Meridian High helps performing arts take centre stage in Croydon
Meridian High School will be part of a massive project which aims to encourage young people to get involved with performing arts, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Croydon has become one of just five Youth Performance Partnerships to be awarded £1million by Arts Council England, having beaten-off stiff competition from across London.
Meridian High School will be one of the key co-ordinating venues for neighbourhood activity as part of the ambitious scheme which has been developed by Croydon Council, through Croydon Music & Arts hub, with young people, arts organisations and schools.
The three-year programme will create performing arts opportunities for more than 2,000 young people locally. It will specifically target black, asian and minority ethnic young people who are historically under-represented in theatre.
A series of workshops will be held with local and national arts organisations and focus on all areas, not just stagecraft.
“We are really excited to be part of such an innovative and potentially life-changing experience for both our students and the wider community. I hope this proves to be the catalyst for many successful future careers,” said Headteacher Martin Giles.
As part of the programme, young people will also have opportunities to perform in or work on three large-scale productions at Croydon’s stunning new arts centre, The Fairfield Halls, creating a sense of ownership with the venue and building their confidence.
They will also experience performances and go backstage at theatres and arts centres throughout London and the South East and the project will create new performances while working with more than 2,500 students from a range of schools.
The Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Wright announced that Croydon’s partnership has successfully bid for the £1m Arts Council England funding and will now help young people learn about a range of skills, from set design to script-writing as well as performing in dance and drama.
The programme will be promoted in the first year with a series of public events in the neighbourhoods, including flash mobs and pop up performances as well as Croydon’s second annual spoken word festival Living in Poetry 2019.
Anne Appelbaum, director, children and young people, Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to support this partnership in Croydon. We know that talent is everywhere but opportunity isn’t, and it is through programmes like this that we will change that.”