We’ve been up to all sorts of good stuff this year at AAM. There are lots of highlights to choose from, but here’s a few of our favourite things from 2016.
We started the year by helping North Yorkshire primary schools to become Singing and Signing Champions, as part of an inclusive music project developed by our friends at NYMAZ with the North Yorkshire Music Hub. In February we teamed up with NYMAZ again to deliver I’m Inclusive Too, a music education conference and showcase exploring music and social justice. Speakers and delegates from across the UK came together for a day of discussions, case studies, practical workshops and performances by young musicians. Our IMPs apprentices led singing and signing and music making workshops and the IMPs members all performed at the end of the conference.
Our AbleWeb programme has seen some exciting developments, with the launch of the AbleWeb Apprentice Training Programme and our new Digital Inclusion Workshops. The AbleWeb team have been out and about in the local community too, creating films for St Luke’s Parish Church’s Green at Heart Festival, Tang Hall Big Local’s Launch Party and Clifton Ward’s Colourful Clifton event.
Hands & Voices have been busy performing at gigs and festivals throughout the year, with performances at Coastival and the Arts Barge Riverside Festival, a greatest hits show in March and an Americana-themed set for a recent gig at The Crescent with ace local bands Mulholland, Atomic Raygun and Carrie Martin. The Hands & Voices Apprentices have been busy too, leading workshops and warm ups with lots of primary schools across North Yorkshire as part of the Singing & Signing Champions programme. They also did a warm-up at the Cultural Commissioning Programme conference in Manchester and at the Inclusion in Partner Cities (INKPA) International Disability Event in York. And they performed at the memorial service for long-standing AAM member Hayley Webb, paying tribute to their much-loved friend and colleague.
Young people involved in our IMPs (Inclusive Music Projects) were recognised for the invaluable contributions they make to their local communities this year. The York IMPs Apprentices won the Lord Mayors’ Shine Awards and apprentices and young volunteers from East Riding IMPs were awarded VYPER Awards.
We were very excited to launch our new Junior IMPs group in September, for children aged 5-10, as part of an exciting 3-year development plan for the IMPs programme. Look out for new holiday activities launching in February half term.
We’ve welcomed some new faces to the AAM team this year, with Celean Camp joining us as Operations Manager, Kirsty Kingsley as Sensory Development Leader and Cathy Grant taking on the role of Learning & Participation Coordinator. We also have three fantastic new trustees: Ann Dunford, Elizabeth Jones and Lynda Corker. And Siobhan Edwards has joined us as Acting Chair on the AAM Board. We’ll be telling you more about all of them in the new year, it’s great to have them all on board!
And, to wrap up a great year, we were absolutely chuffed to bits to win not one, but two awards at the first ever York Culture Awards. Our IMPS programme won the Cultural Equality and Diversity Award and Rose, our Creative Director was named York’s first Cultural Champion, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the city’s cultural life.
We’ve got an exciting year ahead in 2017. AbleWeb will be 10 years old, Hands & Voices celebrate 20 years and later in the year we’re going to be celebrating AAM’s 35th birthday. We’re looking forward to celebrating with all of you!