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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.

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A vibrant community youth theatre has been making waves in the heart of West Park. 

Organised by The Cardigan Centre and Extended Services Inner NW hub, two groups of young people (seniors and juniors) meet weekly during term time at the West Park Centre (Spen Lane) and Hawksworth Wood Children’s Centre to explore issues and themes that are important to them and their community. The young people from both groups develop their own material and create performances which take place twice a year in the local community and across the city.

In 2009, over the Christmas period, the senior group took the theme of Alice in Wonderland and used the characters to create their own story. Delving into safety issues that they had experienced in their own lives, and inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic text they explored themes such as ‘eat me, drink me’ (substance and drinking) and the disappearing of Alice – which developed ideas around how to meet new friends whilst staying safe.

Coordinated by Hayley Briggs, the West Park Youth Theatre develops social skills, aspiration, confidence, self-esteem and gives young people a voice through the form of live theatre. There has been a positive impact on communities in the local area as a result of the pro-active engagement of young people from around the Burley and West Park areas of Inner North West Leeds.  The performances have helped to challenge perceptions of what young people are capable of and have encouraged expression, motivation and innovation through the regular creative workshops in the area .

For further information on local youth theatre groups across Leeds visit the Breeze Culture Network Hub.

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.

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.

The Hawksworth Wood Fun Club provides school holiday activities for children and young people on the Kirkstall estate aged 8-13.

During the past six months volunteers from Leeds University Union have hosted creative workshops to encourage local children to create and explore new art forms and develop their confidence (and interest) in the arts. 

Some of their activities include how to design a garden, a Spanish Cafe, flag-making, writing and recording their own music and food art from produce they have grown from seed.  

Regular summer activities can improve concentration, encourage participation and re-affirm positive behaviour/interraction within a variety of art forms including drama, dance, crafts and visual art.

The half term, Easter and Whitsun sessions have led to a Junior Youth Theatre being established at Hawksworth which will be a weekly gathering for young people in the local area to learn performance and drama skills. The theatre will be a long-term project for the area which will develop productions beyond the Find Your Talent programme.

Three groups of young people have been meeting regularly in Seacroft Manston, Morley and Inner North West to debate, discuss and make decisions regarding cultural opportunities in Leeds.

Find Your Talent is supporting three groups of young people to become cultural ambassadors for the city.  Each group works in different ways but shares the same aim: to have a young people’s voice in the city’s arts and culture.  The East Leeds group have enjoyed singing, guitar and steel pans at East Leeds Music Centre, had backstage tours of The Carriageworks and West Yorkshire Playhouse and have seen a performance of The Secret Garden. Many had never been to the theatre before.

During the Easter holidays, the three groups came together to meet one another and create a job description for their role as arts ambassador. 

Working alongside FYT and various cultural organisations (including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Carriage Works, and Libraries, Arts & Heritage) the budding arts critics – known as ‘arts ambassadors’ – have shared their ideas and opinions to ensure decision-makers at the local council take into account their views on culture.

The ambassador groups are being given exciting opportunities that will shape and develop their skills in communication, creativity and positive engagement with the arts. Some of these include film, music and drama/theatre visits.

Each participating school will eventually elect its own ‘Arts Ambassador’ for their council who will represent arts and culture at the school. The outcomes from the ambassador groups is helping to shape new directions and positive approaches towards young people in the arts in Leeds – from actual activities through to policy making (such as CYPP).

 

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

 

The only word I know that rhymes with culture
Is
Vulture

I ain’t no beast though,

So

Culture to me is …

The way I dress,
What I eat,
The way I make a mess,
Who I meet,
The way I speak,
How I do,
The way I seek,
What I pursue,
And
Whether I can,

I am who I am.

 

This fantastic poem was created as part of the Find Your Talent children and young people’s reference group at West Yorkshire Playhouse in April.

The sessions, run by The Project / Youth Association involved young people aged 12-20 from Inner North West Leeds and explored perceptions of art and culture.

This creative approach investigated the role of art and culture in young people’s lives and an ambassador’s group has been formed, Arts Uncovered, which will ensure that children and young people have a voice in the decision making process for all of Find Your Talent’s aims in Leeds.

The Arts Uncovered ambassador’s group will engage with children and young people in Leeds, encouraging them to access culture in the city, and will also visit Breeze on Tour whilst participating with the Follow Alex campaign on Facebook.

This summer, from 8th August – 19th September 2010 Leeds Art Gallery will host a groundbreaking new version of Open Show; this year’s competition will be open to young people who will be given the opportunity to display their work in this world-renowned gallery.

Open Show is being supported by Find Your Talent and for the first time is open 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 Art Gallery during the summer holidays. The works will be chosen by a panel of young people aged 16-19 from the Leeds Met Young Curators Group.

Through a series of artist led workshops young people, pre-school children and their families are creating and talking about art. These free workshops will be taking place across the city including the Find Your Talent locality areas of Inner North West, Morley and Seacroft Manston.

Find Your Talent are investing in this ambitious opportunity to nurture and celebrate the artistic talents of children and young people in Leeds. By displaying their work in one of the city’s major visual arts venues the scheme is communicating a clear message to children and young people that their creativity is valued – and has a key role to play in the cultural life of the city.

For full details on the Open Show competition, entry forms and workshop sessions visit Leeds Art Gallery’s Website.

Scrap Creative Reuse in partnership with Education Leeds have worked with year 5 & 6 pupils from Shire Oak, Burley St Mathias and Weetwood Primary (Inner North West) to create this eye-catching collection of giant scrap butterflies. Made from recycled materials the artworks became part of the sustainable schools standard in the city and were displayed at Elland Road’s Healthy Schools Conference.

Scrap Creative Reuse have worked a range of projects, providing workshops and training to families, teens and children for the past three years.Scrap Creative Reuse offer a range of training and projects and currently work in partnership with LCC family learning to deliver accredited creative arts workshops for families across Leeds. The workshops are based around basic literacy and numeracy using recycled arts resources to create props and books for children and include toy making, 3D Puppetmaking, and bookmaking.

The project is part of the Be Healthy! Be Creative 2010 Challenge. This free programme for schools asks children and young people to “Just do one thing well” with dozens of creative challenges to choose from on the day as well as exciting new challenges around health, wellbeing and sustainability.

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.