Creative Learning

Blackpool Grand’s Creative Learning Programme wins three top awards!

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Creative Learning

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Blackpool Grand Theatres Creative Learning departments pioneering Story Led Resilience Programme is once again top of the class after scooping the Hearts & Minds Award at the Northern Cultural Education Awards 2024.

This exciting new accolade was announced at a glittering ceremony at The Edge Arena in Wigan on Friday 24 May, hosted by the creative wellbeing charity Curious Minds, and follows hot on the heels of The Grand’s revolutionary Story Led Resilience Programme scooping the UK Theatre Award for Excellence in Arts Education in October 2023; and The Arts and Culture Award at the national Children & Young People Now awards 2023 for the Programme’s innovative ILLUMINATE project!

The Hearts and Minds Award from the Northern Cultural Educational Awards celebrates arts, culture and creativity for young people, in and out of school and is awarded to a project that has used targeted creative or cultural activity to positively impact children and young people’s health and wellbeing. Nominations were received from across the whole of the North of England, with over 160 submissions received across eight award categories.

The Grand’s innovative and internationally recognised Story Led Resilience Programme from the theatre’s Creative Learning Team was developed using stories presented on Blackpool Grand Theatre’s stage to identify, explore and define resilience in young people, and has been described at the awards ceremonies as “a remarkable and unique initiative, using Arts Education to strengthen resilience and build confidence”.

Blackpool Grand Theatre Chief Executive, Adam Knight, said on receiving this latest honour:

“I’m delighted to share the news that Blackpool Grand Theatre has now also won the Hearts & Minds Award for our groundbreaking Story Led Resilience initiative. All three of these awards have recognised The Grand’s continuing success in delivering transformational opportunities for children, families, and young people through the delivery of our nationally recognised Story-Led Resilience Programme.

“I’m incredibly proud of all my talented colleagues and this award is reflective not only of the continuing work of our Head of Creative Development & Learning, Celine Wyatt, who created and developed the Programme; but of all the collective contributions from the entire Grand Theatre team for their support and collaboration in making this now triple award-winning programme of work the nationally recognised success that it is.”

Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Story Led Resilience Programme makes use of drama and arts-based methods as a gateway through which young people can learn about resilience through the lens of on-stage characters’ challenges, successes, and relationships. Children and young people practice resilient moves as they tell and retell the story, working out how best the characters can cope with life’s ups and downs.

This cutting-edge formula helps them identify what they can learn from the characters’ situations and apply it to their own lives. Crucially, participants in the programme also get to experience a professional performance of the production as a core part of the fully rounded creative learning experience.

The Grand’s Creative Learning Department are now working with producers PWL to help deliver workshops and accessible performances for the critically acclaimed production of the heartwarming and inspiring tale Wonder Boy at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Tuesday 8 to Saturday 11 October 2024. As an Education Partner for The Children’s Theatre Partnership (CTP), The Grand’s award-winning work will also continue supporting theatres across the UK on the forthcoming stage adaptation of Pig Heart Boy which can be seen at Blackpool Grand Theatre in May 2025 as part of an extensive national tour.

 

Wonder Boy
Wonder Boy Production Shot

Head of Creative Development & Learning, Celine Wyatt, said:

We are so honoured to have won these awards for our Story Led Resilience Programme and would like to acknowledge all the children and young people who have taken part in all the projects alongside my hardworking team, the teachers and, of course, the artists. Together we are supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. Huge thanks also to Curious Minds and all our funders and partners.

Blackpool Grand Theatre is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, for which an uplift was received in the 2023-26 portfolio to support the ongoing development of the Story Led Resilience Programme in Blackpool. The development of the programme has also been supported by grant awards from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Ragdoll Foundation, and The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity and is currently under commission from Childrens’ Theatre Partnership and the Royal Opera House.

To find out more about the award-winning Story Led Resilience Programme or to work with us, call our Creative Development team on 01253 290111 or email creativelearning@blackpoolgrand.co.uk

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