Grand Futures Leeds – Creative opportunities for thousands of young people.


Caption: Councillor Lucinda Yeadon with long-time supporter of Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, Dr Keith Howard.

Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House has announced an ambitious three year learning programme.

Grand Futures Leeds supported by the Emerald Foundation, will open up Leeds Grand Theatre and the City Varieties Music Hall to thousands of young people from across the city.

The scheme will enable children and young people, individually or through schools, colleges, universities and community groups to be creative, to get hands-on experience producing performances, festivals and other events; and to voice their experiences of life in Leeds through two of the city’s oldest cultural institutions. The programme aims to give young people new skills and to invite a fresh creative response to the city’s heritage.

Grand Futures Leeds takes place from 2014-2017 and will include:

• The development of a major new youth-led arts Festival in 2015 ‘Grand Quarter Festival’ – in which young people will plan, produce, commission, promote and manage the Festival events.

• Growth of the Grand Futures Leeds Arts Partnership Network working with Leeds arts organisations to establish a new model arts academy and city-wide apprenticeship programme. Eight one-year apprenticeships and ten internships have already received supported from the Creative Employment Programme and the city’s Apprenticeship Hub.

• Increased training opportunities at Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House including three year-long funded apprenticeships and work experience placements for secondary school children and students.

• Pop-Up Shop for youth-led exhibitions and creative-enterprise ideas to be tested at 42 New Briggate – starting with the ‘Theatres at War’ exhibition on 8th and 14th September.

• A year-round programme of participation including backstage tours, artist-led sessions for pre-school age children and the City Varieties Youth Theatre.

• Development of the annual Child Friendly Leeds awards held at City Varieties Music Hall – to enable young people to manage and lead the event.

Grand Futures Leeds is designed to complement and support the work of the city’s arts and cultural offer, working with artists and institutions to create better, affordable and new opportunities for young people to develop their skills and talents.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Chair of Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House said:

“Grand Futures Leeds represents our commitment to creating new opportunities for young people in Leeds, to benefit from increased access to learning, and to be inspired by spectacular buildings like Leeds Grand Theatre.

"For all of us in Leeds, this is a chance to benefit from a fresh wave of creative ideas.”

Grand Futures Leeds is supported with funding from the Emerald Foundation through benefactor and long-time supporter of Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, Dr Keith Howard.

Dr Keith Howard of the Emerald Foundation said:

“Grand Futures Leeds is a chance for us to seriously invest in young performers, technicians, designers, directors and administrators of the future. Learning opportunities are vital to progress, and I’m delighted to help Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House to involve more young people in influencing the city’s artistic and creative life. I’m also excited to see how they respond to the rich history of the spaces they’ll be using.”

For more information about Grand Futures Leeds, to attend the launch or for interviews and images please contact Fran Graham: Tel 07815 790189. Email fran@spaceacademy.co.uk

Anyone interested in arts careers can also email poppy.raynor@leedsgrandtheatre.com


Editors Notes

Grand Futures Leeds is a learning programme managed by Rachel Lythe and based at Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House www.leedsgrandtheatre.com and City Varieties Music Hall www.cityvarieties.co.uk

1. The next opportunity for young people to join in is Heritage Open Day on 14 September, when both City Varieties and Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House are open 10.30am-4.00pm for free craft activities, creative workshops, demonstrations and talks.

2. On 8th September and Heritage Open Day 14th September, Grand Futures Leeds will host a ‘Theatres at War’ public exhibition exploring the life of the theatre during the First World War, written and curated by two MA students, Emily Sykes and Laura Swithenbank, in partnership with the Legacies of War Project at the University of Leeds.

3. The Emerald Foundation is a charity that supports arts and cultural programmes, set up by the Emerald Group, publishers of academic and educational books and journals for global markets and based in Bingley. www.emeraldfoundation.org.uk/

4. The Creative Employment Programme is a £15m fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities in England for young unemployed people aged 16-24 wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector.