Cardboard Citizens: Act Now
Act Now is a programme of regular activity and skills based learning for young people aged 16 to 25 who have experienced homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. A mix of regular accredited activity and annual projects, under Stuart's leadership, Cardboard Citizens took a dual approach: developing the self esteem and confidence of the members, whilst nurturing the young people as community activists. Funded by Comic Relief's #iwill fund, Act Now produced a touring Forum Theatre piece called No Box No Labels. This culminated in a performance at London's South Bank Centre.
- Lyrix Organix
- Catch 22 'The Hive'
- The Henry Smith Charity
- Société Générale Community Fund
- Comic Relief
- St. James's Place Foundation
- Anton Jurgens Charitable Trust
- Wessex Youth
- John Lyons Charity
Facts and Figures year 18/19:
- Numbers engaged through outreach and performances 300
- Members engaged in workshops 70
- Number of qualifications achieved 40
- Number of employment outcomes 6
- Number of volunteering outcomes 15
- Number entering education, employment and training 40
Its Our Theatre
A nationwide scheme of youth engagement and talent development. Working in marginalised communities in areas of socio economic decline. The methodology, developed with key artists from the world of theatre and the urban arts, built a reputation for engaging young people aged 11+ in the arts: theatre, spoken word, street dance, spoken word, music production, graffiti art and entrepreneurship training.
Partners and investors included:
- The Royal Opera House
- Thurrock Borough Council
- Arts Council England
- Children in Need
Facts and Figures about It's Our Theatre:
- Engaged over 20,000 people in our work – most from areas of disadvantage or low cultural engagement (as defined by Arts Council England)
- Run 300+ workshops for over 6,500 young participants
- Accredited 150 young people with the nationally recognised Trinity College Arts Award
- Awarded 10 It’s Your Future Bursaries to support young people in leading creative community projects and developing their skills
- Delivered over 345 performances – many to new audiences
- Collaborated with over 80 professional artists, 40 venues, and 50 schools
- Partnered with local authorities, arts organisations, funders, schools, youth clubs and agencies concerned with young people’s welfare, in areas as diverse as Birmingham, Bedfordshire, Essex, Manchester, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Bristol and Northamptonshire
- Managed individual grant awards of up to £183,757 and projects of up to £141,500
- Received core investment from Arts Council England of £731,710, and levered in significant additional contribution of £921,500 funding and substantial amounts of in kind support from our partners.
At the heart of ‘What Matters?’ is the creation of a new Verbatim theatre event, which will be produced in three community venues, including local libraries. Headphone Verbatim (HV) is a fully inclusive method of making theatre. It is compelling in its authenticity and relevance. The model can rapidly deliver the mood of the community, the performers becoming ‘conduits without judgement’. Everyday conversations that would normally go unnoticed, be they complaints about common matters, or reflections on the state of the nation, become gentle, perhaps whimsical, voices of the community.
Through partnership and networks, volunteers are trained to interview and digitally record the feelings and thoughts of the community. This team of volunteers are chosen to represent the diversity of Hertford: Mudlarks is a local charity that supports adults and young people with learning disabilities and mental health concerns. Local amateur theatre makers will present the edited interviews; to be ‘conduits without judgement’ demands of the actor a different approach: you don’t become a character, you authentically represent every word, every ‘umm’ and every ‘err’ of the voice you hear through the headphones. The audience is drawn not just to what is said, but the way it is communicated through the voice of another. An alchemy that creates an absorbing and undeniable truth. The quality of the work lies in the expertise which will deliver ‘What Matters?’: Stuart will work with Kristine Landon-Smith, one of the country’s leading exponents of Headphone Verbatim and Rhys Thomas, Director of Hertford Theatre.