The Back Story
In March 2019 the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £1 million to Medway Council as part of its Youth Performance Participation Fund. This fund, aims to support new opportunities for children and young people from areas of low cultural engagement and high levels of deprivation to design their own programme of workshops, events and productions as well as developing backstage and technical skills. There are five partnerships in each Arts Council England area:
- Croydon – Croydon Music and Arts
- Derby – University of Derby Theatre
- Medway – Medway Council, Brook Theatre
- Plymouth – Theatre Royal Plymouth
- Salford – The Lowry Centre Trust
BOP Consulting is overseeing the national evaluation of the five partnerships, and Theatre31’s very own evaluator Susan Potter is working closely with BOP Consulting to oversee and deliver all monitoring, administration and reporting requirements for the national evaluation, as well as designing and delivering a local evaluation shaped by participating children and young people.
Between June and December 2019 the Theatre31 team embarked on an exciting phase of testing and development. During this time, we set up two youth panels, one in Chatham and the other in Sheerness. The Youth Panels met on a number of occasions and researched and agreed a menu of ‘go see’ opportunities. Young people from the Youth Panels and Medway Council’s Youth Service voted to see the West End Show, Wicked and Youthquake, a brilliant performance by the amazing Zest Theatre at The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. We received some great feedback from the young people which is helping the team with future planning. During this time, we also commissioned a baseline survey to understand the current cultural engagement and aspiration among young people in Medway and on the Isle of Sheppey. The results of the survey are helping us to understand the barriers that prevent young people from accessing and participating in creative provision and artistic opportunities in these areas. Read the baseline survey report here.