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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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Find Your Talent have been working in partnership with ArtForms and the Gifted and Talented National Strategies team on CPD (Continuing Professional Development) around Talent in the Arts.

 The ‘Talent in the Arts’ project is focused on enhancing classroom practice to create a challenging experience for the benefit for all pupils.  The involvement of a professional artist helps to develop teachers’ confidence and extends and broadens the curriculum.

During the Summer Term, Year 3 and 4 class teachers from Morley and Seacroft Manston schools will work alongside visual artist, Steve Pool, on Talent in the Arts: Visual Art.

The school’s teachers will be supported by the artist to identify children who are demonstrating talent within visual art.   The programme challenges perceptions about what “talent” looks like and which children are considered to be talented.

The identified children from across the schools will spend a day at Leeds Art Gallery working with Steve Pool, the resulting work will support Open Show which is taking place there over the summer.

Talent in the Arts: Drama, is currently taking place with 6 schools from across the city.

The information generated from the Talent in the Arts programmes will form the basis of a resource for all Leeds schools, to be disseminated from September 2010.  It will also support a year long focus on raising the profile of “talent” in the arts in the Leeds localities.

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.

fyt-at-the-store

The Find Your Talent team had a great day taking part in The Store at the West Park Centre yesterday. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and connect with a huge range freelance artists, arts organisations and teachers.

There was a great buzz to the day with performances from young people and practitioners throughout the event. The Store is an annual event hosted and programmed by Artforms and has become a key networking date for teachers and Leeds’ cultural sector. As well as making friends with this amazing Griffin (made by artist Naomi Parker),  Find Your Talent signed up over fifty artists and arts organisations to the Culture Network.

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.