ArtsExtravaganza is a dynamic new sport-themed arts project that is giving schoolchildren in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets the opportunity to create their own artwork, poetry, music and dance under the guidance of Create's acclaimed professional artists. The project, which is taking place over the next three years at one primary school in each borough, has been made possible through funding from State Street Foundation and The Wates Foundation.
ArtsExtravaganza has been developed by the dynamic creative arts charity, Create, to spark young people's artistic imagination. A major sporting event each year is providing an exciting stimulus for the creative and cross-curricula activities, the Olympics theme for 2005/6 tying in with London's successful 2012 bid.
Since mid-October, pupils in years 5 and 6 (aged 9-11) at St Luke's Primary School have been taking part in a series of workshops entitled Music and Dance Around the World. Working with three professional musicians and a dancer, they have been creating a series of innovative music/dance pieces that celebrate the multi-national nature of the Olympics and the impressive range of sports showcased at the event. During the workshops, the young people have been exploring and experimenting with a range of sounds and rhythms from around the world and allowing these influences to inspire their own music-creation using a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar percussion instruments and voice. Participants' dance pieces have been translating these sounds and rhythms through the expression of movement.
The performance taking place on 2 December will give pupils at St Luke's the chance to demonstrate the impact that ArtsExtravaganza has had on their creativity, life skills such as teamwork and communication, and self-confidence. The performance will also illustrate the inspirational effect that the Olympics is already having in East London.
Nicky Goulder, Create's Executive Director, said: "We are thrilled to have secured funding from State Street Foundation and The Wates Foundation to enable this inspirational project to happen. Over the next three years, our artists will be using a major sporting event each year to inspire children in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. We are already seeing the project's success in enabling young people to develop creativity, teamwork and communication skills and greater self-confidence. It is a huge privilege for us to be part of this exciting process."
Ian Jones, Headteacher at St Luke's Primary School, commented: "We are so excited about being part of this fantastic project. The relationship St Luke's has built with Create has had a significant impact on the school. I have watched pupils' motivation levels soar and this has had reverberations across other curricular areas. Working with Create has been a wonderful experience for pupils and teachers alike."