Express Yourself is five years old

Date published: 18 Nov 2013

Posted by: Joe Pick

Child's face painted on window

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This winter, we are excited to be celebrating the five year anniversary of Express Yourself.  The programme helps young people in the Gedling area of Nottinghamshire to find their creative voice; using art to inspire, build confidence and raise their self-esteem.

Express Yourself was built on over 12 years of experience working with young people in and around Nottingham.  Right from the start the programme has been shaped by the involvement and input of its young beneficiaries.

Working closely with Gedling Borough Council and the Gedling Emotional Health and Well-being Team, in the last five years over 300 young people have accessed the programme.  We have supported them to develop their artistic skills and gain qualifications.

In a recent blog post for Arts Award Voice, one Express Yourself participant wrote:

“I witnessed a positive change in the young people’s attitudes … When young people suffer from emotional wellbeing issues; I think it’s important that these opportunities to get involved in the arts are essential, because it can be a very valuable experience.

Creative activities help to build self-esteem when someone finds a new talent they have, or it can help form relationships with other people when they discover a new art form together.”

Alma Cunliffe, Creative Programmes Officer for City Arts, is very proud of the programme and the young people we work with:

“We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating five years of Express Yourself in Gedling.  The young people we’ve worked with over the years have been fantastic. They have contributed lots to art and culture in the area, including some permanent public artworks. We are very proud of what they have achieved and are excited about the future of the programme.”

City Arts has worked with local artists to teach a range of creative skills to Express Yourself participants.  These include animation, digital art, photography, sculpture, graffiti, break-dancing, film making, graphic design, puppet making, drama, mask making, drumming and more.

We will be having a special birthday celebration for Express Yourself at the beginning of next year.