#YoungTeam 2019 was a pilot of the AAA programme, funded by Wakefield Community Foundation and ran from February to July 2019.
The core programme is split into two sections; Creative Challenge and Personal Challenge.
The newly formed #YoungTeam first gathered at The Art House, Wakefield. Our first couple of days together were an initial introduction to #Young Team, Long Division and each other.
We explored what we already knew of Wakefield culture and the team took on a photography challenge to document themselves and the city. By the end of Day 1, the team had created their first photography exhibition and met a professional photographer who specialises in live events.
On Day 2 the team screen printed their own #YoungTeam tote bag and took part in skills sessions based around poetry and songwriting. We the prepared for the next phase by exploring what it means to review art. They completed a review of an exhibition at The Art House and we then planned the live events we’d be attending over the coming month.
The team visited The Hepworth (Magdalene Odundo Exhibition), Rhubarb Food & Drink Festival (Long Division live music Yurt), Wakefield Jazz (Steve Fishwick Quartet), Warehouse 23 (Slow Readers Club), Wakefield Theatre Royal (Sherlock Holmes), Backstage Academy (Open Day) and NotFest (Spoken Word). Some were also interviewed live on air with BBC Introducing and interviewed by The Guardian.
The Creative Challenge section was completed at the March Artwalk. Long Division took over Create Cafe and each team member presented their own creative challenge. This was an individual or small group task decided upon by the participants and explored and developed with the Long Division team. The goal was to see the team members develop a new skill in a medium outside their current skillset.
The event saw Young Teamers present a film about an animation short they were creating, new pieces of poetry, song lyrics and a new piece of recorded music. All sought feedback on their work from the public and some members performed poetry live for the first time.
The final aspect of the programme is based around team members taking on a leadership role.
To prepare, the team attended a Speed Dating session organised by Long Division which saw them meet a range of professional creatives, including a textile designer, a creative producer, the head of a PR company, the head of a record label, educators, Theatre producers and a marketing manager. They were able to get an insight into how individuals find career roles in creative industries, and the range of roles available.
Planning then began on the Personal Challenge. The team had autonomy as to how they tackled this; whether as a team or with individual projects. The only specific was that the challenge had to be completed at Long Division 2019.
Ultimately, the graduates presented individual projects. These included being a Stage Manager at the Festival (including advancing the stage and being artist liaison), running a charity auction (including collecting prizes from 2019 artists), running workshops for the public around learning musical instruments and illustration and creating Humans Of Wakefield, a photography project.
All this work was gathered into portfolios – some physical, some digital. After the festival, we held drop in sessions and final reviews before submitting the final portfolios.
We were delighted that all that were submitted were successful. We congratulated Matthew Exley, Callum Graystock, Dan Hannah, Victoria Morgan and Lucy Quinn over pizza and drinks.
As #YoungTeam alumni, we’ve kept in contact with the team, in some cases offering support for university and job applications as well as free tickets to events. We hope to be able to offer them additional job roles in the future.