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Young Arts

Young Arts aims to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts either through Young Arts groups (for 8-18 year olds which are affiliated to member societies) or a Young Arts project.

Projects cover a wide range of activities and may benefit individuals (such as by bursary) or by supporting school groups eg funding visits to galleries and museums, purchasing special equipment or funding ‘Artists in Residence’.


BDFAS has again given an award to a Birmingham City University School of Jewellery student, for work produced upon completion of their degree studies. The recipient’s exhibit was judged to have demonstrated the strongest local connection, covering theme and materials.

Support for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track Programme has continued. Every year the scheme reaches out to some 2000 children across city schools, demonstrating ballet, promoting participation and enabling 80 of those who have shown promise to receive training and experience over a two year period.

This year we have also donated to Singing Playgrounds, a project organised from Ex Cathedra, teaching singing to primary school children.


2015 – The fledgling initiative Drama-Link offered actor training and performance experience to young people across Birmingham last year. Four performances of Twelfth Night were staged in the Studio Theatre of the Crescent Theatre in December. The 60 actors were drawn from schools across the social spectrum and BDFAS supported the project.

2011-13 – For the past three years we have supported the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track programme which we first became involved with in 2010

Examples of Katie Lowey’s jewellery

Examples of Katie Lowey’s jewellery

2012-13 – the committee decided to support the Birmingham School of Jewellery. The School is world renowned and situated most appropriately in our Jewellery Quarter. We decided to award a prize to an individual or piece of work with local relevance.

The recipient of the 2013 BDFAS Young Arts Award was a young woman who was not only born locally but also based her delightful pieces of jewellery on her observations of Birmingham’s Victorian Gothic buildings. We look forward to seeing the future work of Katie Lowey.

2010-11 – Following our involvement with the SHED project in 2009, we supported a similar programme aimed at 16 to 25 year olds who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) and who were based in Ladywood. This Arts Award training programme is run by Performances Birmingham Limited, and allows young people with limited life-opportunities to access facilities, learn new skills, gain a qualification and meet others in a safe, creative and constructive environment. The training took place over four months and included a THSH outreach session in the Ladywood constituency, with THSH artists working directly with the young people in their community groups, plus a programme of 18 sessions in the Patrick Music & Multimedia Studio at Symphony Hall including a drop-in session for independent work. There was also the opportunity to attend a Master Class following the Arts Award training programme.

Dance Track: Photographer Tim Cross

Dance Track: Photographer Tim Cross

2010-11 – In the summer of 2010 BDFAS was delighted to support the Dance Track programme of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Our contribution will sponsor one child for one year through the full Dance Track programme. The initiative, started in 1997, was set up to provide opportunities to children who showed a talent for dance. The aim is to provide high quality dance training, to nurture talent and to promote an understanding and a love of dance. Dance Track works with 33 schools across Birmingham and in 2010 delivered over 100 workshops across the north and south of the city, working with more than 2000 young children. Some students are offered places at the pre-vocational programme at Elmhurst and on the Royal Ballet’s Junior Associates programme.

Young people from the SHED documenting a project called Bollywood Steps, part of Birmingham Town Hall’s 175th anniversary celebrations

Young people from the SHED documenting a project called Bollywood Steps, part of Birmingham Town Hall’s 175th anniversary celebrations

2009 – BDFAS supported the ‘SHED’ project, an after-school club where where 11-16 year olds can learn skills in creative multi-media.

‘SHED’ reaches young people who would not normally have the opportunity to access such facilities and, for example, there is currently an initiative to boost the number of young people accessing the programme from the Ladywood area, which is recognised as one of the most deprived areas in Britain.

A flagship project of the Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s participatory youth programme, the SHED project takes place in the Patrick MusicTech Studio, a high-tech, multi-media facility where a wide range of creative musical and artistic activities can be taught. The equipment available includes a suite of eleven iMac computers and a range of additional digital technologies such as still and video cameras, portable sound recorders and relevant software programmes. The studio has evolved to offer diverse creative activities to participants of all ages and backgrounds from Birmingham and the West Midlands. These activities include music composition and recording, photography and film projects, 2D and 3D animation work, story telling and audio book production.

The resources also include specialist technology which allows children and young people with special needs to engage in creative activities using devices which ensure equality of access.

Professor Ann Sumner, Director of the Barber Institute (far right) and Stephanie Faroqui, Chairman of Birmingham DFAS (second from left) presented a certificate to the internees sponsored by BDFAS

Professor Ann Sumner, Director of the Barber Institute (far right) and Stephanie Faroqui, Chairman of Birmingham DFAS (second from left) presented a certificate to the internees sponsored by BDFAS

2008-09 – BDFAS sponsored two internees to work on a programme to promote young art to the wider community, one of whom completed her term in March and the other started in February. The post-graduates in History of Art spent six months working for three days a week at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. They gained experience in the marketing, education and curatorial departments. This sponsorship offered a rare opportunity outside London, thus helping to keep talent in Birmingham and benefitting the local community.

NADFAS was so impressed with this venture that they have pledged funds from the Patricia Fay Foundation in order to support another two internees at the Barber Institute in 2009-10.