A fantastic new digital arts programme could be about to help the next Stormzy uncover their potential as it supports Croydon’s young people to discover their interests and potential over the summer.
Run by Croydon Music and Arts (CMA), the free courses offer all young people between eight and 13-years-old the chance to learn new skills from rap to theatre, while working towards a recognised qualification.
The first CMA Online activity Your Culture, Your Croydon asks participants to explore their family heritage and send in a video of a creative piece – be it poem, song, dance or story learnt from or inspired by an older family member.
CMA will create a digital mosaic from the submissions, celebrating Croydon’s cultural diversity. The mosaic will be shown in Croydon Museum as well as at libraries and events around the borough.
Participants can work their way through the five levels of Star Award, a new qualification CMA are developing with the RSL Exam Board, a leading qualification board for music and arts.
“We are a borough that nurtures the arts and supports talent – creating opportunities and encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the arts, particularly our 93,000 young people. We are supporting our rich and diverse cultural community in Croydon ahead of being London Borough of Culture 2023. Our new digital programme allows young people to find new ways to express themselves, with our arts education experts to support and guide them.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Claire Bracher, Head of School at Castle Hill Academy said: “Our school has been very pleased to be able to be part of the online blended learning programme that Croydon Music and Arts has provided. Our children have been able to explore their own creativity in a safe and knowledgeable environment. We are looking forward to this continuing to grow and we shall encourage our parents and carers to engage with the project.”
Reshayne Bailey took part in a trial version of the digital programme. He said: “I have loved attending sessions with CMA Online during lockdown, It has helped me relax and keep my mind off the other negative things happening in the world right now. Drama and Spoken Word have been my favourite projects because I love writing poems but I’m also a very dramatic person so it’s good for me to bring them together. You can write anything you want and bring it to life in your own house.
“It’s great to work with real artists. They’ve always been chilled, really helpful and definitely not strict which is good because we’re not at school. The programme is brilliant because it gives you a journal where you can keep all of your creative work. You can show the journal to your family and friends.”