Educating Young People Through Multimedia

Invizible Circle Education is a youth and community education organisation specialising in the provision of tailored multimedia educational solutions. Through The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund, they were able to use different forms of media to educate young people on various topics in their daily lives…

  • In a nutshell, could you tell us what your Leeds Community Foundation funded project involves?

STREETLIFE:24 was an artist development and performance (rhyme writing, music, photography and film-making) project, with a focus on exploring weapons issues and working with young people aged 13-16. It culminated in the creation of a series of original music video clips.

Overall the young people are equipped with more knowledge, skills and experience in relation to their own talent and development of it. They have an improved ability to express feelings/thoughts/emotions through creative processes, alongside a deeper understanding of, and influence over, weapons use and societal issues that impact upon their lives.

  • Why is this kind of support so vital, what’s the need and what might be the situation if the support you offer didn’t exist?

This project is an extremely innovative and influential example of using young people’s cultures and musical preferences to explore extremely important, sensitive and prevalent issues.

The need for the project was borne out of finding impactful ways for young people to express themselves through the arts and explore issues that impact upon their daily lives with a focus on the ‘street’ environments that exist within their communities.

If left unsupported these young people are highly likely to continue to be negatively affected by the environment they live in.

  • Could you share a rewarding moment you’ve had so far? Is there a particular story you could share from a beneficiary you’ve helped?

Over the period of the project, most of the 20 young people grew in confidence, gained new skills and learnt about themselves and wider society.

The project opened up important channels for them to express and release their feelings, frustrations and generally, their stories; often about big things in their lives that they had never expressed, or shared before.

  • What made you apply for a Foundation grant and what difference has the funding from the Foundation made?

We applied to allow us to continue to create innovative, high quality art projects to help our youth and communities to develop.

The funding has improved the lives of a group of our young people with complex needs and lives. It helped us to run a successful pilot programme with a small number of young people over a good period of time.

The project has highlighted further new areas of need and subsequently new ideas for projects that meet these needs. It also allowed us to test and evaluate our methods and review our effectiveness.