During February, award-winning charity Create is working with young people from White Spire School in Bletchley to help them write stories, exchange ideas, and dream up designs for a mural to be displayed at intu Milton Keynes. creative:connection is Create’s inclusive multi-art form project for young people with disabilities. The series of workshops offer students with moderate learning disabilities the opportunity to collaborate, improve their confidence and feel included in city living.
Thanks to funding from The Queen’s Trust and Intu Properties plc, the young people are starting with storytelling and drama workshops, creating a collaborative original story under the guidance of Create’s professional drama artist, James Baldwin, Artistic Director of Function Theatre. The young people will then transform their story into artwork with the assistance of Create’s visual artist Daniel Wallis. In March, their designs will be painted up by intu volunteers under the guidance of Wallis.
In the UK, disabled people are significantly less likely to participate in cultural activities than non-disabled-people. People with learning disabilities often face barriers when attempting to access the arts and can feel that their needs are overlooked by society. This project allows the young people at White Spire School to develop new creative skills and share their creative talents with a wider public.
‘I’m delighted that, thanks to funding from The Queen’s Trust and Intu Properties plc, creative:connection is extending its reach to Milton Keynes,’ commented Create’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Nicky Goulder. ‘This project allows young people with special needs to develop new skills and play an active role in their community that will raise their self-esteem and develop their confidence in communicating with their peers. I can’t wait to see their designs come to life on the walls!’
Martin Hinson, General Manager at intu Milton Keynes added, ‘This is a wonderful project that my team and I at intu Milton Keynes have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in and working with the young people and staff at White Spire. They have shown inspirational creativity and imagination, which we are honoured to be able to immortalise in a colourful and heart-warming mural for the public to enjoy.’
creative:connection runs from 6 January – 10 February 2015. The mural will be painted from 10 – 13 March 2015.
Founded in 2003, Create (www.createarts.org.uk) has run 5,313 creative arts workshops that have helped transform the lives of 28,973 disadvantaged and vulnerable participants, mainly as part of sustained, life-changing programmes. Aimed at those who are excluded through disability, disadvantage, ill-health, imprisonment, poverty or social isolation, participants are given access to high-quality creative arts experiences that help them develop confidence, trusting relationships, strong social skills and self-esteem. Every project helps to create a society that is fairer, more caring and more inclusive.