We have partnered with multi-award winning devising theatre company The Paper Birdsto engage our Young Company with The School of Hope, an international digital arts and global citizenship project for young creatives, aged 13-25.
Throughout July, Sheffield Theatres Young Company will work with The Paper Birds to research and develop a creative piece about empathy, using art to address the isolation people under 25 have experienced during the pandemic. The group will complete 5 ‘lessons’ that The Paper Birds have created where in each session they will tackle a different topic to do with empathy and respond to an artwork from different artists each week with their own.
At the heart of each workshop is a bespoke commissioned film, of varying art forms, created by The Paper Birds and four artists from the UK to inspire the young creatives to create their own artworks in response. These are: an interdisciplinary performer Akeim Toussaint Buck, a documentary filmmaker and writer Arwa Aburawa, a spoken word artist Sonny Green and actor, poet, director and writer Jade Anouka. There will also be a documentary film charting the progress of The School of Hope around the world which will form the legacy of the project. Both films will premiere in the autumn at an exclusive event.
The Paper Birds have partnered with youth theatres/young companies both nationally and internationally to fuel this project, increasing the young creatives’ wellbeing, sense of purpose and levels of empathy, as well as encouraging them to be socially and politically engaged. Alongside Sheffield Theatres, the eight other partner organisations delivering The School of Hope to over 200 young creatives from 5 countries are: Theatre Centre, London; The National Theatre’s Young People's Programme; CAST, Doncaster; The Mercury, Colchester; Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (PSBK) in Indonesia; Vancouver International Children’s Festival;Victoria Deluxe Arts Centre in Ghent, Belgium, and Boom Arts in Portland, Oregon (USA).
The School of Hope is a 7-month long research project for The Paper Birds, using the Manifestos of Hope created by the young artists to inform and inspire Feel Me, a highly visual and poetic touring show for young people currently planned for 2022-2023. Artworks by the young people will be available to view on www.theschoolofhope.co.uk.