An update from a Curve Young Arts Entrepeneur

Bethany Taylor (aged 18) is one of ten ‘Young Arts Entrepeneurs’ (YAE) developing a project to deliver in their community with the support of Curve theatre. Bethany’s project is “Operation:Act!” by Cognito Theatre, which will be a Theatre in Education programme working with Years 5-7, introducing them to the world of theatre and drama whilst developing their awareness of emotional and mental health, and emphasisng the importance of talking about how we feel.

This is one of her updates on how she is bringing this project to life. To find out more and for updates visit Bethany’s blog 

Saturday 19th May – Young People’s Day at Embrace Arts

On Saturday 19th YAE went across town to Embrace Arts at the University of Leicester to showcase our projects and work with young people at one of the Young People Connected events run by Soft Touch Arts. In the foyer, along with other local arts people we were able to showcase any business cards or promotional items we had to start ‘putting ourselves out there’.

The morning was focused on kids aged up to 13, and so at a few points I helped run drama workshops with Aminata and Jenna, specifically I personally led some warm ups. Although the majority of kids were younger than those I plan to work with in my Theatre in Education workshops, the experience of being in charge of that sort of situation was still very valuable of course, and they seemed to really enjoy it which gave me a brilliant buzz!

One of the most important parts of the day though was being able to link in with the other practitioners and arts businesses who were showcasing themselves too. I had a brief chat with The Mighty Creatives about their funding opportunities and met Tom Cleaver of Mr Cleaver’s Monsters, a scenic artist who I have been chatting with about the possibility of him building some work for our installation. In the afternoon there were performances from those aged 13+, and one of the performers, a musician named Nijah, I have also been in touch with about possibly producing some music for the video aspect of the installation. This would get yet another young local person involved in the project, plus he already has  a fanbase who would also be perhaps interested in coming along to see the finished Cognito piece.

Demon FM (from De Montfort University) were covering the event and conducted an interview with myself and Jenna.

Through somewhereto, John Lewis have expressed interest in hosting the installation over the summer, and the city council are also going to provide us with details about possible empty shop spaces or other space in the city centre we could use. Getting spaces through somewhereto could ultimately save me a large chunk of funding.

I’ve also just finished a rough copy of the script for the film aspect for DYEMTT (Do You Expect Me to Talk?), although I now need to find another filmmaker as my original contact has had to back out. I’ve literally just started to call for interested local actors, but I’m hoping Curve can help me out with this.

Earlier this week, Claire the Media Officer at Curve contacted me asking if I’d do a phone interview with Meera at Pukaar Magazine. I quickly accepted and spent 30 minutes chatting with Meera about the YAE scheme in general, my own background in theatre, what Cognito is all about, and the importance of talking about mental health. It was a great chance to start spreading the word about our work and I’m indebted to Claire for the opportunity! Hopefully the next issue of the magazine will be out soon.

Workshop-wise, I now have a booking for a full day on Thursday 5th July at Husbands Bosworth Primary, and an afternoon at Dunton Bassett Primary at the end of June.

Nathan (from Citizen 598 Theatre) has recommended I start looking at pop-up banners etc, and I’ve found looks to be quite good for these sorts of items. I’ve now put all my budget work into a proper spreadsheet, so I think now I need to spend a bit of time analysing this and properly considering how I will spend the rest of my funding. I also need to get things sorted and planned for how I will spend my rehearsal day at Curve on Saturday 9th June.


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