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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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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.

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

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

CYPP Handbook

At the beginning of the week the Find Your Talent team attended the launch event of the Children Leeds Children and Young People’s Plan. This event was a great opportunity to promote the  FYT programme to professionals and young people; and to raise awareness about the Culture Network.

The day included different participatory activities including a brilliant Wake Up Shake Up session lead by children from Kerr Mackie primary school. The young people presenting the sessions were fantastic and shared their experiences about the different ways they have been involved in shaping our services by becoming Anti-bullying Ambassadors and Find Your Talent Arts Ambassadors supported by Find Your Talent.

rock school logo

Rock School is a five week course of Jammin’, Recordin’ and Giggin’, specifically designed to give young people the ultimate rock band experience.

Over the 6 session experience, each student will form a new band with people of their own age, learn to play tracks by their favourite artists, write their own original material, record their songs in a professional recording studio and take part in exciting ensemble sessions. At the end of the project a Grand Finale Gig will showcase participants work at a prestigious, national music venue!

Rock School is open to young people between 11 – 16 years (or from school years 6 to 11) and living in West Leeds.

As part of Leeds’ Find Your Talent Programme, Rock School will be hosting (at The Rock And Roll Circus Studios in Armley) a free-to-access five week course, running on Saturdays during the second half of the Autumn Term 2009.

The project will work with young people from West Leeds who have an established interest in music and a desire to improve their skills. Participants do not need to be of a high standard on their chosen instrument, but they must have displayed an enthusiasm and desire to engage with musical activity, either in school, at out of school activities, within their community, or within peer groups.

For more info contact:
craig@rockschool.uk.com
www.rockschool.uk.com

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.

mapping

Over 300 young people and families participated in the Inner North West Fun Day on 26 May and got involved in a whole host of creative activities including break dancing, DJ/MC, giant dragon making, story telling, drama, robotics and animation.

The event was also a great opportunity for consultation with young people so we set up a FYT Diary Room complete with a large scale map of the area.  It meant that participants could give us feedback on the day as well as mapping out the range of activities that are locally on offer.

As part of the consultation we asked young people to tell us about their creative talents and its safe to say that the Inner North West isn’t short of talented drummers, key board players, band members, dancers, singers, artists, performers and collage makers. They also knew that they wanted to see more opportunities for long term, regular, weekend activities.

The Inner NW will be using the evaluation material to develop cultural opportunities for children, young people and their families.

morleyliteraturefestival logo

Find Your Talent are working with Leeds Libraries  and Morley Literature Festival to involve young people in an event planning process which will form part of the annual Literature festival.  The dates for this year’s festival are the 12th – 18th October 2009.

The consultation process started at the beginning of May with young people from across the high schools.  This was done through Leeds Libraries and Information Service and the Schools Library Service.  Members of the schools’ reading and creative writing groups have been approached to help shape an event for other young people which will go on to form part of the Literature Festival.  Watch this space for more details on the outcome of the consultation.

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.