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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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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.

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.

Young people in Leeds will benefit from improved opportunities in arts and culture thanks to a groundbreaking web development which is attracting national interest.

Breeze Culture Network is the new website for professionals providing cultural opportunities for young people in Leeds.  Developed by Leeds City Council and funded by Find Your Talent, the site brings together schools, children’s centres, freelance artists and arts organisations, voluntary and community groups in a growing resource which aims to improve knowledge, develop ideas and increase opportunities for young people.

An essentially simple idea, the network links professionals to a wealth of information about those working in related areas, helping communication and joint planning.  The network will develop relationships between the cultural and education sectors, improving the coherence and quality of opportunities on offer to children and young people.

For a full version of this press release please visit the LCC Virtual Newsroom.

Following a wealth of excellent feedback from parents in the Leeds area 2010’s new Breeze Calendar has been distributed to 107,000 Breeze card holders via Leeds schools this month.

Highlighting interesting events in the Breeze calendar alongside international events (such as World Book Day) the calendar has been produced to raise cultural awareness and activities in the Leeds area.

Some of the images included are representative of major events in the calendar – such as Lightnight Leeds and Leeds Young People’s Film Festival.

The Breeze Calendar provides a monthly listing of events happening in and around the Leeds area. It has been particularly useful to parents during the summer holidays providing a central reference point for all Breeze and Leeds City Council public events.

For further information on events happening around Leeds please check the Breeze Leeds Website  for up-to-date listings.

followalex FollowAlex is Leeds City Council’s innovative marketing campaign to support the aims of Find Your Talent and raise awareness of culture amongst young people in Leeds.  The communications initiative combines social media platforms like Facebook and Bebo with traditional advertising media, including billboards, bus interior and exterior, bus stations and radio to promote and support the online activity.

FollowAlex will encourage young people to find out for themselves what is going on in their city, and through peer endorsement, demystify the barrier that the idea of culture can sometimes create.

Join the FollowAlex group on Facebook by following this link here; and keep an eye out for status updates on buses and billboards across Leeds this summer.

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.