Arts Empowerment Project

Photography can be the catalyst for transforming young people’s lives. It crosses cultural and linguistic barriers and can be adapted to all abilities. Thanks to mobile phone cameras, it’s also almost universally accessible.

The aim of the Arts Empowerment Project is not to use photography to create potential professional photographers. Rather it is to nurture the motivation, skills and self-belief that can lead to previously unimagined life changes. A realization that ‘If I can do this then I can do other things too’.

Each ten-week project is designed for ten young people and takes place on, and off, the participant’s own estate. It is delivered by our specialist teachers and our Ambassador partners, Miles Aldridge, Susan Derges, Alison Jackson, Nadav Kander, Simon Roberts, Tom Stoddart, Dougie Wallace and Richard Young. All highly regarded professional photographers.

From the start, participants are encouraged to speak out about their own challenges, concerns and hopes. These are then related to different aspects of the project including working in a group, technical instruction, commitment, concentration, participation, creative expression and presentation skills. Together they contribute to the recognition that change is possible. But change to what?

For most of the young people who complete the project, finding work is their highest priority. To respond to this we have Stage Two of our programme - The Work-Ready project.