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25 years of inspiring young people

Posted onPosted on 15th Mar

Mansfield arts team Inspire Youth Arts (IYA) is celebrating 25 years of inspiring young people across Nottinghamshire.

Inspire has developed its own unique and award-winning approach to delivering innovative and accessible music, dance and digital arts opportunities, with children, young and disabled people at the heart of everything it does.

From television appearances to record labels, film production to concerts, the team has worked with more than 40,000 young people, helping them to explore their own capabilities and unlock their full potential.

Andy Dawson, manager, said: “It’s been a real privilege to lead a project that has such an impact on the lives of Nottinghamshire young people for so many years. That is our legacy.”

Jess Fisher, former participant and now tutor at IYA, added: “Inspire Youth Arts has enabled me to develop talents and skills I never thought possible.

“I was 14 when I started getting involved with Inspire. They helped me to embrace and discover my love for making and performing music.

“Inspire has always supported my journey over the years and because of that it’s got me where I am today. I am now 23 and am performing at events and teaching music to other young people.”

For the past 15 years the team has been based at The Old Library arts centre on Leeming Street, Mansfield. It provides a unique creative hub with a 100-seat studio theatre, professional recording studio, an exhibition area, café-bar, media suite and meeting, teaching, workshop and rehearsal spaces.

They are part of Inspire, which delivers culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council.

In 2018 it was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status from Arts Council England, giving Inspire Youth Arts funding to deliver activities accessible to young people with disabilities and to help develop and innovate digital arts.

Peter Gaw, chief executive at Inspire, said, “Inspire Youth Arts has been part of Inspire since it started in 2016 and is central to the work we do to inspire young people to learn and enjoy culture.

“The team is expert in being inclusive and ambitious in the work it produces and coordinates, with Nottinghamshire young people right at the centre.

“The 25th anniversary of the service is a great opportunity to celebrate the impact it has had and look to the future of many more opportunities to inspire new generations of creatives.”

Coun John Cottee, chairman of the Communities Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This anniversary year is a great chance for us to look back at the amazing work the Inspire Youth Arts team has been doing with young people across the county.

“I’ve had the privilege of attending many performances that have both entertained and left me inspired by the level of creativity, inclusiveness, and talent that this team has nurtured in their students.

“I look forward to the future and seeing the continued impact they have on the young people of Nottinghamshire”.