The Isle of Ely Arts Festival

In 2014 and 2015 the Arts Crew selected and ran a series of events as part of the festival. The following is taken from the 2014 Festival report:

We were very proud of the commitment shown to the festival by the eight teenage promoters we recruited from several different schools. They became members of the ADeC Arts Crew and attended numerous workshop sessions to learn event management, promotion and technical skills. They followed this up by selecting and running two key festival events. These were a festival dance showcase entitled ‘Bright Futures’ and a Festival Band Night.

The promoters designed and distributed publicity, stage managed the shows, operated the tech, set up and risk assessed the venues and compered the performances. This experience to count towards Silver Arts Award qualifications which the promoters will be moderated for later this year.

It is worth noting that the events the young promoters staged engaged a large number of other young people with the festival as both performers and audience members. In particular their ‘Bright Futures’ dance night brought together five local dance schools in a non-competitive environment to celebrate local talent and opportunities. This dance evening may well become a regular fixture of future festivals

All of the Arts Crew members were given brochures and posters to place in and around Ely to advertise the event. Other members designed posters, and contacted bands and dance groups to invite them to the event. I wrote the press release for the newspapers. I also compiled a list of all dance troops in the area so we could contact them easily. Alfie compiled a selection of music to play as the house music and Ines wrote the risk assessment. Later on, we all found websites where we could advertise the event, for example, Visit Ely and Ely People. On the nights, I was operating the lighting, Sam G was helping lorry with sound, Sam Felton was in the box office, Tom was stage manager and Ines was photographer. On top of this, we all took on minor jobs as well as this to ensure the nights were a success. In order to do the lighting, it was important to work well with Tom who was organising the acts, and Lorry and Sam who were operating the sound system. Therefore, it involved being a good listener, creative, and good at communication. - (Chandler Stamford – ADeC Arts Crew)
Thank you for organising ‘Bright Futures’. We loved the compere! The backstage hands and technicians did a very good job – lighting was excellent! Well done everyone. - Kate Marshall (Octagon Dance)

Thomas Hood

ADeC is happy to write references for Arts Crew members to support their development. The following extract is taken from a reference supporting the awarding of an emerald tie at Soham Village College

This year Thomas has been a very active member of the Arts Crew. This has included being involved with the planning and running of several live events and helping on community art projects.

In April he was a vital member of the team who spent several days constructing the new parade eel for the Ely eel day parade. This involved working with a variety of materials and developing a range of skills. These included: working with fabric, wire work, sewing, papier mache, varnishing, being interviewed by the press, working as a team and synchronised parade dancing!

The project also gave Thomas the valuable experience of working alongside local community artists.

We greatly appreciated his involvement and commitment to the project.

Rebecca Law

Rebecca achieved her bronze and silver Arts Awards with ADeC. Below are her reflections on an ADeC music project she was involved with:

It was all positive. It opened up opportunities to perform which I hadn’t done before and to compose my own music and work with other musicians. Doing the Arts Award was great and helped me build by confidence musically. The only negative aspect was when the session stopped.

Before this project I hadn’t even decided to choose music as a GCSE but then I did and I am now doing music tech at college. At the moment I am finding it hard to juggle my musical interests (particularly song writing) with my academic studies but I hope to do more music in the future.

It has boosted my confidence and shown me opportunities that I did not know were available. It has made me more keen to be involved in music because I didn’t know that there were so many aspects to it. I am now more comfortable at working with other people.

I had not performed in front of other people before and was very nervous but once I’d done it the first time. The workshop sessions gave me the chance to practice and start off performing in front of small groups of people and then build up to bigger crowds and I started to feel more confident. I also learnt to write my own songs.

I would encourage other young people to get involved in youth arts projects such as this.

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