Arts Award delivery case study template

Centre: Peshkar Productions

Adviser: Claire Platt

Context

Multi-platform arts organisation Peshkar Productions and Arts Award adviser Claire Platt have been running Arts Award for over 5 years.

Peshkar provided the opportunity for 29 young people aged 11 to 19 to work towards Arts Award Discover via three separate projects over the course of four months.

Approach

For Project 1, Peshkar worked with local partners such as Oldham Council, Youth Services and Greater Manchester Police to engage young people who were from communities suffering from gang violence and gang related issues. After lengthy outreach and individual multimedia projects they brought the 3 groups together to take part in the multi-platform Hideout project. These young people aged 11 to 19 plus a group that were already doing their Arts Award with Peshkar at different levels   spent six days working with multimedia artists plus a team of technicians to transform a tatty, disused furniture shop into an innovative, theatrical multimedia arts space that would showcase the work created throughout the week and be a venue for a live performance celebration event.

Participants worked with a different multimedia artist each day to learn new skills and create work that would be showcased in a celebration event on the Saturday. Each day included skill development workshops and career guidance/ info about artist’s career discussions on: Graphic Design and Branding, Graffiti, Film, Photography and Projection Art. The group also spent the day in a professional music recording studio and created a song together.

The young people completed scrapbook folders and explored their learning and development via daily evaluations and discussion based sharing sessions at the end of each day. Throughout the week a homely multimedia ‘Hideout’ performance and exhibition venue was created by the group which they all loved and felt very proud of. The showcase event which had over 90 audience members was called a ‘Slam’ event and included photography, film, music, visual art and projection art exhibitions as well as live music, performances and short talks from young Greater Manchester based artists to celebrate the work of the young people and to further inspire them as artists.

For Project 2, Peshkar supported a group of Muslim young people (aged 7-12) who were attending a fantastic local world percussion and dance group –  ‘The Oldham Percussion Academy.’ The group took part in two hour weekly dance and percussion workshops to create music and new choreographies. The group interviewed the music and dance artists and created mixed media scrap book that showed their achievements and thoughts and explored how arts inspired and could be apart of their daily lives. The development of the scrapbooks was an arts project in itself and was shared with the group every week at the end of the sessions.

For Project 3, Peshkar worked again with The Oldham Percussion Academy who had received funding to do an 8 week outreach and community cohesion project that brought four groups from very different communities in Oldham together. The groups attended weekly 2 hour sessions at a youth club (3 groups were bussed in) to create a Brazilian percussion and dance showcase that would be performed at the Oldham Carnival. All young people tried both dance and percussion and could choose which one they wished to focus on. The groups learnt new skills, engaged and learnt about cultural and communities different from their own and created original work. The young people had discussions with the artists about their careers and were provided with guidance packs on other local activities, groups and opportunities to get involved in when this project finished. The young people created scrapbooks which they worked on over a few sessions and took part in games and workshops that enabled them to talk about their ideas of art and culture from their own communities and to share it with each other young person in the group. Challenges regarding behavioral issues and cultural clashes were overcome by group understanding and sharing sessions.

Impact

All of the young people that took part in the projects were at risk or disadvantaged in some way due to a range of economic and social factors.

Adviser Claire comments; ‘The challenges we faced including cultural clashes when bringing very different groups of young people together were overcome by group sharing and exploration sessions and having an exciting goal that everyone had to work together to achieve. In such difficult socio and economic time we had to work hard to inspire local partners

to engage in such innovative projects and to trust our methodology and new ways of working. Without the full support of local community agencies, projects such as these will not be meaningful or effective. Exploring where and how the young people could continue their artistic journey due to social and personal disadvantages was a challenge but one we always aim to overcome at Peshkar’.

‘The young people benefitted immensely from having the opportunity to work with engaging, professional artists that took the time and energy to understand each and every young person and their individual skills, talents and personality. Working towards something as a group that was achievable yet meaningful and exciting was a big driver for these young people and the fact that the ‘Hideout’ project was so obviously new and innovative enabled the young people to actually work with the professionals and other young people as artists and to go on a journey together; sharing and learning from each other in different ways and creating something as a group of artists as appose to doing a project as teacher and student. Using this group experience and then exploring it through individual scrapbooks enabled real reflection and learning to take place and the space to explore their personal development in a meaningful and individual way gave the young people confidence and a deeper sense of self as artists and citizens.’

For Project 1, the young people enjoyed using a variety of craft material to create their portfolios, which they used to express their individuality, development and learning. The group explored the concept that art is all around them and can be accessed easily with a little imagination.

For project 2 and 3, challenges included cultural boundaries and ensuring the young people understood how their participation was developing them as artists and citizens. Claire adds, ‘A large amount of the group was home educated and Arts Award fitted well into enabling them to learn in a different way by taking part in workshops, socialising with people from different generations and cultures and having the opportunity for self reflection. These projects impacted on the way they will behave towards other cultures, how they see their communities as part of a bigger place and how they can positively use arts experiences and opportunities as a catalyst to develop themselves.

The young people were all very proud of the certificates, which cemented their understanding that creativity is a skill to be celebrated and explored. Many of the young people have gone on to work with Peshkar to achieve other Arts Award levels, including Gold.

Funding

Peshkar Productions is an Arts Council NPO Charity, which covers the basic costs for the charity. Peshkar relies on grants and funding to pay for its activity however. The Hideout Project was delivered though funding from The Home Office, One ‘The Oldham Percussion Academy’ project was funded via a grant received by Respecting Our Communities Award that the Oldham Council acquired and hired Peshkar to facilitate the Arts Award element and the other The Oldham Percussion Academy project was effectively inkind support provided by Peshkar as they wanted to use Claire’s skills as an advisor to support young people. Supporting young people through the Arts Award for free and without project support is becoming a developing issue for Peshkar and they are working towards ways to fund their constant Arts Award offer. 

Comments

‘A particular highlight for these Arts Award Discover projects has been seeing the care and attention young people have put into making their personal folders and understanding how much this resource has meant to them.

 Arts Award provides me with a nationally recognised personal and creative development strategy for the young people I work with whilst enabling them to tailor their learning and excel in or explore what they are creatively interested in.’

 Claire Platt, Arts Award adviser

‘Peshkar boosted my confidence skills because of their awesome workshops. I liked working in a team and the great opportunities Iv been given where everyone acknowledges your ideas. It’s given me a bright future- without it I wouldn’t have as many doors opened for me.’ Raabia Hussain, aged 18 Whose first language is BSL, Arts Award Discover achiever and working towards Gold.

‘Doing my Arts Award with Peshkar has allowed me to be aware of loads of surrounding arts organisations I would have never known of, and helped me to get involved with them’ Sheikh Muddasir, Aged 19. Arts Award Discover achiever working towards Gold.

‘I’m a painfully shy person, but after my experience with doing my award I’ve overcome this.’ Ambia Khatun, aged 18. Arts Award Discover achiever working towards Gold.

‘Peshkar is awesome and I’m so happy I was introduced. Everyone- is amazing and I’m so happy to be part of it!’ Habin Rahman, Aged 17. Arts Award Discover achiever and working towards Bronze.

Originally formed in 1991 as a community theatre project for Oldham’s Asian community, Peshkar has evolved into the UK’s leading participatory arts organisation targeting young people who are deemed hard to reach or socially disadvantaged.

Say hello

Telephone: 0161 620 4284

Email: hello@peshkar.co.uk

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