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In the run up to GRT History Month, Leeds Find Your Talent are supporting a series of photographic sessions at Studio 12 in Leeds Central Library for young people aged 8-14 from the GRT community. Working alongside Studio12’s Media Arts Facilitator participants will develop their technical and composition skills to explore issues around identity and create unique portraits of Travellers in the present-day.  The images will be profiled in an exhibition as part of the GRT History month celebrations at Leeds Central Library during June.

Studio12 is a well established media arts resource delivered by Leeds Libraries and, as well as providing a creative hub, it offers a great opportunity to connect young people from Leeds GRT community with the wide range of services provided by Leeds Libraries including a Traveller support group for literacy skills development.

GRT History Month is a national initiative that challenges perceptions, raises awareness and provides a partnership with schools, heritage organisations, central government and local authorities. Leeds and Yorkshire has a history rich with the presence of Traveller and Gypsies, as one of the region’s oldest ethnic minorities the first recorded mention of Gypsies in Leeds was in 1572. In the UK they are recognised ethnic minority communities; in Leeds there are approximately 4,000 people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The photographs will be part of The Leeds Traveller History Photographic Exhibition which runs from May 5th until 27th May 2010. The exhibition promises to be a real highlight for GRT History month and will celebrate the achievements of the local GRT communities who have a valuable role to play in the cultural heritage of Leeds.   

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Over October half term a group of young people from across Leeds attended a CapeUK consultation workshop at Studio12. The workshop aimed to find out what young people think is important when it comes to providing a high quality arts experience . Their opinions will contribute to Find Your Talent’s on-going quality assurance work.

During the workshop participants created a larger than life  3D collage of the ‘ideal’ artist and the results were captured on stop frame animation. The group created four videos in total – this one describes the kind of knowledge that an artist should have, whilst the others show what young people expect from a practitioner in terms of experience, values and attitudes.

You can view the rest of the animations at: http://www.youtube.com/rawtalentinthemaking

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.