Jo Dean reflects on a terrific START for pupils

March 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm (General Information, Learning & Access, Video) (, , , , , , )

As the Easter holidays approach, the START project has sadly finished for another year, with the last of the school workshops taking place last week. START is a project run by the Learning & Access team and is aimed at giving young people in Leeds the opportunity to visit the theatre and take part in arts activity.

I was able to get out to see some of the workshops taking place in local schools, when I accompanied our photographer to St Patrick’s Primary and Carr Manor High School, and it was great to see the children leaping across the room and really enjoying the sessions. Having been to see our production of As Time Goes By in February, I was amazed by what they remembered from the production and the details that they picked up on, and it was very interesting to find out which bits they enjoyed best.

While most of the schools went to see A Christmas Carol in December, Hugh Gaitskell Primary School was unable to go at Christmas and so attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet in March instead. As I stood outside the auditorium during Act two, I could hear shrieks of laughter as Mercutio teased Tybalt, followed by a gasp of “wow” as the heavens opened and the rain thundered down as the curtain fell. It was refreshing to hear such an emotional reaction to the piece.

We are currently collecting feedback from all the teachers involved in the project which has all been excellent, and we hope our funding application to the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts will be successful so that we can continue running the project for another year. This video highlights some of the great feedback we have had from pupils and teachers.

The START project, supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, aims to give up to 500 pupils from inner city schools in leeds, the opportunity to take part in high quality arts activity. Pupils participate in two workshops in school and two theatre trips to Leeds Grand Theatre, as well as support and resource packs for teachers, giving pupils an experience they would not normally have access to.

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Breaking Ground on New Project

April 20, 2009 at 8:12 am (Company News, Events, Fundraising) (, , , , )

Artists Impression of New Building

Artists Impression of New Building

We’re delighted to be able to share some exciting news about our new building project. The ground breaking ceremony to mark work starting on site takes place this afternoon with representatives from NBT and Phoenix Dance Theatre joined by Andrew Carter, the leader of Leeds City Council, Andy Carver, Executive Director of Arts Council England, Yorkshire, as well as partners from Leeds Metropolitan University, architects the Strategic Design Alliance and Wates Construction. Dancers dressed as fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream will also attend the ceremony. Photographs from the ground breaking ceremony will be on-line tomorrow.

We’re having a double celebration today because the momentum capital fundraising campaign has broken the £1million mark. We are now working hard to raise the remaining £500,000 of the £1.5million target. Help us reach our goal by donating on-line at building momentum

Read the full press release here [pdf].

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