A £10,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund is helping Coventry’s gifted young people who aspire to work in the creative industries get their foot in the door.
The Creative Employability project is run by Arty-Folks in collaboration with Coventry City Council’s Job Shop and supports young people aged 16-29 years old towards their dream job. The group worked with local artists to design a space within the Job Shop that will inspire future generations of young artists.
Arty-Folks is an arts and mental health charity based in Coventry that supports adults with mental health needs on their recovery journey through art therapy, creative peer support groups, and mentoring.
Lorella Medici, Arty-Folks Mentor said: “The young talent in this city is enormous and we want to make sure they are plugged into all the opportunities Coventry offers following the City of Culture year.
“We help participants access creative networks and meet industry professionals including broadcasters, community artists, graphic designers, art therapists, and event organisers so they can learn first-hand what their dream job would entail.”
Participants attended weekly art classes to build personal portfolios showing their uniqueness and giving them the confidence to start creative jobs, training, or art education.
Participant Tasz Bailey said: “It was very interesting hearing creative professionals talk about the twists and turns in their career journey. It has inspired me to stay on track, but also to be open to exploring different opportunities that will lead to the same goal.”
Participant Abigayil Tandy said: “I had been hitting one brick wall after another and I was close to giving up. This project has helped me pick up my confidence again and I’m enjoying trying new techniques and learning new skills. I have built a strong portfolio of artwork and I am proud of my designs. Everyone in the group has been very encouraging and I have started to explore different paths that will help me move forward.”
Through art young people have explored identity and life issues that are important to them personally, in their careers and as also as citizens of this world.
On January Blues Day, Monday 16 January, their artwork will be exhibited at Coventry Job Shop, 1 Bull Yard, Coventry CV1 1LH and will be open to the public. Also known as ‘Blue Monday’, this date is acknowledged to be the ‘bluest’ day of the year. This day will now become a celebration of the achievements of the young people on this project, and to recognise the positive impact of creativity on mental health.
Councillor Dr Kindy Sandhu, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This creative programme has so far been a fantastic initiative for likeminded young people to get a taste of the creative sector, sample a range of artistic workshops and be mentored by some truly talented people, already working in the industry.
“I am very excited to see the artwork that will be showcased and would like to thank all involved in this wonderful project”.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change said: “I am delighted that local young people have had the chance to learn what their dream job could be thanks to this funding. It’s really important that we train and retain the best people who could go onto become our next generation of industry professionals in the city”.
For more information about joining the Creative Employability Programme contact Arty-Folks on: 074 436 436 34 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Coventry City Council Job Shop on: 024 7678 5740 or email@example.com
Further information about Arty Folks.