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Local professionals encourage young people to get creative.

Culture Shift, a key partner in the “Get Hastings Reading” campaign, has launched a series of short films featuring 5 local creative professionals,  to encourage young people to take up the art of creative writing reports, HOT’s Vanessa Alves.

One of the key aims of the “Get Hastings Reading” campaign is to share a passion for words and language and with the help of journalists, scriptwriters and songwriters, it truly showcases how words and language lie at the heart of their jobs. The campaign wanted to run a series of Word Café events in secondary schools across Hastings. However, the initiative was thwarted by COVID restrictions.  Undaunted, the campaign decided to go viral.

Catherine Orbach, Director at Culture Shift commented, “The videos were a great way to reach out to young people during the lockdown. As films they are resources which will be there for years to come and we hope many more young people will access them. We are really grateful to the professionals who made this possible and were prepared to have a go at making films themselves – often for the first time.”

The five local professionals featured in the films are Ed Boxall, Chrissy Harmar-Brown, Andy Willard, Siddy Bennett and John Knowles.

Their videos cover creative activities such as Graphic Design, Cartooning, Graphic Novels, Illustration and Script writing. Each video is highly interactive, and viewers are encouraged to share their work.

Speaking about the project, Ed Boxall explained, “I have really enjoyed the chance to find ways for young people to be creative with words and images.  The films are a brilliant toolkit that they can go back to again and again, providing an amazing resource that empowers and enables them to be creative and have fun with words in a fantastic range of art forms. The films will definitely help them to enjoy words and develop their literacy – but the best thing is none of the projects offered feel like work at all!”

Each artist has produced five short videos which have been shared with local secondary schools and are also freely available on Culture Shift’s YouTube channel.

Chrissy Harmar-Brown added, “I had no idea how the film of me suggesting some scriptwriting exercises would work and I was surprised and delighted by the results. The students responded with imagination and flair, creating compelling characters and coming up with wonderful plot ideas which I hope they develop. It’s always a joy when young writers are able to generate their own ideas.”

The SoundBite videos are part of the Read Your Way initiative, which is being led by Education Futures Trust, working in partnership with the NSMC, FSN, Hastings Storytelling Festival, Culture Shift and 18 Hours.  Read Your Way is funded by the Hastings Opportunity Area and aims to improve standards of literacy for children and young people in the town.

Posted 11:52 Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020 In: Community Arts

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