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Young people transform the Royal Festival Hall

A real-life barn owl, a woodland forest from North Somerset, TV presenter Peter Duncan and over 300 young people from the ten areas piloting Find Your Talent across the country came together at London’s Southbank Centre on Friday, 10 July to celebrate their achievements so far.

10th July 2009

The Share Your Talent event brought together young people from around the country in workshops and performances that transformed The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall with visual installations representing their local areas. In addition to the forest, with its resident Barn Owl Beau, a piece of public art created for the hoardings of the new Tyne Tunnel and a 2D map of cultural activities in Leeds were amongst the offerings from the 10 areas piloting the Government’s cultural offer for children and young people.

Share Your Talent was hosted by SE1 United (a youth organisation based at Southbank Centre) who formed a Youth Management Group to help plan the occasion. Artists and celebrities supporting the Find Your Talent initiative were also involved with presenter and former Chief Scout, Peter Duncan taking part in a dynamic debate about why it is important to integrate art and culture into young people’s lives.

Young people at Share Your TalentAmanda Holden, Britain’s Got Talent judge, added her support, commenting: “With so much negative publicity about young people, it is brilliant to see this great event celebrating young people's talent! Getting involved in the arts and performance can be an opportunity to find a life changing talent for some but is actually an opportunity for meeting people, making friends and having fun for many many more.”

Professional artists hosted a series of workshops ranging from Hip Hop dance and Indian music through to DJ skills and Bhangra Drumming. The day culminated in spectacular performances from each of the 10 pathfinder areas with highlights including a dance piece from the Tower Hamlets pathfinder group with the London-based contemporary dance company, Laban. The new iiSan Maayaas contemporary dance group formed by five Kent schools for the Shepway Find Your Talent pathfinder performed their collaboratively choreographed piece entitled “Handle with Care”.

Young people at Share Your TalentPaul Collard, Chief Executive of Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), the new national organisation that manages Find Your Talent, commented: “There is a wealth of cultural opportunities nationwide for young people to explore helping them to discover their own individual interests and talents. This event highlights the range of opportunity that exists from Indian dance, through to folk music and poetry. It is inspiring to see what has already been achieved through Find Your Talent and shows why all young people must have access to culture.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre said: “We continue our commitment to bringing young artists and audiences into the heart of the organisation through this partnership with Find Your Talent. Southbank Centre is delighted to host this exciting event with SE1 United, our Youth Organisation in Residence, which was the first opportunity for everyone from the ten Find Your Talent pathfinder areas to meet and celebrate the range of work being produced.