A two-week learning programme for young people (June 2016)
In June 2016, Open School East and A New Direction came together to create New Producers, an innovative programme set up for ten students aged 16 to 18 to develop new skills and cultivate their chosen artistry. The students came from BSix Sixth Form College in Upper Clapton, Hackney.
For two weeks, they took part in an eclectic series of workshops and visits led by arts professionals and Open School East associate artists, undertaking training in the fields of architecture, sculpture, performance, printmaking, broadcast and event management.
During their time at Open School East, the participants worked towards a Bronze Arts Award, which is accredited by Trinity College London. The programme is a motivational platform and a taster for young people to understand how the creative industries work, providing them with opportunities to engage with emerging and established artists. New Producers came to a close with an evening-long exhibition, showcasing the work the young people had made throughout the two weeks.
An ambitious programme of workshops, visits and mentoring sessions was put in place to introduce the ten New Producers to a wide range of approaches to creative practice, its production and presentation. Throughout the process, the group was guided by Open School East associates, who mentored them in what it takes to develop one’s creative path.
- On-site workshops with muf architecture, where they were given a brief to build furniture for their final exhibition; with the collective OOMK, where they engaged with a range of printing techniques; with independent broadcaster Lucia Scazzocchio, who taught them interviewing and oral presentation methods; with poet Zena Edwards around performance and self-expression; and finally, with Open School East Chair Justin O’Shaughnessy on event management.
- An off-site casting workshop in the studio of artist Richard Gasper, in Hackney.
- A visit to and guided tours of the new Tate Modern and 6a Architects.
Giving the New Producers the tools to develop confidence in their creative talent was key to the project, which further aimed to raise awareness of free and alternative forms of art education to young people who are preparing their future.
Eight out of ten of the New Producers received a Bronze Arts Award upon presentation of their portfolio. Their work was assessed on:
- Their ability to demonstrate they had taken part in an arts activity;
- Their attendance to an arts exhibition;
- A presentation in front of the group about an artist who had inspired them;
- Their participation in the staging of a final event, during which they engaged their family and peers who were not part of the programme.
‘The overall experience was 100% good because we had amazing associates who taught us some of their skills and shared tips for our career.’
– Fabio Sousa, participant
‘I feel like I have learnt a lot from Open School East and I feel more confident in my abilities. I think I would like to do something like this in the future.’
– Jennifer Ogwuda, participant
‘I was actually surprised by how the course went. I was expecting something more school-like and not that liberal and free. I have enjoyed a lot sharing experiences with the associates and the different artists we have been working with. I would definitely recommend the New Producers programme to everyone of my generation.’
– Juan Andion, participant
‘It has been great working with OSE on this project. They recruited a local project manager, listened to the needs of the BSix students and designed an innovative project with artists. This is what work experience more broadly should be like, working collaboratively, to a brief, and with clear outcomes.’
– Oliver Benjamin, Senior Programme Manager (Employment and Skills), A New Direction
Tutors and contributors:
Owen Watson (6A Architects)
Helena Hunter (Tate Modern)
Katherine Clarke & Alex Paveley (muf architecture)
Rose Nordin & Heiba Lamara (OOMK)
Participating OSE associates:
Eleanor Vonne Brown
BSix Sixth Form College
Arts Council England
A New Direction
The Mercers’ Company
The Goldsmiths’ Company