Last year was Create’s most successful year to date. Alongside receiving a series of high profile awards and shortlistings, our total number of participants reached the impressive milestone of 30,000 since the charity’s inception in 2003. This year’s programme continues where 2015 left off, with a whole host of inspiring projects and events plotted across the calendar over the next few months.
February will see the introduction of our new project creative:together in partnership with Metro Charity and Ashurst LLP. We will deliver a series of workshops, starting with photography, for young LGBT people in South London. Our professional photographer Tracey Fahy will guide them with photography techniques. After looking at portraiture and LGBT icons, they will produce empowering shots of themselves and their peers.
Our young carers projects will play a major role in Create’s forthcoming programme, with workshops across the country spanning a variety of creative mediums. art:space in Winchester commences this month, with an eclectic range of workshops in filmmaking, animation, and dance running until June. The University of Winchester’s Performance Gym will host a public sharing of all the work produced, coinciding with Carers Week as organised by Winchester and District Young Carers on Wednesday 8 June. Another of our art:space projects, this time in Kingston, will be also be met by the masses at Eden Walk Shopping Centre. The culmination of the project on Monday 4 April will see the young carers present two performances devised with professional dancer Rachel Drazek – dances inspired by visual art also produced within the workshops under the guidance of Maru Rojas. Both sharings enable Create to share its work and ethos with the general public, to raise awareness for young carers, and to provide a platform for the participants to celebrate their creative ideas.
Alongside both of these exciting events, young carer projects will also be underway elsewhere with a dance programme in Nottingham, photography in Milton Keynes, drama and visual art in Uxbridge and filmmaking in Kent. These sessions provide an environment for young carers to take time out from their responsibilities, express themselves and have fun.
This Thursday 11 February, we were fortunate enough to be welcomed into the Chelsea art studio of our Patron Ken Howard OBE RA for a unique fundraising event. This special evening offered an exclusive insight into Ken’s life as an artist and provided a rare opportunity to see his artwork in the studio context. All of the funds raised will go towards our creative arts programmes with disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
March sees the return of creative:space, our interactive music event for disabled children and their families, at Henry Wood Hall, SE1. Enjoy music from the award-winning Antonio Forcione Quartet and concert pianist Derek Paravicini, and take part in a joyful programme of singing, dancing, percussion-playing and craft-making. creative:space provides children and adult family members who can find traditional concert venues inaccessible the opportunity to create and enjoy live music in a welcoming environment. A highlight of our calendar here at Create, creative:space is a day to look forward to. Book your tickets here.
Since July, we have been delivering drama, animation and music workshops with women at the U-Turn Project in Bethnal Green. In March, they will be presenting the animated films that they have created over the past eight months at Rich Mix. Over the course of the programme, the women supported by volunteers from Reed Smith have created allegorical plots, a script and characters to echo the challenges they have experienced in their lives. Using collage and stop-motion techniques, the stories have been brought to life and transformed into an animated film, which they have set to their own musical score.
As we move into springtime, we will introduce another new project, Through Our Eyes. As part of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK’s information and support day in Stratford Upon Avon, Through Our Eyes will offer filmmaking workshops on 2 April to young people with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their siblings. This will enable them to work collaboratively to develop filmmaking skills under the expert guidance of our professional filmmaker Lesley Pinder, learning about story-boarding and performing as well as sharing personal experiences. They will then share their film at the end of the day.
With all the above scheduled for the coming months, 2016 is off to a busy start at Create. As ever, we are looking forward to working with young and adult carers, disabled people, young patients and other groups across the country as our sustainable, creative programmes continue to create a fairer, more caring, more inclusive society.