“At the very core of this project is the belief that embedding arts and culture into the lives of young people
enhances and supports every element of their lives.”
Hilary Cox Condron, Activate Co-ordinator
Devised to address entrenched inequalities with-in Cambridge, the ACTIVATE project works with students from Coleridge Community College to provide consistent, high quality, progression based arts and cultural activity.
The young people taking part in the project live in a city where many other young people take development through arts and cultural activity for granted, which makes it doubly difficult for them to value their own perspectives, make their voices heard, and put themselves forward for leadership roles. Delivering the project in partnership with a wide range of cultural providers and artists across the city means that - as well as the skills and opportunities offered to the participants - cultural venues have the opportunity to learn how to adapt to become more relevant and reflective of the city they are in.
I used to think Cambridge was really small. I didn’t even know that there was
a thing called The Junction, or the museums. But now I know Cambridge is bigger in my mind and in reality.”
As well as building a strong relationship with the participants involved to best understand their needs, my role as co-ordinator includes collaborating with the partners – Cambridge University Museums, Cambridge Junction, NIE Theatre, Menagerie Theatre and Parkside Federation – alongside Cambridge City Council, to develop the programme whilst monitoring and evaluating outcomes.
Having delivered and assessed the initial two year project I have worked closely with The Arts Development Officer at Cambridge City Council to design a 16 week programme, which was launched at Coleridge Community College in November 2018.
“The project has had a huge impact on students development. Their verbal vocabulary has been extended and they have developed a real ‘cultural capital’ - becoming more aware of what the city has to offer and access experience and places they otherwise couldn’t afford to do.”
Russell Burgess, Head of Arts, Parkside Federation.
This is a My Cambridge project, funded by Cambridge City Council’s Sharing Prosperity Fund