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A new scheme to help young people in the creative sector start on the path to a rewarding career in the face of coronavirus has been launched.
Tees Valley Young Creatives: Class of 2020 is the latest initiative introduced to help sectors hardest hit by the pandemic recover, including cultural, creative and hospitality businesses.
The programme of free support is aimed at helping talented professionals newly out of training to secure employment and unlock new opportunities in their field. It offers young people in the cultural industries, such as performers, artists, producers, technicians and more the chance to connect with other early-career creatives and access hours of valuable industry know-how.
Members of the Young Creatives network will have access to exclusive social media platforms, regular online masterclasses, talks, webinars, and workshops from leading professionals, plus where guidance allows, in-person social events featuring guest creatives, all to help them on the path to a rewarding career.
The scheme comes after Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen established a Task Force, chaired by ARC’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director Annabel Turpin, to support the recovery of the culture and tourism sectors across the region.
Mayor Houchen said: “Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have nurtured the talents of some of the most famous in film, design and art including legendary directors Ridley and Tony Scott and renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe and our creative sector continues to thrive to this day, supported by fantastic institutions that are providing top-quality education and training for our students.
“Young people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, as has the creative sector, with little opportunity for them to collaborate or create films, shows and other artistic and cultural projects due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
“We have launched this new scheme to give those talented individuals as much support, information and connections as possible to help them into careers and identify opportunities that are going ahead right now and as we come out of lockdown.
“It will help them know that they can succeed right here in the region, work to support the creative industries and make our region an even better place to live and, when restrictions allow, visit.”
Cllr Shane Moore, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture and Tourism, said: “Our marvellous young creatives have an important part to play in helping us to recover both culturally and economically from the effects of the pandemic. Their work enriches our lives and they are our future.
“They have been hard hit and it’s vital that through schemes like this we give them the support and confidence they need to find their feet and start to flourish.”
The programme is being funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s £1million Recovery Programme for the Cultural Industries and Visitor Economy and is being delivered under the leadership of ARC, Stockton’s arts centre.
Annabel Turpin said: “The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everyone, but creative thinking and ideas are going to play a really important part in our recovery, as a sector and as a community.
“Over the past 12 months, we've shown how adaptable the cultural sector is, but we need to support the next generation of creative people to ensure we continue to thrive. This scheme will help our early-career creatives to forge relationships, hear from experts, learn of opportunities, gain industry know-how and spark their imaginations to create some really exciting projects.”
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2OQNCFS