Starcatchers, Imaginate and Lyra Join up for New Children’s Creative Programme

Three of Scotland’s arts organisations that create work for children and young people, Starcatchers, Imaginate and Lyra, have come together to deliver a programme of artistic activity entitled Where We Are that will be co-designed with children and young people across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife.

In response to the current shortfall of creative opportunities for freelancers, Where We Are will provide employment opportunities for 17 artists, practitioners and production staff in 2021 and address the concern of lack of engagement in cultural experiences for our youngest citizens.   

The three organisations will also deliver a training and development programme for all the artists who will mutually support and share experience across the whole project. There is a clear intention from the three to ensure that Where We Arerecruitment reaches artists who are black, of colour, from the African Caribbean Diaspora, Latinx, East Asian Diaspora, South East Asian Diaspora, South Asian Diaspora, West Asian Diaspora (including Middle East), indigenous people, biracial or have mixed heritage. 

Imaginate’s strand will focus on engagement with refugee families, working in partnership with Refuweegee in Glasgow and Multi-Cultural Family Base in Edinburgh. The creative teams will work collaboratively with the participants to develop live performances on the theme of Where We Are.

Fiona Ferguson, Imaginate’s Creative Development Director said  “We are delighted to be working with Multi-cultural Family Base again, and in particular with the Safe Haven group of children, and to begin a relationship with Refuweegee and the children and families they work with …It is also a huge privilege to have funding to recruit a team of artists and to work together with Starcatchers and Lyra on a programme of professional development, especially after the year we have had. ..” 

Building on an existing relationship with Fife Gingerbread, Starcatchers will create a team of artists and artistic trainees to engage with teen parents and their babies in communities across south/west Fife.

This new way of working will let the artists co-create inspiring arts activity together with the babies and their adults. Starcatchers will deliver a series of weekly sessions over an 8-month period culminating in the creation of a work in progress that is led by and responds to the needs and interests of participants.  

Rhona Matheson, Starcatchers’ Chief Executive said  “Where We Are is a fantastic new initiative that we hope will bring some joy, magic and creativity to children and young people in communities…”  

Lyra will create a travelling theatre ensemble based at Artspace Craigmillar, Edinburgh that will be a mini theatre company that responds to the needs of children and young people in the local community, giving them the chance to learn new skills in multi art forms.

Jo Timmins, Lyra’s Artistic Director said “The Where We Are ensemble is an exciting new initiative that enables Lyra to provide ongoing work for a team of theatre professionals, while at the same time providing children and young people in Greater Craigmillar with a range of cultural experiences …” 

The programme is supported by the Creative Scotland Youth Arts Targeted Fund which aims to support the young audiences sector by increasing employment opportunities for artists while working closely with groups focused on tackling inequality. 

Irene Brown

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