Chichester Festival Theatre has proved it has taken a huge leap in helping youngsters within the arts after being handed a prestigious plaudit.
The theatre’s Learning, Education and Participation department (LEAP) has just been given Arts Award Good Practice Centre 2017/18 status; the award is a nationwide qualification for young people, administered by Arts Council England and Trinity College London.
LEAP has taken a prominent lead in arts award accreditation opportunities for children and young people across the region since 2012. It has hosted and coordinated forums and training events and provided opportunities for young people to gain the award. This has come through youth theatre activities, apprenticeships, holiday activities and schools projects. A total of 135 arts awards were achieved through the theatre last year.
Arts award, which are open to everyone aged up to 25, encourages young people from all backgrounds to work independently, preparing them for further education and employment.
George Bailey, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre Apprentice, is undertaking a gold arts award this year and is running a project called “digital drafts” alongside it.
He said: “Digital Drafts supports the development of creative writing skills, offering five young people the chance to write radio plays over the course of three months.
“These will be developed on a brand new online platform, which we are all finding incredibly rewarding and effective in aiding the work we are producing. I’m really inspired by the practical opportunities my arts award is offering me and I’ve learnt so much even in the short time I’ve been working on it.”
Dale Rooks, Director of LEAP, said: “This is a tribute to the young people who’ve attained an arts award with us and demonstrates CFT’s commitment to providing a range of opportunities for children and young people to be inspired by the arts whilst supporting their creative journey as artists and theatre-makers. We look forward to sharing our practice to encourage and inspire more children and arts organisations to get involved in these prestigious awards.”