Impact Arts’ summer Cashback to the Future programme came to a spectacular end on Friday in a warehouse by the canals of north Glasgow!
A group of very creative teenagers took the audience on a spectacular multimedia tour of the Glue Factory independent arts venue, telling the story of the disappearance of a legendary giant fish through music, film, drama and visual art.
Cashback to the Future was a free programme for 14-19 year olds, funded by the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities initiative.
Including large-scale fabric sculptures, atmospheric lighting, interpretive dance, video art, spoken word and drama pieces, it was a memorable end to a project that has worked with over 50 disadvantaged young people in Glasgow since the beginning of July.
The programme, which was entirely free, has given the young people the chance to work with high-calibre professional artists, including Deacon Blue musician Lewis Gordon, sculptor Carla Scott Fullerton, actor Natalie McConnon and digital artist Steven Ramage.
Creative workshops have been running each week since the beginning of the summer holidays. They were used to brainstorm ideas for the final exhibition, while creating artwork and original musical compositions.
Inspired by trips around the canals, the young people chose to tell the story of legendary fish Big Bertha, whose mysterious disappearance prompts a frantic search by a cast of local characters.
The team guided the audience throughout the atmospheric Glue Factory venue, while presenting a show including interpretive dance by a grieving fisherman, hip-hop compositions, comic news parodies and spoken word storytelling.
The Cashback to the Future programme was specifically aimed at young people who may not normally have access to similar full-time creative programmes.
Participants were referred from a number of support agencies, including projects for unaccompanied asylum seekers, the NHS’s child and adolescent mental health service and Glasgow City Council’s social work department.
Rob Gallagher, a Programme Manager at Impact Arts, says what has been achieved has been very special.
“This was the end of a really incredible programme that has allowed the young people to let their imaginations run wild and tell a truly original story that will live long in the minds of those who witnessed it.
“It’s been a hugely positive way of channelling money seized from crime, and has been amazing in extending the opportunity for creative expression to those who would not ordinarily be able to take part similar projects.
“Giving Impact Arts the chance to offer entirely free workshops with a group of incredible artists is something that has helped produce a piece of work of which the young people can be truly proud.
“Although the programme lasted just four weeks, the confidence and sense of achievement they have gained will be absolutely vital to them in the future.”
The Cashback to the Future programme is funded by Cashback for Communities for the next three years. Additional funding for the programme came from Scottish Canals and Elderpark Housing Association.
Cashback to the Future will now be offering after-school classes in Glasgow. Further details to come soon.
For more about the work Impact Arts does with young people please this section of our website.