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Arts Connect investment boosts opportunities for young people

  • Date: 19 December 2013
  • Area: Midlands

Arts Connect West Midlands has invested more than £50,000 in three arts organisations to boost arts activities and creative career opportunities for young people in the region.  

Arts Connect has awarded Partnership Investment Funding, totalling £54,030, to Imagineer Productions, Motionhouse and Ikon.

This investment will enable these three organisations to develop and expand their work with children and young people, as well as support them to secure new investment from their partners.

Arts Connect is one of 10 Bridge organisations supported by public funding from Arts Council England. They work across the whole of the West Midlands to connect children and young people to great arts and cultural experiences.

Rob Elkington, Director of Arts Connect WM said: “We are delighted to be supporting the ambitions of Imagineer, Motionhouse and Ikon in creating new opportunities for young people to engage in their high quality arts activity. They are all developing new ways to make these projects financially sustainable in order to benefit more young people over the long term. Our investment comes at the right time for them to access resources that will be crucial to their future success.”

Arts Connect WM has awarded Partnership Investment Funding for the following:

Imagineer Productions: Award £20,000

Imagineer are working with industry partners to create a resource that will enable young people to learn, through experience, how arts and science can connect to create amazing things. The programme aims to generate significant future employment and economic potential for participants through offering progression routes to engineering academies and apprenticeships.

Jane Hytch, Director Imagineer Productions said: “This investment from Arts Connect will enable Imagineer to pilot its new technology and experiential learning programme with three primary schools in Coventry and to undertake a broad evaluation with all our design and engineering partners and stakeholders.

“As we develop this new and exciting project which will unlock new funding streams for the company it will also enable the imagination of children to become an important influence on the creation all our new work.”

Motionhouse: Award £24,030

Motionhouse will develop their youth dance activity through Motionhouse Youth Mix, a youth centred dance initiative inspiring young people both within and outside educational settings. Motionhouse will work with education partners to combine both formal education and a vibrant community programme offering young people progression from play through to serious training, work placements and career opportunities.

Louise Richards, Executive Director Motionhouse said: “We are absolutely delighted to be selected for partnership investment support from Arts Connect. Participatory activity and young people have always been at the heart of our programme and through Motionhouse Youth Mix we can now really develop the performative opportunities and inspiration work that we are committed to delivering for young people in our home region.”

Ikon Gallery: Award £10,000

Ikon will deliver a creative programme, devised and led by young people aged 16-19 who are not in education, employment or training, identifying gaps in provision and finding ways to tackle exclusion, improving young people’s employability and wellbeing. Ikon will research and develop sustainable models with regional partners and provide new opportunities for young people to develop their creativity, skills, knowledge and understanding working alongside professional artists.

Simon Taylor, Ikon’s Head of Learning, said: “Ikon has a strong history of working with young people and this is an exciting opportunity to really engage with some of the most vulnerable individuals in ways that are much more sustainable for us as an organisation.”

This is the second round of Partnership Investment. To-date, in addition to Imagineer, Motionhouse and Ikon Gallery, Arts Connect WM have awarded funding to 9 regional arts and cultural organisations. For further information visit .