ICE (Include Create Engage)

Taking Part in Arts and Culture

At Arcadea when we talk about taking part in arts and culture we are talking about more than visiting a museum or gallery, going to the theatre or to see a concert.

We also mean doing it - being part of a rock band or youth theatre, exhibiting your photographs, making a movie and seeing it on the big screen, basically exploring the world around us and telling others about it.

Taking part in arts and culture is good for young people. It supports the development of the brain, is a social activity, it makes us think, its fun, rewarding and develops self-confidence / well being.

When artist talk about the process being as important as the final piece of work, what they are talking about is the preparing, the doing and the making, in other words being creative. At ICE we believe it’s this part of taking part that’s really important.

Inclusive or Exclusive

There is a lot of, often heated, debate around to what degree youth services for young disabled people should be focused on inclusive or exclusive activity.

At ICE we believe that these are not opposing approaches, but that that they can and do complement each other.

Within ICE we will provide and promote opportunities for young disabled people to take part in the way that they want and in the way they feel most comfortable. For some this will mean being part of a club or event that is designed primarily around their needs.

For others this will mean being supported by ICE to join in with activity that is designed for all children and young people.

However, we also believe that the creation of truly inclusive environments is a societal obligation and are the responsibility of everyone to create. It is the lack of action form and the limiting of resources by society that disables the young people and children this project is focused on, not some inherent incapacity on their part. It is with this view that we will work, campaign and collaborate to create truly inclusive opportunities.

ICE - The Service

We can break the service down into 5 broad areas of work.

1. Youth/Saturday Club and Creative Play Schemes 2. Support and Assistance
3. Joining In & Branching Out
4. Recognition

5. Supporting Parents

1 Youth Club / Saturday Club and Creative Play Schemes

These lie at the heart of the service. We propose to create a Youth Club that will come to be, loosely, known as a place to get involved with arts and cultural activity. Establish creative play schemes that will build on the work of the Youth Club and alongside these run a Saturday club for disabled children.

The Club will have an informal atmosphere; members will not be obliged to take part in any particular activity and could if they wished simply ‘hang out’. But activity will be on offer and as interest develops we envisage that interest groups will emerge, as they do we will seek to support these.

The club will be staffed by paid and voluntary workers who will support and work with the interest groups that emerge and ensure the welfare / wellbeing of the members.

The Creative Play Schemes, like other play schemes these will take place during school holidays and be open to a wide age range. Again they will be loosely based on creative activity and will also provide members of the youth club with opportunities to further develop and explore their interests.

Trips to arts events / activities and galleries will play a large part in the Club and Scheme programmes.

The Saturday Club will be a place designed for disabled children; unlike the youth club this will be a far more structured environment, with creative play at the heart of the experience. Disabled children and their families will have access to artists that will support them to simply have fun with a range of creative resources.

2 Cultural Companions, (Support and Assistance)

Going out, seeing shows, visiting galleries, joining in community arts events and festivals are important part of being involved in arts and culture.

The Cultural Companions programme, will be a paid for service and will bring arts enthusiasts, artists and student artists together with young people to act as P.A.s with a view to supporting the young person to take part. A companion could take someone to a gallery, support them to be part of a youth theatre, go to a festival, or attend the club.

Alongside safety, respect and simple common sense, the most important quality of a Companion will be their shared interest in the young persons creative choices.

3a Joining In

For the young disabled people that want to take part alongside their non-disabled peers, in the background we will work with ‘mainstream’ providers to identify opportunities for them to be included in their chosen activity and if needed seek ways to help the provider be inclusive.

We will work closely alongside Arts, Dance and Music Connect to support those disabled young people who would like to take part in more ‘mainstream’ activity.

3b Branching out

With the club and the schemes it is our aim to create places that the members feel they belong to and within which they can develop a sense of confidence in themselves and their abilities.

As this happens we will seek opportunities to work with other young people / organisations towards joined up inclusive projects. For example the ICE Youth Theatre might work with Live Theatre’s Youth Theatre on a co production, the Film Group might work with the Tyneside Cinemas youth group or some of the young people could put together a disability awareness training package to take into other youth clubs.

4 Recognition

It is important to all of us that the work we put into something is recognised and hopefully valued. Within the arts and culture this recognition often comes in the form of appreciation, the round of applause, the critical praise, the BAFTA and the Oscar.

Throughout the service we will put in place mechanisms for this to happen. The youth theatre will do shows, the photographers exhibitions, the dancers performances and so on. We will acknowledge the young people work internally (perhaps through our own awards) and externally through showing to the public.

Alongside all of this we will invite every child and young person to undertake an Art Award. This is a nationally recognised qualification that has five stages and can be started at 5 years old.

The first level recognises a willingness to take part the highest level would represent part of an A level and count towards entering higher / further education.

5 Support for Parents and Families

We will work with parents to help and advise them on getting the

best possible outcome for their child and themselves. Suggested training themes include

o Understanding and working with schools and teachers o How to secure the maximum financial support
o How to get support as a carer (including respite)
o Understanding Transition

o Choosing further education
o Getting the best for your child as they become an adult. 

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