17 April 2015
Friday 17th April 2015
Why cultural engagement for young people matters
From 2013 to April 2015, London Youth partnered with A New Direction (AND), one of the leading cultural education charities in London, to deliver Strong Voices, a programme working with young people who have been traditionally excluded from arts and culture. This involved working with a small number of member youth clubs, including Haringey Shed, Dragon Hall, Avenues and Kori Arts to offer the chance to young people and youth workers who might not normally have experienced the cultural opportunities that London has to offer.
To mark the end of the Strong Voices programme, our Director of Membership and Communications, Jim Minton was invited to speak at AND’s Cultural Capital Conference in March 2015, which pulled together learning from this programme and further research into the importance of the social capital of the arts.
London Youth’s diverse membership of over 400 youth clubs and organisations deliver a wide range of arts-related activities, as many young people find arts and culture good ways to express themselves, learn and develop their confidence and skills. These range from youth groups dedicated solely to the arts (including theatre, visual arts or dance) such as Haringey Shed, Studio 3 Arts, Islington Arts Factory and the Crib – to the many other youth clubs which engage young people through dance or other informal arts sessions across the capital.
At the conference, Jim talked about the networks and positive relationships that young people develop through participating in these activities including self-belief, confidence, a sense of agency, resilience and determination. He also outlined how this learning can be measured to prove the value of these interventions, and made the case for stronger partnerships between arts institutions and youth organisations so that young people could get the most from London’s cultural offer.
Click on the video below to see Jim in action: