What an adventure we have had this Summer at Valley and Vale! We have been coasteering, visiting woods, sculpture parks, galleries, sound recording studios and even building our own outdoor sculptural installation!
We had the job of being the lead artists in the joint Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Summer Arts College, which ran for three weeks in August. We worked with the staff in the Youth Offending Teams of both counties to support 7 young people to achieve their Bronze Arts Award.
The young people were presented their awards by one of our freelance artists, Jason Camilleri, aka Dregz, last Friday in a celebration event at Sardis Media Centre. The weather could not have been worse – torrential rain, thunder and lightning, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the young people who had worked so hard over the three weeks to achieve their award. Some brave audience members even stood in the rain in our outdoor installation to hear the specially created soundscape!
Over the three weeks of the Summer Arts College, young people took part in a wide range of specially planned activities with our artists including:
- Drama with Tracy Evans and Ali Franks
- Digital Storytelling and Film-making with Tracy Pallant and Amy Peckham
- Creating self-portraits on canvas and designing t-shirts with Alison McGann
- Creating animations with Tim Smith
- Locking and Popping with Issie Lloyd
- Music with Laura Bradshaw
- Rap-making and recording with Jason Camileri
It was a very rewarding and enriching experience for both the young people and staff alike. One of the students said it allowed him to overcome some of his own personal barriers, and for others it was a time to reflect on their lives, and to think about how they would like their futures to be. The arts, of course, are the perfect vehicle for this. If we can imagine our futures, then we are already closer to reaching them, because we know what we are reaching for.
For more information on Summer Arts Colleges, visit www.unitas.uk.net.