Young Arts Leaders
We have always been keen to advocate young leaders within the creative sector. Developing and supporting programmes for young people to grow into leaders is an important part of our mission.
At the Root was started by a group of nineteen / twenty year olds with ambition and passion. We were very lucky to have been supported by great organisations like Queen Margaret University, the Regal Community Theatre and Youth Theatre Arts Scotland. We aim to create a space for young people like those organisations created spaces for us.
New Territory was a project facilitated by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland. The project was delivered across Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and West Lothian. The Young Arts Leader project aimed to provide progression opportunities for young people aged 16-24 in key areas of multiple deprivation. The participants had the opportunity to develop their own artistic practice and their leadership and employability skills to support local arts projects.
We were selected for the project as we were a relatively young company at the time and we were aiming to provide more varied opportunities for our participants. EmilieJane, Nikita and Ryan were all selected as our Young Arts Leaders. This meant that they would be planning, delivering and evaluating their own projects within our workshop groups.
To kick-start the project, YTAS organised a residential weekend at Cove Park for the Young Arts Leaders. This was a really beneficial event as the young people got the chance to meet other likeminded people, develop their skills and spend their time at a really cool place (like really, really cool).
When they got back from the residential, the Young Arts Leaders started planning and delivering workshops and began devising their projects. Throughout the months we could see their skills improve, confidence boost and, ultimately, seen them become Young Arts Leaders. They completed some very exciting projects at the end of the term. Nikita produced an amazing music show at the Purple Orange, EmilieJane directed A Winter Fairytale and Ryan produced a short film.
"The project was a huge success. The young people really got lots out of it. It's definitely shown them a potential career path."
- Workshop Leader
"Being a Young Arts Leader has shown me how to be creative in a different way and how to use the skills I have to lead others."
Ryan created a short film called Establish with our Wednesday Film Club. The film was a playful and fun exploration of different filming techniques and styles. We included lots of stop motion, neon effects, green screen and music in the film to create a montage of experimental filming. Ryan was heavily involved in the development and delivery of the Film Club - in everything we do, we want to give young people ownership and agency. The film club was a successful project, and we're really proud of the result! You can watch Establish here.
We produce regular music shows in local venues around West Lothian, including the Regal Theatre and Purple Orange. Nikita was involved in producing many of our music productions throughout 2018. They helped with the set list, instruments, guiding others and setting the tone for the show. Nikita started off by exploring Music Through the Decades - they led workshops based on different eras and had participants create their own music to fit in. Eventually this led to a set of shows using different styles of music. The show was performed at both the Purple Orange and the Ladywell Church in Livingston. You can watch the Decades Mashup here.
EmilieJane was given the job of directing our 2018 Winter Sharing - A Winter Fairytale. She used a mix of physical theatre, narration and devising to bring the fairytales to life - she selected the fairytales, cast the shows and directed the actors throughout the entire production. This enabled EmilieJane to develop leadership skills that shone throughout the project and beyond. She was also involved in selecting a venue and marketing the show which gave her valuable arts management experience.
Photography by Matthew Swan & Nichole Cook