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Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Start Circuit
Alice Thickett, Youth Programmer

When I was first told that I was going to be the new Youth Programmer at Nottingham Contemporary it didn’t really sink in until I visited Tate Modern’s Hyperlink festival, made by and for young people. It was when the opening speeches were made by Nick Serota - Director and Anna Cutler – Head of Learning, including a representative for the Tate Collectives (the youth group at Tate) that I realised that I would be responsible for a huge project with the potential to engage thousands of young people in Nottingham City. CIRCUIT is a new national arts programme for under 25s, facilitated by selected Plus Tate galleries throughout the country, including Nottingham Contemporary.

Hyperlink festival spanned a weekend, with the opening on Friday evening followed by workshops, performances and artwork programmed until Sunday afternoon. It was situated in the stunning new Tanks at Tate Modern, and also in the Turbine hall. Anyone was free to attend the event and workshops were run on a drop in basis.

What starting off CIRCUIT has already taught me is that creativity is in all walks of life. From writing songs to humming along to your i-pod; from cooking your favourite meal to creating a whole new recipe from scratch; from making films to accidentally spending hours watching videos on youtube. But not everyone realises that the things that they do naturally or in their spare time are all part of what being creative is about. Especially young people, who from an early age are not always encouraged to spend time playing, experimenting or making.

The Tate Collectives and indeed our very own youth group Get Involved are an example of young people who have realised that they have creative potential and wish to explore this more, develop it further and continue their creative futures.

Get Involved with the support of Nottingham Contemporary, the Learning Team and myself, with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation are now working on plans to enable other young people between the ages of 15-25 to discover their own creativeness, providing guidance for their own personal journeys.

Like a lot of young people today I have struggled with the current economic climate to realise a career in the creative industries . It has taken me just over two years of volunteering and hard-work to get to this new position and I am excited to now be in the arts, working to inspire other young people to be creative. CIRCUIT programme aims to reach thousands of youth throughout Nottingham, of all backgrounds and abilities, so if you are between the ages of 15 -25 (already a member of a youth group or not), please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more and how you can get involved.


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