The partnership between mac birmingham and IdeasTap helped the Next Generation programme to grow into the huge success it is today.
As Daniel Whitehouse, the producer of Next Generation puts it, “The partnership has enabled young people from a range of different backgrounds and experiences to forge successful creative careers, raising the bar on their own expectations and career goals. It has given young people a voice, skills and most crucially the belief that the creative industries is for them.”
The biggest outcome of the partnership was the IdeasTap Inspires creative producing project. Over 168 people took part in workshops across the country, including Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, London and Birmingham that explored the mysterious but vital role of the creative producer.
As a result, 15 of those participants took part in a two-day creative producing lab led by professionals from the field and mac birmingham have commissioned one person to creatively produce their own project in the autumn with a budget of £3,000.
“Without IdeasTap we would not have had exposure and access to such a range of creative, hungry young people,” says Daniel. And creative they certainly were. In addition to the Inspires scheme, hundreds of young people took part in opportunities in dance, poetry, film, music and theatre in both the West Midlands and further afield.
There were exhibitions of digital art, dance labs with choreographers like Motionhouse and Rosie Kay, a hands-on opportunity to learn the art of printmaking, an artists’ residency scheme, storytelling and performance opportunities as well as the chance to join mac birmingham’s West Midlands-based group of young artists The Canon Hill Collective.
“In an of age of cultural insecurity with regard to funding and the current relegation of arts within the school curriculum, the creative industries as a whole has certainly been compromised,” says Daniel. “Currently, it would be difficult to find a joined-up service or network that replicates IdeasTap’s success. But despite the challenges faced I am buoyed by the creative resilience of the independent sector, the swell of civic pride, and creative energy of the young people I work with currently.”
That positivity and energy will hopefully continue through mac birmingham’s Next Generation programme, which was set up to ensure young people across the West Midlands can thrive, in Daniel’s words, “as audiences, creatives and future leaders.”