The Mighty Creatives (TMC) is a charity based in the East Midlands and our vision is of a world where ALL children and young people have the opportunity to harness the power of arts and creativity to transform themselves, their communities and their future. Hazel Townsend, Development Manager at The Mighty Creatives, gives us an insight into the valuable work of the organisation.
"We believe the arts and creativity is not a ‘nice to have’ but VITAL to support children and young people’s development. Sadly, many children and young people don’t have those opportunities and our work is increasingly focussed on supporting and empowering disadvantaged young people across the region – providing opportunities that can transform young people’s lives and contribute to the fight against child poverty.
TMC are also Art Council England’s Bridge Organisation for the East Midlands – bridging the gap between children and young people and arts and creative opportunities in lots of different ways across the region including supporting partnerships, networks, training, resources and delivering Artsmark programme and Arts Award in the region.
As a Development Manager at TMC and I lead our Artsmark programme – supporting approximately 400 schools across the region to develop their arts and cultural education. This gives me the opportunity to work with some amazing artists, arts organisations, schools,….. and most importantly, children and young people. Children are born innately creative beings - you only have to watch toddlers at play to recognise this - seeing them engage with creative activities without fear of being wrong….seeing their enjoyment……and seeing the how it can support their development.
Picasso famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” This remark has become a classic piece of advice to all creatives; it is a challenge to rediscover the wonder and creativity that is a natural part of childhood, and to bring that into your work as an artist. What better way to reconnect with your creativity than to work with children and experience art through their eyes?
Many creative practitioner looks at sharing their skills with others, including young people, as a way of supplementing their income but it can also be a way of growing as an artist and discovering things about yourself and your practice that you’d never imagined!
…it can also be very inspiring. Over the last few months, TMC has celebrated Keeping Art at the Heart, highlighting the importance of arts and creativity, especially in supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing. As part of this campaign pupils from four Artsmark schools worked with poet and rapper Mr Shay on the theme of ‘Art makes me feel’.
Here are some lines from the poem:
Art Makes Me Feel.
Like a shark swimming in the depths of imagination.
Like a free bird soaring over mountains
Like a King building my own empire
The Queen of my own land,
I make the rules for myself.
Moulding them with my hands.
Art makes me feel hope .
It can be used to shift reality to your favour
Reassuring arms of repair
Not letting you fall into despair
Somewhere to look for
Someone you’ll know
Always a place for you to go.
WebinArt members can find out more about our work at The Mighty Creatives and how to deliver and develop creative programmes and projects with young people by coming along to our webinar on Tuesday 13th April or by visiting our website – www.themightycreatives.com