Professional Development Days are for arts, cultural and early years professionals who want to explore creative practices in their work with young children and families. The day explores case studies, connects colleagues with other networks around the region and helps gain new ideas and skills to put into practice.

Friday 16th July, 10am-3pm at Temple Newsam House, Leeds. For further information visit http://www.earlyarts.co.uk

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.

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.