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Young Encouraged to Shape Bolton’s Cultural Future

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Bolton School has teamed up with Bolton at Home to offer places in both digital and in-person creative collectives for local residents aged 12-18 dubbed Creatives Now.

Over the course of several months, in sessions which will run at times to suit the participants’ availability, the town’s creative youth will get the opportunity to learn more about jobs in the arts sector, develop their own skills and expand their creative networks.

The sessions will also include artist-led workshops, conversations with creative leaders and discussions about career pathways. Participants will commission artists and co-produce creative artefacts and events. There will also be trips to inspirational cultural venues and events in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.

The project is being delivered by Bolton School and Bolton at Home supported by Bolton’s leading cultural organisations and Bolton’s Local Cultural Education Partnership. The project is generously sponsored by Bolton Council and is part of the town’s Community Champions regeneration drive as we emerge from pandemic.

Young people participating in the programme will have the opportunity to shape Bolton’s cultural landscape for their peer group, lending their opinions to the town’s 2030 Vision and Culture Strategy.

It came about thanks to the Bolton School’s Director of Creative Learning and Partnerships Naomi Lord's work with Curious Minds as a SLiCE (Specialist Leader in Cultural Education) fellow. Bolton School, supported by Manchester International Festival, ran a pilot project, ‘Your Manifesto’ in late Spring and Summer earlier this year.

In its second phase, the project has been developed further with Bolton at Home’s Housing Art Officer Gaynor Cox. She commented, "The pilot project told us that young people in Bolton wanted to make and produce art and art events about things that are important to them, for the environments and people that are closest to them - their homes, neighbourhoods, families and friends."

She added: "As we return to public life, we hope that this next phase sets a strong precedent for greater youth agency and representation in Bolton in both local community centres and as part of the town centre’s regeneration."

Applications are open until December 10. To apply, you must be attending school or college in Bolton. See https://forms.gle/sCeudzf1fnnHHZ3f7.

Creatives Now is also looking for two professional, practising creative practitioners to be Creative Engagement Facilitators, who will deliver the programme for the chosen group of 12-18 year olds. Download the PDF document for full details about this position and how to apply.

The photos were taken in Manchester Cathedral gardens which was turned into MIF’s Festival Square during this year's summer festival. 

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