In the UK there is an unprecedented level of quality work between the arts and young people in care. The National Theatre of Scotland announced last week their next play is an adaptation of THE PANOPTICON by Jenni Fagan.
Jenni Fagan spent eighteen years of her life in care. Panopticon and her second novel were on the front page of The New York Times
In October it was announced that Sophie Willan has a second comedy series commissioned by BBC radio 4. Sophie is a comedian writer and actor. She is the voice of Channel 4’s recent hit dating series The Circle
Also in November writer and performer Louise Wallwein popped down to Buckingham Palace to receive her MBE for services to the arts
Big House Theatre which started in 2013 is the greatest example of theatre work with young people in care, and those who have left care in Britain. Four star reviews fill the sky above Big House which is steered by the visionary and inspirational CEO and artistic director Maggie Norris.
Major arts organisations and care services across Derbyshire have joined forces to provide looked after children, care leavers, and their families the chance to experience live performances, films, and take part in a host of exciting opportunities through plus one, a free ticket scheme at Derby Theatre..
Element build arts projects exploring purpose motivation and creativity for care leavers. They are doing a really good job.
FLOURISH produced both a magazine and exhibitions of work by care leavers and young people in care. Just look at the quality!! All the art at Flourish is by care leavers . It was run by artist Beatty Hallas. It disappeared due to lack of funding (?) in 2013. It was ahead of its time.
Coram runs a poetry competition called Voices 2018. It is open for entriesin a few days time . For more information about the competition and how to enter, please visit the Voices page.
The Foundling Museum (the first Childrens charity in the UK) run a bespoke training and mentorship programme for. care-experienced young adults. The programme provides young adults with transferable skills of personaland professional value, including public speaking, research, critical and creative thinking.
For Kids Company art is central to their research based work. Kids Company received The NHS and Royal Society of Arts award for its pioneering work in the arts and mental health. The charity was audited 46 times by the government during its 19 years of operation, and not a single complaint ever emerged. Camila Batmanghella suffered a concerted attack and a calculated smear campaign’. This Christmas thousands of peope in need will benefit from Kids Comany.
An arts based project which insists on creative thinking and artists was Inspired by the Tope Project in 2012. I started the christmas dinners in 2013. They are held on Christmas Day for Care leavers. On December 25th seventeen Christmas Dinners will be celebrating. Communities come together to organise in October such as this one in Hackney
In November Battersea Arts Centre held GOING PLACES which is the first theatre based ten day festival of arts by “care experienced”. It included comedian Stewart Lee, novelist Sally Bailey and memoirist and food monthly editor Allan Jenkins. Plus much much more.
Then there’s the. UpWrite project run by the The Arvon Foundation, which gives looked after children the chance to attend residential creative writing courses and workshops.
This month, Caroline Bird, John McGrath and myself were the arts practitioners in Superkids: Breaking Away From Care. The programme is available on Channel Four Catch up until Deceber 28th
‘The art we fund must have creative ambition at its heart and quality in its delivery’.
Darren Henley CEO of Arts Council England speaking at The Culture Cares Conference. November 2018.