Inspire Youth Arts go digital

Published 6th July 2020

Inspire Youth Arts (IYA) in normal circumstances delivers a range of Music, Dance and Digital projects from its Mansfield base (The Old Library), and across the whole of Nottinghamshire, which are a mixture of workshops, events, installations and showcases. We usually reach and engage 1,500-2,000 young people in a normal calendar year.

When Inspire went into lockdown we immediately cancelled all face-to-face delivery and put all our efforts into creating an online service which has been hugely successful and well-received by young people, youth organisations and artists.

We have also contributed to, and delivered within, two digital festivals (Nottsopping and Upload) and created and released content for Learning Disability Week.

The challenges have been massive in terms of using new technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, both to staff and young people. We have also had to examine safeguarding and GDPR to ensure a safe working platform for young people and arts staff.

We have also introduced a new digital music platform called Soundtrap which is proving very effective.

Below are just some of the stats that round up our online engagement so far along with some quotes from people who have taken part;

During Lockdown we have delivered a total of 40 separate projects, with an engagement of 612 young people, using 25 Artists and 3 youth support workers

Nottstopping Festival

  • 5.5 hours of IYA filmed  content viewed
  • 36 pieces performed
  • 15 IYA events
  • Our activity reached over 58,600 people, with 3,893 of those engaging with the content and 4,828 viewing the videos loaded (predominantly the live streaming of IYA performers). 

Learning Disability Week

We curated and created a Facebook campaign to support the LDW working with local partner One Voice broadcasting content every day at midday, we reached over 5,700 people!

Upload Festival 

  • 36 pieces performed and 2 masterclass workshops
  • pre-recorded content featuring Able Orchestra, IYA promos and dance films
  • we also facilitated the engagement in the festival of wider Inspire, First Arts, Captivate and Flying High Academy teams

“Being involved in a digital
festival felt amazing because it’s the closest thing to a live performance
during lockdown.’ 

Margarita, IYA artist 

“I was super thrilled to be
involved, and excited to be asked! It just helped me to focus in a time like
this, on preparing my video for the festival and also feeling involved in
something as well, it gave me purpose.”

Betsey, IYA artist

IYA has benefitted me in lockdown working with
Tom as its given me a sense of normality and purpose during this lockdown. It
has enabled me to further develop my skills in digital music 

Jess Fisher, member of the Able Orchestra

I simply cannot complement you enough on the excellent approach
that you have taken throughout the songwriting classes. I believe that all of your students are
benefited by your support and encouragement in ways that if for no other
reason, is important to mental health. In relation to my boys, I thank you immensely.

Parent of songwriting group students

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