Former Children’s Poet Laureate Michael Rosen is to address a conference on Tyneside aimed at promoting arts and cultural partnerships within schools and youth organisation.
The author of the bestselling We’re Going On A Bear Hunt will give the keynote address at the Arts Award conference being held at Newcastle City library on February 7, where he will talk about how important art is to society.
The event, organised by Bridge North East, will showcase the work libraries, museums and others have undertaken to deliver Arts Award projects to schools and youth organisations across the region.
It will also explore ways of delivering arts through the school curriculum and the wider cultural sector, despite financial constraints, with particular emphasis on those youngsters who are hardest to reach.
Mr Rosen said: “The arts are not an optional extra or some kind of add-on. They are the way in which human beings have invented a way of combining ideas with feelings whether the material is clay, paint, our bodies, making sounds using objects or putting marks on pages and screens which we interpret.
“These ideas and feelings combined are a powerful way for us to investigate and interpret the complicated world we live in. Schools and colleges have to be places where everyone can feel free and proud to do this. The Arts Award recognises and rewards that.”
An author of more than 140 children’s books, Mr Rosen was Children’s Poet Laureate between June 2007-2009, and is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Helen Green, head of Bridge North East, which provides practical support to promote young people’s engagement with the arts, said the conference was a chance to share best practice and to create new partnerships.
“Arts Award offers young people an inspiring journey,” she said. “Each path can take a different direction – from fashion to film-making, from dance to design, from photography to poetry.
“Whichever route they chose to follow, young people are always in the driving seat.
“Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders.
“The programme develops their creativity, leadership and communication skills. We are delighted to have Michael Rosen, someone noted for his passionate challenging and campaigning approach to engaging young people in arts and culture, as our keynote speaker.”
The Arts Awards programme, which is funded by the Arts Council, is open to anyone aged five to 25.
To find out more about the scheme go to www.sagegateshead.com/bridgenortheast .