Emerge: Festivals

Emerge Festivals provide children and young people with the chance to be creative at the heart of their community.

What is an Emerge Festival?

Emerge is an arts festival model which is commissioned and delivered by young people across multiple sites on the same day. We have run Emerge Festivals over the last three years and we have plans to deliver two more Emerge Festival days in 2018 and 2019 in 12 Midland locations.

In 2015/16 we secured circa £1m investment from the Spirit of 2012 for our Emerge Programme to deliver 24 festivals over 3 years. Since 2016/17, these festivals have been directed by commissioned up and coming young artists as well as expanding to a wider reach, covering the whole of the Midlands.

Emerge Festivals give creative space and decision making agency to young people - almost 400 in fact over the last 3 years and produced work and content that has been enjoyed by over 5500 people.

Emerge Festivals are shaped by young people collaborating and developing ideas over an extensive and rich programme of workshops and rehearsals.

Young people taking part have produced work that included theatre, dance, painting, printing, writing, fashion design, photography, street art, flashmobs, music, script writing, set design, medieval crafts, carpentry, make up, documentary making, treasure trails, cabaret, comedy, spoken word performance , acoustic live sessions, poetry slams, marketing.

It introduces and develops young people's creative, planning and team working skills. Many of those who have participated recorded an increased confidence in their communication and team working skills as well as their use of language. It then takes the product of this process new spaces and places within their own community where their talent and creativity can be enjoyed celebrated.

The films below and this report gives you a flavour of how it worked and what it looked like in both 2015 and 2017 and this report outlines how Emerge worked and what it looked like in 2016, courtesy of our delivery partners, Platform Thirty 1.

In 2017/18, we are organising festivals in Ashfield, Boston, Cannock Chase, Corby, Dudley, Horncastle, Mansfield, Sandwell, South Holland, Walsall and Wolverhampton. For more information, please contact Vanessa Oxspring, one of the Emerge Festival Project Managers.

Emerge 2018

In 2017/2018 twelve artists were commissioned to develop twelve youth led festivals across twelve locations in the East Midlands.

On the day of the twelve festivals, over 850 people took part and the festivals reached audiences of almost 3000 people.

Emerge 2017

“It feels like we’ve made it. The performances are ours."

In 16/17 we relaunched the Emerge programme with a pilot year in 4 locations (Corby, Horncastle, Tamworth, and Wolverhampton). 131 children and young people generated content for the festival.

On the day of the four festivals, 648 people took part and the festivals reached audiences of almost 3,000.

Emerge 2015

This took place over one day and used Valentines Day as a provocation for children and young people creating a vibrant variety of performance and art right across the East Midlands.

Meet the Emerge Artists

We caught up with some of the Emerge Artists during one...
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