This week we hear from Andreea Ghervan, Administrator at Nupur Arts, about how they have embedded Arts Award into their projects exploring South Asian Dance and have helped young people into careers in the creative industry through their Aspire project.
Nupur Arts Dance Academy (NADA), has been delivering Arts Award in Leicester since 2014. Our mission is to enrich the lives of diverse audiences by connecting them through the richness of South Asian dance in all its forms and bring them together through a range of arts & cultural activities.
We aim to develop young talent, artists and audiences for South Asian dance, through regular dance training in Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance form), contemporary, hip-hop, tap, modern, folk and Bollywood styles in Leicester. We love to create a safe environment, by keeping our students and community engaged in arts and culture, making life-long friends and supporters.
Introducing Arts Award
Our partnership with Arts Award began through The Mighty Creatives, a Bridge organisation, offering support to organisations like ours. They helped us to understand the steps we needed to take in order to successfully embed Arts Award. It all started as a step towards boosting our students’ confidence and encouraging them to achieve a qualification for something they were doing already. Soon we realised that our students are multi-talented, not only in dance, but in other art forms and we thought that introducing Arts Award would encourage them to focus and develop their talents further and maybe discover a career path they hadn’t previously considered.
We wanted something that would recognise a range of art forms and push our young talents to cross the boundaries of their academic preparation, without the same pressure on their performance. We like the idea of them discovering more about themselves, through this creative work and being recognised for that. Art should be an open field to everyone, regardless of their professional aspiration.
It’s amazing to see how parents are equally involved in the preparation of the Arts Award material, supporting their children in completing their artwork. We deliver all five levels of Arts Award from Discover to Gold, and we have an annual Arts Awards ceremony where all the achievers are celebrated and acknowledged for their hard work, receiving their certificates and presenting their portfolios.
Last year the Arts Award ceremony was curated entirely by a team of young people through Aspire Project, which was part of their Arts Award work. Aspire Project is a skills development programme for young people looking to develop and challenge themselves further. The project aims to develop an excellent variety of transferable skills for different areas of employment ensuring all participants will gain from the programme. Last year the project aimed to develop young people’s volunteering and organisation skills by curating the Arts Award Ceremony 2019 from scratch. In six weeks, they managed to create a diverse, yet compact team and come up with amazing ideas on how to better organise the Arts Award ceremony, with weekly meetings to develop a strategy. We were amazed to see how they managed to successfully deliver the ceremony and how much they improved their skills by doing that.
We are proud to say that the project developed to involving young people from different backgrounds that had no previous connection with NADA and they were enjoying being part of the Aspire Project. This year, the participants will additionally experience a series of safeguarding & internet safety workshops, as well as a unique, practical radio broadcasting experience with Eava FM. They will be trained in project and events management, working towards organising and managing the awards ceremony at Curve, for Nupur Arts Dance Academy. The entire project is free of charge and open to young people from different backgrounds who, upon completion, will be able to receive a Bronze Arts Award.
We believe that this is an amazing input for young people towards skills development, volunteering and giving back to the community by doing something they like and might lead them to a potential career, as has been the case for some of our participants from last year. We now have new students every year willing to pursue an Arts Award. We hope to continue with this project and inspire more young people to believe in themselves and their talents, by developing their artistic and creative side which will help them in their professional and personal life.
Find out more about Nupur Arts
Photo credits: Smita Vadnerkar and Jai Nandha