Community groups and individuals across Leeds continue to benefit from Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund grants and bursaries. The Fund, which was set up set up to honour the memory of local school teacher, Ann Maguire, has raised over £350,000 to support and develop the aspirations of young people.

Managed by Leeds Community Foundation, the Fund distributed over £17,900 through the latest round of grants to inspire confidence and self-esteem of young people through engagement with the arts.  The funded projects include:

  • Black Health Initiative, who will deliver their #Unsigned project to support young people with developing their natural talents of song writing and singing before taking part in a showcase performance.
  • First Story, who will work with a local school to host a weekly creative writing residency, resulting in the production of a professionally produced anthology launch event, where parents and the local community will be invited to view the students’ writing.
  • Invizible Circle Education, who will work with young people to develop their artistic abilities around poetry, writing, music production, theatre and film, culminating in a live mixed art public performance with the aim of creating pathways into the creative industries.
  • St Mary’s Youth Theatre, who will host 2 weekly workshops focused on dancing, singing and drama for local children. The project provides a safe space, healthy and fun environment to build self-confidence and learn new skills before performing in the mid-year concerts and the end of year production.

A total of ten projects were awarded funding, with Elland Silver Youth Band, Garforth Brass Band, Heads Together Productions, Hunslet Club, Opera North and Saturday Music School at Leeds College of Music also receiving grants.

Seven bursaries were also awarded to talented individuals under 18 years old, to buy dance equipment and attend dance and music classes, who without this additional support would struggle to continue to pursue opportunities with the arts.

Emma Maguire, said: “I wish to thank all those who took the time to apply to the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund this year. We have received many deserving applications and the quality and variety of projects was simply amazing. My mum’s legacy lives on through the young people and projects that we have had the privilege to support over these past 4 years and it has been an honour to see the positive effect on young people’s development through arts education that has ensued.”   

Local grant-making charity, Leeds Community Foundation, helped to set up the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund in 2014 and coordinates the distribution of grants to successful applicants across the city.

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “We are proud to manage the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund on behalf of the Maguire family. These grants not only allow individuals to follow their dreams but enable projects to create opportunities for a range of young people that wouldn’t normally have the chance to get involved with the arts.”

Emma Maguire organised the Ann Maguire Gala on 3rd September 2017, where over 900 people attended an evening of special performances from The Royal Ballet and community groups and individuals who had received grants from the Fund. The Gala raised over £45,000 to support the ongoing work of the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund.

Emma said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who bought tickets and supported the Ann Maguire Gala 2017. A special thank you must go to our sponsors, the Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House, and those businesses in Leeds who were incredibly generous and without whose help a Gala of this scale or success would not have been possible. It is thanks to these donations that we can continue to raise money for the fund and secure its future, so more talented young people can be supported and gain the vital funding they need to do what they love.”

The Fund will re-open for applications in December 2018.

For more details about the Fund, or to donate to this great cause, visit:

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