More than forty students from Reading College, all of whom are looking for a career in the visual and performing arts, came together for the 2016 Reading Gig-Arts Event. The students teamed up to gain enterprise skills, create colourful artworks to tour around Reading, and put on a stage show for the local community.
The event opened to loud applause and an inspirational talk by Abbie Cooke, founder of Gig-Arts. Everyone started thinking about their talents, achievements and opportunities.
Next, the participants created artworks to give to their local community. The green team created an amazing tree sculpture. The blue team created an impressivesculpture entitled, Scales Of Justice. The red team created a life-sized Human Of Love and the yellow team made a striking Teamwork Figure.
Gaining further inspiration, the students were brilliantly entertained by the Gig-Arts guest musician, Jem Tyler, who got everyone singing along with his tunes.
In the afternoon, the intense focus was on planning and rehearsing for the Gig-Arts Show. Then to everyone's delight, the LLDD audience arrived for the Reading Gig-Arts Show! To a packed house, the students stepped into the spotlight.
The participants said:
“It was motivating – Giving you belief that you can make it as an artist, if you try hard enough.”
“It allowed me to meet students from other courses and share ideas."
“For my career, I would love to be part of Gig-Arts!”
“It was awesome!”
“I was surprised how quickly we could put on a performance and I’m really happy how our group got along.”
“We learned how to bring different people’s skills together.”
“We learned how say, “yes” to opportunities!”
"The audience loved it!"
Abbie Cooke said: "We are delighted to partner with Reading College. This event was an excellent opportunity for young people in the Arts to learn how to make a living and make a difference."
Phil Lucas, Director for Creative Arts at Activate Learning, said: "The Reading Gig-Arts Event was an ideal opportunity for our creative arts students to develop their confidence, technical and employment skills. The combination of enterprise training and community outreach offered by Gig-Arts fits well with our objective to ensure our students are well equipped for their future careers."
Special thanks goes to the Reading Gig-Arts Event sponsor, Dare Investments. Martin Dare, Managing Director of Dare Investments said: " As a Reading College Alumni, it is a particular pleasure to support Gig-Arts and Abbie Cooke as she empowers students to express themselves and excel in their chosen artistic niche of expertise."
Following the Reading Gig-Arts Event, the impact of the day rolls on. The four student-made artworks from the event will go on tour around Reading from January to March 2017. The first port of call for the artworks is the LLDD Special Needs Facility. Then in February, the artwork tour will be moved on to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
The 2016 Reading Gig-Arts Event also marks the first of a trio of events held in partnership with Activate Learning’s colleges. Events are being planned for next year for art, music and drama students and special needs arts enthusiasts at Banbury College and at the City of Oxford College.