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Sparking Enthusiasm for the Arts

The Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation awarded £2,000 to the Spark Arts ‘At Your School’ programme, which ran as part of the popular Spark Festival in 2015.

The programme saw 40 performances of theatre, live music and dance delivered to some 4,000 young people across many Leicestershire schools.

Events included a performance of ‘Recycled Rubbish’ – a play aimed at seven to eleven year olds featuring puppets and telling the story of two excavators who discover treasures hidden among a world of rubbish.

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Meanwhile, four to eleven year olds were treated to ‘Catapluf’s Journey’, a musical ensemble featuring music from all corners of the globe including cello, saxophone, flute, guitar percussion – and even drainpipes!

The M6 Theatre Company delivered a beautiful and gentle story to four to seven year olds in Key Stage One, about friendship, power struggles and the rich world of creative play. ‘One Little Word’ is designed to captivate children’s imaginations through a story told using original music and just ONE spoken word.

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The Spark Festival itself aims to help break down some of the barriers in education to raise literacy attainment levels as well as empowering children to make good choices to ensure they enjoy a better future. They do this through improving confidence and access to the arts, improving language and communication skills and helping children and their families appreciate the value of creative experiences.

Speaking about the festival, Anya Chadwick, teacher at Woodland Grange School commented: “It’s an absolutely vital part of developing as a human being that you get access to expressive arts in all manner of different ways”.

Carrie Caruthers, Spark’s development manager explained: “We usually find that once a school and its pupils have been introduced to the Spark they become regular participants creating a long term positive impact on their lives. This is particularly needed in our city with 36% of children in Leicester living in poverty. More than half come from homes where English is not a first language.  This is not just about money but about aspiration and hope for the future.”

If you would like to set up your own fund that works to support charities and groups in the local community, contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: katy.green@llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk  & 0116 2624 916.

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