Colleges pilot national Barbican project with Complicite

Two colleges that deliver UAL Awarding Body’s qualifications have been selected to pilot a national education programme with leading international arts centre, the Barbican

Students studying UAL’s Level 3 Diploma in Performing & Production Arts qualification at Carmel College and Macclesfield College have been taking part in Barbican Box since February.

Barbican Box is a creative education programme designed for secondary schools and FE colleges, which aims to ignite, support and facilitate music, theatre and visual art making in schools through a process of devising and creating work from scratch.

Institutions taking part in Barbican Box receive: a box containing stimuli and learning resources curated by a leading artist; teacher continuing professional development (CPD) training; tickets to a theatre, music or visual arts event; mentoring and workshops from professional artists; and the opportunity to showcase their work at a venue.

Barbican Box has previously only been available to schools in East London, but if the regional pilot proves successful, the Barbican hopes to roll it out nationally.

Jenny Mollica, Head of Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning said:

We are thrilled to bring the Barbican Box to students and teachers from Carmel College and Macclesfield College. The Box, which changes every year, is designed to give schools and colleges all of the creative ingredients and ongoing support they need to create exciting new theatre, art or music. It is one of our most popular Creative Learning programmes and we hope it will continue to inspire lots more young people across the UK in future.

Leading British theatre company Complicite, which specialises in physical and devised theatre, are the artists leading the process, with support from cross-arts production company No | Ordinary | Experience. The project began in February 2017 and staff from both colleges took part in teacher CPD training in March.

Sarah Bacon, Course Leader for Performing Arts at Macclesfield College said:

Barbican Box has been an incredible experience both for the students involved and me as a teacher. Right from the start of the project, the students have been inspired to create exciting and challenging drama through the exploration of the objects and themes of the box.

The two-day CPD programme gave me the opportunity to work with practitioners involved in international theatre projects. My mentor Sasha Milavic Davies has worked with Complicite, Hamburg Opera, Young Vic, and Opera de Lyon. Engaging in CPD from practitioners of this calibre has significantly improved my own practice. This will have an enormous impact on the quality of teaching and learning during the Box project and beyond.

Michelle Mahoney, Teacher of Dance and Performance at Carmel College said

Working with The Barbican and Complicite has been amazing. For students from a small town in the North West to be able to work with two world-known theatre establishments has really helped to put their learning into a wider context and establish aspirations beyond their local area. The students have been enthused and excited by the Complicite workshops, leaving them full of ideas of concepts they want to explore. The CPD and support provided for teachers has been outstanding too, it has given me the inspiration to try out new methods and explore different methods of working.

The students will showcase their work in front of an invited audience at the prestigious Manchester HOME Theatre on 20 June 2017.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Barbican Box please contact: creative.learning@barbican.org.uk

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