An art vision for the future

42nd Street has adapted to young people’s changing mental health and wellbeing needs for the past 40 years and fought with them to change aspects of modern society that affect them.

Two things have struck me this week that hold relevance for 42nd Street’s Creative programme and gallery – The Horsfall. Firstly, where are the young people? They seem missing from any discussion and narrative about Covid 19. Secondly, while we have all and especially young people, been encouraged to seek and use creativity as a valuable tool to help us through the current situation, what happens when we re-enter society? Will creativity be returned to its low level of importance in formal education?

We believe that creativity must continue to be valued as social distancing measures are removed and are going to be a critical tool as we go into a recovery and resilience phase.

Therefore we are looking to work 10 creatives from various disciplines to explore and develop creative approaches that can be developed with young people in the present to  be implemented in the future that look at:

  • Past – what are the common threads and experiences that impact young people’s mental health, and what societal aspects influenced them prior to Covid 19.
  • Present – what are young people’s experiences during lockdown –Is there increased pressure in some families, or a reduction in pressure from not being in school? What are the frustrations, what is boring –how does it feel to be left out of the narrative of Covid 19?
  • Future – what have we learnt? what could we change?  what could we envisage for the future through linking young people with artists? How can we rebuild and strengthen individuals, families and communities

We want to take artists on this journey, working with young people to create a vision of the future. This could be through a collective piece of art, an action, a statement or a performance etc. The options are limitless.
We are recruiting 10 Artists who will attend three group sessions looking at past, present and future and then link together with a small group or individual young person to develop an idea that reflects a new way of being.
Artists will be paid £600 for taking part and will be given a budget of £500 to create a piece of work with their young person/s. We’re keen to log the process so will be sharing aspects of the work up to the realisation.
How to apply
Please send a 500 word statement of why you would like to be one of the artists along with a CV ( don’t worry if you don’t have a long CV we are keen on passion  and commitment) to




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