Engaging 1,400 young people in arts and creative skills development pathways
The Surrey Youth Arts and Culture Festivals took place on Saturday 1 July in Staines-upon-Thames and Saturday 8 July in Redhill. Across the 2 days, over 500 young people took part in a wide range of workshops and performances, developing skills in subjects such as stop motion animation, fashion, and design, acting, art, music making and much more.
The festivals aimed to showcase local opportunities for young people to engage with arts and culture for wellbeing and for creative skills development. Talks and workshops were supported by organisations such as the University of Surrey, The University of Creative Arts, StoryFutures and Royal Holloway University of London, Shepperton Studios (part of Pinewood Group), Watts Gallery and many more.
The festivals were developed by Surrey County Council Libraries and Surrey Arts, in partnership with local and regional stakeholders, including Spelthorne Borough Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Visit Staines BID, the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre Staines-upon-Thames, Harlequin Theatre Redhill, Spelthorne Youth Hub, YMCA East Surrey and a wide range of cultural and community organisations.
A programme of engagement was delivered for three months prior to the festivals, which reached over 900 young people, to inform and develop the festivals' content, produce creative art installations, and learn about the benefits of engaging with arts and culture, through assemblies in local schools.
The festivals were developed in response to engagement data gathered as part of Surrey County Council's 'Culture on the Map' project, which aims to create a picture of the cultural landscape in Surrey and facilitate connectivity within the cultural sector.