Much research has proven that the arts is a valid vehicle for improving wellbeing and mental health in young people, be that participating in or viewing and appreciating. It is also a healthy and natural part of child development.
For many young people the arts can be an excellent activity for wellbeing that blossoms into a career if their talents and passions are nurtured and developed. Bedazzle offer engagement opportunities for the arts and also utilise the arts within our social, emotional and mental health work; due to the valuable and transferable skills they teach.
“Before a child talks, they sing. Before they write, they draw. As soon as they stand, they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression” — Phylicia Rashad
Our first major arts project was the writing, recording and filming of a single and video, released for the Enough is Enough Campaign, working in partnership with Move it Media and The Jay Lennon Foundation. Our young artists collaborated and worked with a range of arts organisations to create the finished product you see. We think you will agree, this is an excellent example of how the arts can engage young people in the many serious issues they will undoubtedly face through their adolescence or adult lives.
This project, along with our launch event (which provided over 50 youngsters with the opportunity to share their talent on stage) was also an invaluable process for our founders to gather insight into young people’s lived experiences and perceptions of Mental Health. These conversations influenced our initial offer and helped shaped the services of the charity in its early stages.
Despite ongoing pressures on School budgets and cuts to Arts Funding, our founders are committed to support schools to maintain their arts offers and curriculums in whatever capacity we can. At present, we enjoy ongoing partnerships with several Independent Schools across Wolverhampton, supporting their Performing Arts provision. This includes work on whole school productions, as well as delivering GCSE & Vocational lessons in the arts on a regular basis for them. We are firm believers that creative careers are worth investing in and are pleased to be able to offer Arts Awards Accreditation through our own programmes and in supporting other arts organisations to accredit the work they do with young people.
Our team also fully understand the pressures of working as a creative or performance artist and the potential impact this can have on Mental Health and look to offer ongoing mentoring and support for any youngsters who wish to pursue a career in the arts. Where talent is recognised, we are keen to find ways and opportunities to invest in and support young artists in honing their skills, realising their potential and understanding the entrepreneurial skills required to become a working professional in your field. One of the ways we facilitate this is through the running of Wolverhampton Youth Music Theatre (WYMT) for the Wolverhampton Music Education Hub.
WYMT was first established in 1999 by Michael Pike and Lesley Woodyer as part of the outreach offered by Wolverhampton Music School.
20 Years later and Bedazzle are now an official hub partner of the Music Service, who provide vital funding for our activities from Arts Council and Wolverhampton City Council. Governed by Bedazzle, WYMT is ran by a team of arts and educational professionals who have mentored and supported many of the members over the years to go onto successful careers on stage, behind the scenes and in many other creative and media pursuits, which many say is down to the opportunities and training WYMT provided for them. We currently have a long established Senior group who meet for two weeks in August to stage a full scale musical production at The Arena Theatre in September each year, as well as performing other projects and fundraisers through the year at Centre Stage, at the Music School.
In recent years we have seen Alumni of the group grace the West End stage in various roles and come back to offer their wisdom and insight to current members beginning their same journey. We always welcome new members from across the wider West Midlands to come and get involved on stage or off and the easiest way to keep up to date with our latest projects and news is to give our dedicated Facebook page a like by clicking on the icon below: