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Community theatre supports enterprising youngsters

Ten young arts entrepreneurs (yae) are well  underway to making their project ideas a reality as a result of curve’s ground-breaking new scheme.

The initial 10-week course of training began in February 2012 after the theatre secured £240,000 of funding for the arts-led social scheme  provided by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Curve’s associate director, Adel Al-Salloum said: “The project is about new ideas and how Curve supports young people to realise their ideas and turn them to enterprise, but this funding also means we can take a lead within the industry in creating new models for other arts and cultural organisations.”

The workshops were led by staff at the Curve alongside visiting artists, and input from the YAE Steering Group. The three-year scheme will help 30 Leicestershire youngsters, aged between 16 and 25.

Bethany Taylor, at the age of 18, is one of the youngest entrepreneurs. The Lutterworth College student heard about the opportunity via Twitter and decided to apply with a two page personal story, on mental health issues.

Thanks to the scheme, she has developed Cognito Theatre Company, which focuses on exploring issues of depression and mental health in young people through the use of theatre and music.

She said: “It’s been a pretty life changing experience for me personally and I  can’t imagine how I  could have done all this without the Curve. We have received so much support and, better yet, I  have made some great friends.”

All of the participants  will be given £1,000, which will be split up into two installments in addition to the £500 they already received to cover expenses during the training sessions.

Bethany spent the first part of her grant on designing a logo and setting up a company for her website. They have up until August to research their project, which will then be implemented.

All of the participants for the first year scheme were selected following a presentation of their chosen projects via a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch in front of a panel of young people and members of the Curve’s production team.

On August 16 the Curve will also be organising an annual celebration event on site involving all entrepreneurs  and participants from different communities to bring together people from all backgrounds  and develop a model of community participation and a sense of shared ownership of the theatre.

For more information about how to apply for next year’s course or getting involved with YAE, visit or send and an email to


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