Member Article

More youth engagement needed say culture bosses

Individuals and businesses from the North East culture scene are joining forces to try and encourage more young people in the region to embrace the arts

NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK programme for the region is set to bring together leaders from the arts, culture and youth workers to develop a strategy to change young peoples attitudes and involvement with culture in the region.

The discussion forum believes that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games could have a real and lasting impact on youngsters, and Legacy Trust UK who fund NE-Generation believes a real opportunity to make an impact.

Ben Ayrton, programme manager for NE-Generation, said: ““Youth unemployment in our region is among the highest in Britain and with the cost of higher education increasing dramatically opportunity may seem difficult to come by for some young people.

“This event represents a major step forward and shows how our region can create a shift in young people’s attitudes and involvement with culture, and the opportunities it can bring.””

Since 2009 NE-Generation has worked with 25 young leaders who have gone on to commission 15 projects and allocated over £1 million in funding to get more young people involved in the sector.

One such project, Time Travel Northumberland, enabled young people to swap technology for turrets, giving a group of teenagers the chance to live in a castle for a week as if it were the 1840s to develop an appreciation of history and heritage.

Juliet Hardy from Woodhorn Museum is one of the mentors who helped to develop the programme. She commented: ““Seeing the confidence of those young people grow was magical.

“They sometimes don’t see it happening but the moment they realise they have achieved something special it’s very rewarding working with them.””

Mr Ayrton is now encouraging other individuals or organisations within the cultural sector to get involved with the scheme.

He added: ““NE-Generation is hoping that by working together with organisations from the statutory, voluntary and private sectors that we can create a road map for a successful future, a future where young people are embedded at the heart of the North East arts and culture scene,.”

Later this year, NE-Generation will be hosting another event on June 14 to create the region’s first-ever charter for youth participation in the cultural sector.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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