Coun Liz Plant’s guest column: Working hard to promote Mansfield and Ashfield’s young artists

editorial image

It is important that we celebrate the achievements and talents of young people – and a range of activities currently taking place in Mansfield and Ashfield help to achieve this.

The county council has a number of initiatives across its youth services which give young people the chance to develop their self confidence, achieve great things, promote what they can do – and have a lot of fun.

A good example of this is work at County Youth Arts, a team within Nottinghamshire County Council behind a number of innovative projects within the creative industries working with professional artists to help young people realise their full potential.

Based at the Old Library, in Leeming Street, Mansfield, the team is a real success story here in the East Midlands.

They have excellent industry links to professionals in London and other big cities and are able to provide top-class support and guidance to musicians, dancers, singers and others interested in getting into these careers. There are also great facilities with a theatre, recording studio, dance spaces and a media suite.

An example of the team’s work is the Supergroup initiative, a long term music project to find top talent which involved a county wide search with auditions many months ago.

Through hard work, dedication, support from experts and their own talent, a group called Deeper Than Forever were formed – including members from Mansfield, which has signed to a record label and released a single – giving them a wonderful opportunity to make it in the industry.

County Youth Arts also hosted a successful Summer Rock and Pop School during August helping young people working with industry professionals to learn how to produce top tunes and record them in the state of the art recording studio.

The team is separately looking to form a new North Nottinghamshire Youth Dance Company from September in partnership with Dance 4 – seeking the brightest young dance talent in the county to get involved.

Elsewhere, our annual summer youth festivals are underway and being well received by young people.

These are important events within the calendar for young people. They are free, popular outdoor festivals and they provide us important opportunities to celebrate young people’s talents and promote the work of the youth service in the area.

In recent weeks there have been Parkfest youth festivals at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Selston and Hucknall and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and have been well attended with young people enjoying a wide range of different activities including a street sports competition held on the skate park at the Sutton-in-Ashfield, which young people helped to manage and judge.