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New Digital Arts Festival's Awardwining Opportunities

It's A Sin actor, Nathaniel Hall leads a workshop on March 13. Photo by Anton Mellor

Young people from Lancaster and Morecambe are taking part in a new Digital Arts Festival alongside professionals including an actor from Channel 4’s hit drama, It’s A Sin.

Nathanial Hall is just one of the professional theatre makers, artists, musicians, spoken word performers and film-makers from culturally diverse and working class backgrounds to support the festival which runs until April.

He will be leading an autobiographical writing and performance workshop on March 13 following his appearance in It’s A Sin as Donald Bassett, the boyfriend of Olly Alexander’s character, Ritchie Tozer.

The other free online workshop still to take place will be led by musician and Mercury Prize shortlisted artist, Angela Chan on March 6.  

The workshops, which have already included sessions on spoken word, rap and poetry; theatre making, visual arts, and mobile film-making, are the first stage of this exciting new digital Arts Award Festival, supported by Arts Council England and organised by Lancashire Youth Challenge(LYC), More Music and the Prop Up Project.

The festival is for 13 to 19-year-olds who’ve never had an opportunity to access the arts  and  encourages them to create new work and potentially complete a Bronze Arts Award qualification which is about equivalent to a GCSE, grade 1-3.

The bronze award involves the teenagers attending an intensive two day session in late March where they will help to create a piece of theatre for social change and research an art inspiration.

They will also work with Lancaster-based visual arts organisation, GRAFT on the re-staging of the exhibition Voices: Sparking Conversations in Art first displayed outdoors in Lancaster last year which will be exhibited at Morecambe’s More Music venue in the spring.

Developing and sharing their new found skills and producing a portfolio of their work is also part of the award process.

The final phase is the making of a short film in April featuring music, spoken word and performance on the theme of hope in a post-COVID world.

“This festival gives 50 young people the experience of working with a diverse range of artists, developing their skills and potentially achieving a qualification which is beneficial for their CVs and college applications,” said LYC chief executive, Guy Christiansen.

Places on the workshops are still available and require access to a mobile phone or laptop and good internet connection. Support can be provided for those without such facilities.

Anyone interested in registering for the workshops, should visit www.lancashireyouthchallenge.co.uk/arts-fest-2021

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