CMCI staff member Dr Ruth Adams chaired a panel on Tuesday this week at a conference entitled ‘Some Other Way Forward: The Legacy’ held at the Southbank Centre. Some Other Way Forward, or SOWF, is a treasury funded project of the South Bank and Bankside Cultural Quarter – of which King’s College is an educational partner – which “aims to put young people at the heart of the arts as visitors, creators and advocates.” Ruth chaired the session which examined the outcomes of the ‘Street Genius’ project, which offers creative placements for (often disadvantaged) young people at the arts organisations which make up the South Bank Cultural Quarter.
The panel consisted of representatives from the London Sinfonietta, BFI Southbank and Rambert Dance, and the young people who had worked with them. All the panelists spoke candidly of the challenges and difficulties they had encountered along the way, not least dealing with people and situations outside their normal experience, but all talked also of how much had been learned and gained from the endeavor. The young people’s stories were inspiring, and they had clearly made the most of the opportunities they had been given, and were well on their way to careers in filmmaking, contemporary dance and music. The institutions involved all said that taking the young people into their organisations had made them look at the way they did things anew, and some had made, or planned to make, quite serious adjustments to their personnel, programming and marketing in order to reach previously overlooked communities.
Ruth was asked to chair the session as she has been involved in the project in a consultancy role since its inception.
Present at the conference were a wide variety of representatives from schools, colleges and universities within the Cultural Quarter, together with many arts organisations, youth charities, and local and national government. Other speakers included Baroness Estelle Morris and Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre.
More information on SOWF, Street Genius and the Legacy Conference can be found here.