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Over one hundred young people come together to celebrate culture

Over one hundred young people had the chance to discover their creative talents during a special festival at the Winter Gardens in Weston-Super-Mare on 5 November. The first ever Create Culture Festival was organised, as part of the Find Your Talent North Somerset pathfinder and the national Arts Award scheme, by the Real Ideas Organisation (RiO), and organised by young people to give them the opportunity to manage events.

16th November 2009

North Somerset is one of ten national Find Your Talent pathfinders, aiming to give children and young people the chance to try out different cultural and creative activities. It's about helping them to discover new things, to express themselves, to develop a passion and to make the most of their talent, both in and out of school.

The Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification encouraging young people’s development as artists and arts leaders.  Young people aged 11-25 of all abilities and interests can take part, and can gain their Arts Award in any art form, from dance through to painting and from writing through to event organisation. The Arts Award can be taken a Bronze, Silver and Gold levels and is a tremendous opportunity to develop skills and experience as well as giving young people the chance to work alongside creative professionals and organisations.

The Create Culture Festival was packed with amazing workshops and activities for young people to join in with. The in depth workshops included Fashion and textiles with Sally Spen, Street Theatre with Desperate Men, World Music (Mongolian Overtone Singing) by Doug King Smith, Champloo’s B Boy Dance workshop and Digital Media (Mini Masterpieces) with Chew TV.

There were also a series of drop-in workshops including the Mutant Toy Factory Workshop run by supertoys, Special Effects Makeup with Lindsay Snuggs, Puppet Making by Bric a Brac Productions, DJ skills with John Kendall and VJ mixing from Nathan Hughes and Stop frame animation with Helen Whelehan.

The nationally renowned Cirque Bijou was commissioned to create a grand finale performance especially for the Create Culture Festival. The bespoke, interactive show featured aerial dance, beat boxing and break dancing from Britain’s champion break dancers.

Cirque Bijou are one of Europe’s most creative and diverse event and performance production companies, producing shows, festival programmes and events for clients throughout the world. This has included commissions for rock tours like Take That and Muse, shows for members of the Royal Family and in venues like the Albert Hall and Wembley Stadium.

And as if that was not enough to whet young people’s cultural appetites there was also a walk through experience created by a number of the Find Your Talent North Somerset’s Create Culture Groups (CCGs).

CCGs are creative and cultural ventures which are set up and run by children and young people in local school and youth settings. The projects they commission through Find Your Talent could be anything from organising a music festival to developing a piece of art with a locally or nationally based practitioner.

Taking part in this installation were:

  • Churchill Community School created a giant head-like sculpture that displayed information on the group’s cultural endeavours.
  • Worle Community School’s cheeky take on glitzy award ceremonies - invited delegates to walk the red carpet and take part in The Worle, Arts, Film and Television Awards (WAFTAs)!
  • St Katherine’s School graffiti wall where participants were encouraged to draw, paint, scribe and graffiti their thoughts.
  • Gordano School ‘What is Culture?’ wall used the concept of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall and encouraged young people to place on the wall their hopes, dreams and cultural aspirations.

Cultural careers advice was also available from industry professionals with experience in radio and TV.

With a DJ backdrop and soft drinks bar and the likes of actor Angus Harrison from Skins and Step Forward (a dynamic group of young marketers, event managers and artists) giving advice on breaking into the industry, the festival was a fantastic opportunity for young people to be culturally inspired.