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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.

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bookaward

Three shortlists, 18 books, 52 schools and too may reviews to mention…..

Young people from across Leeds got together last month to celebrate the annual Leeds Book Awards.  Short listed authors attended the event and had the opportunity to hear first hand what their readers had to say and to answer their questions.  The award ceremony was split into 2 sections to reflect the different age ranges of the books. 

Throughout the year, young people have been able to submit their reviews of the shortlisted books to the Leeds Book Awards website www.leedsbookawards.co.uk.  During the award ceremony, one author revealed that he had read reviews of his book prior to attending.  The review he quoted said “The best thing about this book was the end!”

Seven schools from across the city presented their thoughts on the short listed books.   Find Your Talent localities were represented by Morley High School, City of Leeds High School and Parklands Girls High School.

 The event finished with the announcement of the winner of the best books which were:

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.