This programme allows young music or drama students a place to rehearse and record but, most importantly, the opportunity to transform part of our building into a performance space and present a live show.
Working with the local Calderdale College, this programme is a unique resource providing a value-added aspect to the students’ coursework and study. In our initial survey we discovered that the majority of students achieving qualifications in the arts ultimately ended up in ‘conventional’ jobs and, more importantly, that over 50% of them were unhappy with this outcome. The problem appeared to be that qualifications in the arts were not given the same weight with regard to their potential to lead to a career, as other subjects such as ICT, Business Studies or vocational training courses. The Space to Performance programme was devised to address this situation by offering more than the courses, of indeed the College could itself, namely:
- Space outside of the college to rehearse and record
- Interaction with members of the music industry who can pass on experience and advice
- The opportunity to stage a live, commercial performance outside of their comfort zone together with the practical and financial logistics that such an endeavour entails
- Locating other ‘safe’ venues where students can perform
- Helping performers to move up to the next level by introducing them to promoters, video-makers and other professionals
Space to Performance also provides affordable entertainment to the local community with events being subsidised for those on state benefits.
This service, unique in Calderdale, has been accessed by 95 young people in the academic year 2013-2014. We believe that it provides the opportunity for participants to build on their aspirations and develop their passion into an actual career, providing the tools to make it happen. On the back of its success we intend expand this practice where possible to other qualifications offered by Calderdale College and ultimately to promote Space to Performance as a proven model to other academic institutions both locally and further afield.