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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.
White Rose Learning Centre have worked in partnership with Find Your Talent to deliver the Performing for Success Arts Award in the Morley area of Leeds.
This term Performing for Success has worked with the singer/songwriter Danny Gough to write and perform original lyrics which were recorded onto a CD. Pupils were also given backstage tours of Leeds’ historic venues and attended a performance of VOICES: The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.
Next term the project goes across the city to be replicated out in two other learning centres where the focus will be on radio production, poetry and martial arts; all of which will be accredited through the Arts Award scheme.
This month the FYT supported Future Arts has been running music technology workshops at Burley Lodge as part of a project that gave young people (aged 13-19) the opportunity to become music producers and create their own music using digital technology.
Future Arts used MIDI controllers, Kaoss pads, Audio Cubes, CD Decks and laptops which helped participants create their own beats, samples and vocal effects – and created future music without boundaries from the sessions.
Participants from the Inner North West area of Leeds watched videos of performances from all musical genres and kick-started a lively debate about artistic style techniques and use or non-use of technology. The discussion reflected the wide range of tastes, styles and ideas about music culture that the group shared.
The group were introduced to elements of music technology through a series of workshops which expanded their understanding of how music can be created – summed up by the idea that you don’t have to be a grade 8 pianist to be a grade A musician.
Future Arts offers a unique music experience that is informed by and connected to youth culture. It offers an accessible route that allows young people to create music in ways that respond to their own interests and experiences whilst gaining credits for Arts Award qualifications. The project is a great opportunity for young people in Leeds to access user friendly workshops and harness their own vision of music and creativity.
The next workshops will take place at West Park Centre, Spen Lane.
For further information on Inner North West’s Future Arts projects contact Gemma on 0113 2468294
S-T-R-E-T-C-H were awarded a grant from Find Your Talent (Leeds) to work with a group of young people from care homes in Leeds and create museum collections from their personal belongings. The project was a great opportunity for young people to think about museum collections in a new way and included workshops in the care homes as well as visits to Leeds City Museum and the Discovery Centre.
Through these workshops participants gained confidence and were more able to communicate their ideas and creativity through the project that resulted in a final display piece Bad Girls Museum. They also gained Arts Award qualifications that are nationally recognised.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H is an arts charity established six years ago by Carlotta Goulden that works alongside disadvantaged groups, museums and gallery spaces. The York based charity founder was the workshop leader on the My Museum project, she commented that working with looked after children had been ‘really successful’ and is ‘something we feel really strongly about and have been really encouraged by going into their homes and engaging with them in this way’.
FYT popped along to First Floor to meet some of the young people using the space and to hear what they think about it. First Floor is West Yorkshire Playhouse’s new creative place where 12-19 year olds can take part in art, music and performing arts activities. During the visit, we met some enthusiastic and vibrant young people participating in a drama session as part of their Breeze Arts Foundation Course. The group are all working towards Arts Awards as part of their creative development.
It was fantastic to see so much talent and creativity in the room and FYT are looking forward to hearing about the group’s next steps. First Floor offers weekend drop-in sessions for young people in different artforms throughout the year.