Culture is giving Swindon youngsters a boost, says new report
CULTURE is giving youngsters in the town the chance to express themselves, according to new research.
Artsmad, Swindon’s cultural education partnership, has commissioned research into the benefits of cultural activity for young people and Swindon.
The research was carried out in partnership with local cultural organisations, including Sixth Sense Theatre, Swindon Dance, Create Studios, Isambard and Common-weal schools, Swindon Music Service, Swindon Museums and Heritage, Swindon Libraries and Swindon Arts Centre.
The report relates national research about the positive impact of cultural learning to recent Swindon success stories such as Sixth Sense Theatre’s Shakespeare Dayz project, which used workshops and performances to bring a new take on Shakespeare to young audiences, and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Young Curators group.
The report was launched yesterday at a special event at the Arts Centre, featuring performances from Swindon Dance and Swindon Music Services, speeches by young people, films and certificate presentations. Performers from Swindon Dance also put on a show.
The report shows that arts organisations, such as Swindon Dance gave 17 young people paid employment and offered 49 work placements during 2011/12.
Megan said: “I want to be a dancer as a career so I am trying to get as many performances as I can.
“It is good to have places like Swindon Dance for young people because it stops us being bored and enables us to make friends.”
Claire said: “I think being part of Swindon Dance has been about friendships and meeting people.
“If I wasn’t doing this I would probably be on the internet all the time so it is great for young people to get out and express themselves.”
Coun Garry Perkins, the cabinet member for regeneration and culture, said: “We have a good relationship with local arts groups and cultural organisations and I’m delighted this report has highlighted the impact they have on Swindon’s economy.”
A digital copy of the research is available from the Artsmad website www.artsmad.org.uk.