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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.

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

Under The Parasol is an early years theatre project by the Tutti Frutti theatre company that will be taking place in Morley’s schools and libraries and at the Little London Children Centre throughout July. There will also be a performance at Shine in Harehills.

Based on the Smarties Book Prize winning novel Hue Boy by Rita Phillips Mitchell, the touring theatre performance explores themes of family, self-esteem, community, food from other cultures, healthy living and fathers and sons. The workshops encourage children to create and perform their own stories and develops literary skills.

A heart-warming tale set in a Caribbean village, Hue Boy is performed by the actor Stewart Thomas to children aged 4-7. Set in a village in Belize Hue Boy’s dilemma is that he is smaller than the other children his age, he has to eat healthy food to make him grow taller. The story follows Hue’s journey of exercise, food and potions to make him grow.

With a stunning theatre set  by the designer Alison Heffernan, the children from Morley, Little London and Harehills will be invited to sit in the storytelling zone and enjoy this unique interactive experience.

 

 

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.

Another week and another great example of how culture is creating strong community links through the work of Find Your Talent Leeds.

Year 2 children from Asquith Primary School in Morley are exploring the past through a heritage project led by Creative Facilitator, Irene Lofthouse.

Children and their teachers are bringing to life the history of the markets town’s key buildings and landmarks.  The work will form the basis of a child and family friendly Morley heritage trail connecting the experiences of different generations.

This project reflects  a key strand to Find Your Talent Leeds ethos; linking together different partners to engage all children and families in their cultural heritage and connect communities.

Irene has worked with Find Your Talent , Artemis (Education Leeds), Leeds Libraries; Leeds Museums and Galleries; Morley Archives and Morley Local History Group to create an inspirational learning experience for children. It draws on some of the exciting resources Leeds has to offer to make the history of Morley relevant to children who live there now.

Young people from residential care homes in Leeds are shaping the Find Your Talent programme for Looked After Children across the city. The range of creative interests that young people have shared with us over the past six months reveals their passion for culture and a clear demand for opportunities to develop their creative skills.

All FYT Leeds work in residential care homes is developed in consultation with young people and currently includes keyboard and music lessons; a mini outdoor stage; drama workshops; textile and screen printing; and cultural visits to museums and galleries.

This strand of Looked After Children work is committed to providing cultural opportunities for young people in every Leeds City Council (LCC) care home and is delivered in partnership with LCC’s Out-Of-School Activities team.

Visitors to this blog will be aware that the new Government is making wide ranging cuts.  Today we heard that the final year of Find Your Talent is one of the victims of these cuts and affects all ten pathfinders across the country.  We are yet to hear the final implications of this on the programmes we have been developing.

We are sorry to share this bad news, especially as with our wide range of project partners we have built some great relationships and delivered real change to young people’s lives.

We are currently working hard to identify what can be salvaged from this and the team is exploring all possibilities to ensure we can deliver as much of the programme as we can.  We are trying to work through these issues rapidly and hope to share more information about what we can do and what we can’t.

We will be contacting our project partners directly over the next few days but if there are any specific immediate concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will tell you as much as we know.

Further updates about these funding cuts and how they are affecting the Leeds pathfinder will be posted on the blog as and when we receive the information.

Leeds Find Your Talent Team

Families from across the city have been busy creating paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages as part of this year’s Open Show workshops. 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 in the run up to Leeds Art Gallery’s August event.

Supported by Find Your Talent, the artist-led workshops have enabled children to explore their creativity and ideas in the run up to Open Show.  

The workshops will be held at Leeds Art Gallery on midweek days for the city’s primary and secondary school pupils. There are also free additional Children’s Art Day workshops for families and their children on Saturday 3rd July (pm), with two all-day workshop events on 10th July, and on 17th July. 

Children and Young People from all regions of Leeds have taken part in local workshops in areas such as Seacroft, Inner North West, and Morley. 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.

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.