The Harehills Project is a collaboration between East St Arts, Leeds City Council Area Planning team and The Compton Centre. The aim is to produce a piece of public art and a series of banners for the Harehills area.
Ian Kirkpatrick, one of East St Arts members and studio holder at Patrick Studios, has been commissioned to design and produce a large scale public artwork to be situated in the grounds of The Compton Centre in Harehills in March 2016. As part of the project, East St Arts are in the process of working with 3 local schools, Bankside, Hovingham and Harehills Primary, between November 2015 and March 2016. Each school will work with 2 local artists, Louise Atkinson and Victoria Kortekaas, to design a series of banners to be hung from designated lamp – posts in Harehills, as well as one banner outside each school. The Compton centre will host an exhibition of the children’s banner designs to coincide with the launch of the public artwork in March 2016.
Project Positivity – Big Lottery Fund, Awards For All
East Street Arts have recently been funded by Big Lottery Fund – Awards For All to deliver a series of 9 after school workshops at The Cooperative Academy in the Lincoln Green/Burmantofts Ward of Leeds. ‘Project Positivity’ started on the 19th September and is now in full swing, continuing until the 23rd November and culminating in a one day celebration event in early January 2017. The name of the project, ‘Project Positivity’ came out of a discussion with the young people involved, to give them further ownership of the project.
Project Positivity is currently exploring conversations about crime in the LS9 area and providing an opportunity for pupils from a diverse range of cultural and social backgrounds to work together as a team. They are looking at causes and positive alternatives to crime in the local area by exploring their school grounds for inspiration. Project Positivity is a result of the idea of turning negative/unsafe spaces into positive/safe ones. From cold to warm, dark to light, Boring to fun!
I think it is cool because usually I have to go the other way because of the older boys. This will change that. It is imaginative and creative.
Socially engaged artists Sarah Jane Mason and Andy Testament have been co-delivering creative activities to the group of young people from years 8 and 9, outside of regular school hours. The pupils are benefitting from the extra input and the opportunity to work with professional artists.
It’s been great to establish a relationship with The Cooperative Academy and I see this as the first step to future partnership working. East Street Arts is in the process of developing it’s new Learning Space at our recently renovated Patrick Studios and we hope to offer further opportunities to the academy, for working on projects involving the local community.
Project Positivity will also include a supervised group walk from the school grounds to East Street Arts’ very own Patrick Studios, with the young people exploring other spaces along the route for further inspiration. Once the group arrive at Patrick Studios, they will have a guided tour of East Street Arts’ artist studios. This will give the pupils a chance to gain an insight into the working lives of professionals in the creative industries and also enable them to link East Street Arts to the local area, with a view to working together on future projects.
I am really excited to be involved in this project with East Street Arts and the Cooperative Academy of Leeds. I think for young people to truly thrive they have to feel safe and valued in their local community. Threats to their personal safety and targeted crime have a severe impact on this and can lead to young people feeling disengaged with their surroundings. This project is harnessing the awesome power of the arts to provide a voice for these young people as a way to take back ownership of these shared community areas and transform them into safer, perhaps even playful spaces that everyone can enjoy.
The following song titled Smile is one of the outcomes of the project. The song is made up of the children’s voices, clapping and sounds that they have said make them feel safe and calm…
The final celebration and showing of work created by the young people involved will be held at The Cooperative Academy’s Library space in early January. Here friends, family, staff and local organisations will be invited to participate in the celebration and even some creative workshops. The event will also serve as a local networking opportunity and an engaging way of bringing the local people together.
For more information about East Street Arts’ learning programme, you can visit the Learning section of the website.