Each month we’re celebrating some of the community champions we’ve supported in the region.
Imagine If are a theatre company that engages with local people who have direct, personal experience of social problems through their creative theatre productions and drama workshops.
Thanks to help from the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire Fund, we recently supported their #MakeThatChange arts project, providing workshops in drama, rap, photography and film. The project allowed a group of young people to produce a performance addressing the LGBT+ experience, highlighting prejudice and using the performing arts to create social change.
Here, Tamsin Cook from Imagine If tells us more.
Can you share a rewarding moment from the project?
Throughout #MakeThatChange one participant struggled to socialise and refused to engage in exercises involving contact such as high fives. As time went on they gradually opened up, writing a song specifically for the final performance. After the performance, they hugged the facilitator and initiated a group hug with their family which surprised and delighted everyone! They now want to use their artistic talents for social change.
What difference has funding from Leeds Community Foundation made?
LCF’s funding ensured that the project could take place, expanding Imagine If’s capacity to work with young people across Leeds and giving access to high quality arts workshops and performances. The performance brought people of all ages together to discuss positive change and listen to young people’s opinions and thoughts on issues of prejudice in their community. This may help to foster understanding between generations in the community.
Why are the opportunities you provide so important?
Our aim is to educate the public about the causes and consequences of social and economic disadvantage through artistic performances and workshops, while instigating positive change within communities. By addressing difficult issues we can engage harder to reach groups and those impacted by the social issues explored in our work. We believe in using the power of theatre to reach out to as many people as we can!
To find out more or donate visit www.theleedsfund.org.uk