Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Part of the Family: Group shot with Skitz and Harry centre, plus Pablo on far left

Part of the Family: Group shot with Skitz and Harry centre, plus Pablo on far left

Part of the Family

This week’s Get a Life takes a peep into a family themed project for young people, hosted by BBC 1Xtra’s hip-hop DJ and producer, Skitz. As part of Small Green Shoots projects, Hastings becomes the host town for one of eight family themed events taking place, supporting young people with family life. Jessica Parker speaks to DJ Skitz and PR to Small Green Shoots Adam Webb in preparation for the event.

Led by DJ Skitz, the Part of the Family project aims to help young adults explore their feelings towards family relationships through forms of creative writing. The twice a week workshops provided, encouraged the young adults to write various poems, songs and raps in preparation for a coming showcase next week at the Black Market, in Hastings Old Town.

Part of the Family is one of eight unique events that Small Green Shoots has helped to develop – all exploring the diversity of today’s family life from the viewpoint of socially excluded young people.” – Natalie Wade, Director of Small Green Shoots.

This opportunity was created in aid of those not currently in education or training, those who wish to gain more out of their creative skill set. Part of the Family not only gives a chance to get those creative juices flowing but offers a greatly recognised qualification for involvement. A Bronze Arts Award.

Now, a Bronze Arts Award is a Level 1 qualification available to young people between the ages of 11-25. And the current requirements to achieve a Bronze, is to join a favoured arts activity and provide research of your inspiration. The Bronze Arts Award is of similar level to that of GCSEs and shows a basic skill-set for employability. The added bonus in achieving an Arts Award is that you show something unique about your creative, leadership and communication skill.

Joe Cole with 3 participants

Joe Cole with 3 participants

Joe Cole, DJ name Skitz, is an award-winning hip-hop DJ and producer. After releasing his debut in 1996 he worked alongside Rodney P for five years on BBC 1Xtra. During his career Skitz has interviewed the likes of 50 Cent, Pharrell and Chuck D, making him an industry expert in creative song writing. Skitz decided to take up the challenge of running his own project, and when Part of the Family started up, he decided it fitted in perfectly with his current song writing, composition and recording.

“Most have learnt about structure and flow, about content and the impact that it can have. It never ceases to amaze me how much ability and thought youngsters put into their song writing, how much feeling and thought comes out in their verses. It is a true insight into their lives and emotions. Of course hearing things from someone else’s perspective will always help gain insight and gives you a wider understanding of our community, country or world”. – DJ Skitz.

The project is currently funded by the Arts Council England who are encouraging younger people to share their personal perspectives on family life. The Arts Council aims to support the Small Green Shoots – a London based arts organisation – in encouraging young adults, not currently in education or training, to gain a greater understanding based upon their varying perspectives on family life.

“In a rapidly evolving world, the perspectives of our young people is integral to a clearer understanding of both ourselves and the diverse family ‘make-ups’ we all come from.” – Pablo McFee, Curriculum Lead at Respond Academy.

Harry Shotta at Part of the Family workshop

Harry Shotta at Part of the Family workshop

All participants from the Part of the Family project are currently preparing for their fast approaching showcase. Aged 16 to 24, we can expect to see 10 to 15 brave and creatively intellectual individuals stepping proudly onto the stage to present their writing. The showcase itself will be held at the BlackmarketVIP, in Hastings Old Town, 29 May 2014 – full address at bottom.

Skitz will be joined at the showcase by acclaimed UK rapper Rodney P, who provided professional tutoring at the twice-weekly workshops, alongside Harry Shotta. Together they offered participants ‘grounding in spoken work techniques and creative writing as they explored personal perspectives around family relationships and the roles they play as individuals within the family unit.’ – Small Green Shoots PR.

To show your support and witness what these young artists have created, head on down to the Blackmarket, Old Town on Thursday 29 May, 6-8pm.

Blackmarket VIP,
10 George Street,
Hastings Old Town,
TN34 3EG
01424 421276


Posted 22:03 Saturday, May 24, 2014 In: Get a Life

Also in: Get a Life

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