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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.

Seacroft's Firebird Dancers

A group of pupils from Parklands Girls’ School, Seacroft have taken part in an exciting final celebration of the Find Your Talent programme at London’s Southbank Centre, performing Firebird alongside Phoenix Dance Theatre Academy dancers.

Six girls involved in Leeds’ Find Your Talent programme took part in the ‘Share Your Talent’ event on Thursday 22nd July which featured inspiring music and dance performances highlighting what can be achieved when young people are able to access arts and cultural activity to help them to develop their creative skills and talents.

Young people from across England proudly showcased what they have learnt as a result of the 18 month programme. Groups from all the pathfinder areas performed including a fashion show by design students from Leicestershire; a Bhangra drumming bonanza performance by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), and a gospel choir from Merseyside who re-arranged two classic songs that summed up their positive experiences on the Find Your Talent programme.

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.

Seacroft has been captured on film by young documentary film makers in East Leeds in a new film titled Seacroft Past, Present and Future. Established in August 2009, the Seacroft Youth Film Factory project has been running in partnership with Space2, Leeds Bridge community film organisation and the Youth Service at the Denis Healey Centre.

Seacroft Film Factory’s documentary film trailer was shown at Hyde Park Picture House in April  as part of Screen Yorkshire’s slot at the Young People’s Film Festival, with the final complete film along with Bloopers and outtakes at the David Young Community Academy at the end of April. 

Find Your Talent  have supported a further film project with the young people, through the Film Festival’s 24 hour Film Challenge.  Another film called Blue Boundaries was created based on the local history of Temple Newsam where a rumoured ‘Blue Lady’ wanders the grounds.

The project worked with young people 11 – 19, who explored local history through the medium of film. The group took part in practical delivery sessions, visited the National Media Museum, and also Bradford and Leeds Metropolitan University’s Northern Film School.

This innovative scheme developed arts and media-based skills, increased self-esteem, raised aspirations, and introduced pathways to positive future education and/or career choices in the arts and media. Following the sessions – where the group learned how to edit, shoot and plan their own films – four young people gained their Bronze Arts Award in January 2010, with a further 3 collecting Bronze PAYP awards and 1 Gold PAYP award.

A group of eight pupils from Parklands Girls’ High School in Seacroft are developing a Find Your Talent supported dance performance which will represent Leeds at the prestigious Share Your Talent  arts showcase at the Southbank Centre in London on 22nd of July.

The performance is the result of a collaboration by Phoenix Dance Theatre and Space2 – an organisation which uses the arts to work with disadvantaged communities in Leeds.

All the girls are taking part in a five-day dance workshop during half term  working alongside ten members of the Phoenix Youth Academy, and supported by Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, a former Parklands pupil, and choreographer Gary Clarke. 

The performance will be part of Firebird, a massive dance and arts community event that is being developed to celebrate Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 30th Anniversary in 2011 and the cultural Olympiad in 2012.  

Emma Tregidden, Creative Director of Space2, believes that this is a fantastic opportunity for the girls:

“They not only get the chance to work alongside professional dancers and choreographers, but they will also represent their city at a really prestigious event in London” she said.  “The girls will be ambassadors for the larger Firebird project which we are currently developing in time for Phoenix’s 30th Anniversary in 2011.”

As part of the workshop at the school, the pupils will be supported by Leeds Metropolitan University graphic design students who have created a film to act as a backdrop to the performance.  Music is being specially composed by Leeds-based singer and song writer Christella Litras.

The performance will also be showcased at the Seacroft Expressions Festival in Leeds in September as part of Parklands Girls High School’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

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).

36 young people, three artists and 11 youth workers from The Alston Lane Arts Group have enjoyed making art together at The Dennis Healey Centre in Seacroft.  Taking inspiration from gallery artworks, young people have created experimental drawings or made a giant colourful artwork of colour stories about their favourite things. 

Outcomes of the workshops (led by artist Nichola Pemberton and Gallery staff) will be taken to Leeds Art Gallery where they will be looked over by a Young Curators group in July – with the best pieces selected for display in the gallery August  – September 2010. 

For full details on the Open Show competition, entry forms and workshop sessions visit Leeds Art Gallery’s website http://www.leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 247 8256.

Find Your Talent have been working in partnership with ArtForms and the Gifted and Talented National Strategies team on CPD (Continuing Professional Development) around Talent in the Arts.

 The ‘Talent in the Arts’ project is focused on enhancing classroom practice to create a challenging experience for the benefit for all pupils.  The involvement of a professional artist helps to develop teachers’ confidence and extends and broadens the curriculum.

During the Summer Term, Year 3 and 4 class teachers from Morley and Seacroft Manston schools will work alongside visual artist, Steve Pool, on Talent in the Arts: Visual Art.

The school’s teachers will be supported by the artist to identify children who are demonstrating talent within visual art.   The programme challenges perceptions about what “talent” looks like and which children are considered to be talented.

The identified children from across the schools will spend a day at Leeds Art Gallery working with Steve Pool, the resulting work will support Open Show which is taking place there over the summer.

Talent in the Arts: Drama, is currently taking place with 6 schools from across the city.

The information generated from the Talent in the Arts programmes will form the basis of a resource for all Leeds schools, to be disseminated from September 2010.  It will also support a year long focus on raising the profile of “talent” in the arts in the Leeds localities.

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.

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.