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Funding will help young people kickstart arts careers

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By Fiona Reid
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Funding will help young people kickstart arts careers

AN award of almost £80k has been given to help young people begin a career in the performing arts.

Young Start, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund, awards dormant bank account funding to projects that help young people reach their full potential.

The sum of £78,000 has been given for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival to run their Stage iT project for the next three years.

Jodie Rae, a 22-year-old musician, songwriter, and actor from Dumfries, is one of the thousands of young people who have who have benefitted from the project so far.

Jodie, pictured above, developed a video project which involved a British Sign Language performance of three original songs.

She said: “Being involved with this project has allowed me to meet and work with lots of people who are involved in the creative industries in Scotland.

“It has given me a platform as I am able to perform at, and be promoted by, the same festival as many other types of artists from the region and beyond.”

When asked how she feels the funding can benefit future generations in the area, Jodie said: “Although more Dumfries and Galloway artists are being recognised for their work and there has been substantial creative development in the region, there are still many voices that haven’t been heard.

“This funding gives creatives a platform to showcase their existing work, but also presents the opportunity for them to develop and expand even basic ideas.”

Melanie Purdie, strategic and creative director at Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, says that the project provides much-needed opportunities for young people to gain creative skills.

She said: “Stage iT is a vital programme for young people from Dumfries and Galloway to engage with the performing arts industry.

“It provides professional opportunities and creates pathways to establish careers in the arts.

“This will provide us with invaluable capacity to embed this programme into the region’s cultural sector. It will provide a steady and reliable resource for young people to benefit from. We look forward to presenting more performances made by young people, for young people.”

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