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Cashback to the Future

CaskBack to the Future is back with a Bang!

Last week 105 young people received their art parks and started off on their CashBack journeys. Over the next 4 weeks young people are getting stuck in to Digital Art, Performance, Visual Art and Music with our fantastic tutors.

The first week was all about getting the young people set up on Zoom and the private Facebook groups and getting to know each other. It may have only been a week but the groups had made a flying start in their workshops, looking at their shared theme of 'Identity, Unity, Solidarity.’

The Music group were quick to set up a Spotify playlist that they can listen to during their workshops and have had sessions on body percussion, have jammed to a few songs and tutor Hugh has even got them to try writing a song on the theme of gratitude. We can’t wait to hear some of these songs as the weeks go on.

The Digital participants have been doing lots of drawing activities, including continuous line drawings, optical illusion drawing and zentangle patterns. They also started thinking about the shared theme of 'Identity, Unity, Solidarity' focussing on what identity means to them and creating digital identity collages.

The tutors have found that the group have bonded quickly and seem comfortable with each other. They have one young person who suffers from extreme anxiety and was reluctant to be part of calls and put her camera on but out of nowhere during one of the sessions she was full of voice and put her camera and audio on during a drawing session. Digital tutor Calum said; “She was fully engaged, brave, confident and had a laugh. It was such a strong moment.”

The Visual team spent the week getting to know each other and exploring identity. Where they created some finger people drawings with costumes and background. They also thought about all the elements that come together to make them, and designed an identity page that gives away some secrets to their identity.

They have also been having calm moments by creating doodle pages. Designing their own new doodles and teaching the rest of the group how to draw them.

The older Visual group, those 16+ have been drawing themselves as animals based on their characteristics and interests as an introduction of themselves. They built on this during the sessions designing their own avatars to use as their zoom profile pictures. Drawing exercises and mark making followed and they had a nice calm end to the week having some time to work on their own projects and listening to music. Breathing and stretching has become a part of most of the sessions to help ease into the day.

Lastly the Performance groups. The younger group have been working on a group poem and have some (silly) limericks, a short story and poems with monologues being worked on. The tutors commented on the talented writing, positive attitudes and keen participation over the first week and hope it continues.

The older Performance participants took part in their first character writing and developing workshop. Drawing a new character in order to be easier to visualise them and then continued with establishing some basic facts about them. The young people put their amazing creative brains to good use as they established the universe their characters exist within and they came up with information that made their work very exciting! They were also asked to write a monologue for their character, something that the person would like to talk about if they had the world’s attention for 15 minutes. The results were incredible and they varied from description of their favourite burger, to mermaid ballerinas advocating for clean oceans.

Tutor Sofia also got the young people writing their own fairy tales! Re-naming objects within their spaces and coming up with alternative uses for them. The young people had to choose one object and write its diary from that morning, how has that object experienced their day so far? As expected the amazing ideas started flowing and soon enough they had created alternative universes, villainous frogs and heroic boots who were there to save the day.

The groups have taken the virtual workshops and Zoom sessions in their stride, easing themselves in to the new world we are currently living in. As expected some young people have found it more challenging than others but the tutors and youth workers are working with each young person on an individual basis as well as a group setting to help encourage them to engage in the sessions. There has been really positive progress and feedback in the first week and we can’t wait to see what next week brings!

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