CAN’s youth arts programmes are unique in that they provide safe spaces where young people from different social groups and geographical areas can interact with each other. Often starting at an entry level of involvement, they are able to engage in a process that values their existing skills and cultures with opportunities to further develop their skills.
Our youth arts programmes promote social cohesion, combat exclusion often creating profound cultural memory experiences of joy and wellbeing where young people are valued for who they are, encouraged in their creativity, where they can learn about themselves, each other and the world.
In recent history, our programmes have comprised of projects with long-term development objectives as part of the Exodus programme, working with hard-to-reach young people. Many of the projects have involved young people from refugee backgrounds working collaboratively with other culturally diverse young people from Greater Manchester, largely in a highly visible, performing arts context.
CAN’s most recent 3-year young people’s arts programme (2011-14) has recently come to an end. Over 90 young people participated in the final year of producing high quality, creative and outstanding digital performances both in Wigan and Manchester.
It was a 3-year multimedia performing arts project, encouraging young people aged 12-18 who were interested in MCing, spoken-word, rap & freestyle, digital media, dance or drama to develop new creative skills, experiment and share ideas.
The programme aimed to create a profound cultural experience for the young people involved. Creating joy, well-being, self-value and encouraging an artistic process where they can learn about themselves, each other and the world.
This project was funded by Children in Need and the Lankelly Chase Foundation.
During 2009-10, CAN’s youth arts programmes supported the legacy company from the Urban Youth Music Project, Nu Xpressions and a new group of young people recruited through the CAN networks for The Machine Speaks in 3D hip hop theatre performance at Contact Theatre.
From 2004, our youth arts work evolved from the initial one year in the making Now we Talkin’ programme (2003-04), to the two-year In the Mix Youth Music programme (2004-06), through to the three-year, Urban Music Theatre Project (2006-09).