Wow – what a night! We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that AAM won not one, but two awards at the inaugural York Culture Awards last week.
Our IMPs (Inclusive Music Projects) programme won the Cultural Equality & Diversity Award and our awesome Creative Director Rose Kent was named York’s first ever Cultural Champion.
The awards were established by Make It York to celebrate excellence in the arts and culture sector and to reward outstanding innovation, creativity and quality. We were really proud to have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Cultural Equality & Diversity Award and absolutely blown away to be announced as the winner on the night. The other finalists are all doing amazing work across the city and it was a privilege to be shortlisted alongside them all.
Rose being recognised for her outstanding contribution to the city’s cultural life was the icing on the cake. We tell her she’s brilliant on a regular basis and she doesn’t believe us. Now it’s official!
On winning the award, Rose said: “It’s such an honour to be named York’s first Cultural Champion. Having started out working on small community arts projects over 30 years ago, I feel really privileged to be running an organisation that’s all about supporting people to find their voice and play an active role in their local community. IMPs is a great example of why AAM’s work is so important – those young people are unstoppable when they get together, a real force to be reckoned with! They prove, time and again, that with the right support and a liberal dose of fun and laughter, incredible things can happen.”
Our fabulous IMPs also performed at the awards ceremony, with the whole audience singing and signing along with them to Thank You For The Music – you can’t beat a bit of Abba!
Huge thanks to everyone at Make it York, to the Culture Awards judges, to our fellow finalists, to Culture Awards Patron Mark Addy and to the fantastic audience members who gave our IMPs such a great reception. It was a night that we’ll remember for a very long time.
It's that time of year again when our fabulous Hands & Voices choir will be taking to the streets to busk in York. This year promises to be double the fun with the amazing IMPs joining them too! You can catch Hands & Voices at the Coppergate Centre on Saturday 17th December from 11am - 1pm and IMPs from 1pm - 3pm.
To boost their fundraising efforts this year, we’ve set up a JustGiving Campaign so that people who can’t make it on the day are still able to support them.
You can also make a donation by texting BUSK16 £5 to 70070. With text-to-donate you can donate any amount you like simply by changing the donation figure. For example, to donate £10 just text BUSK16 £10 to 70070.
We need to raise over £250,000 every year to support the work we do at AAM and we couldn't do this without your support. If you can make a donation we'd be really grateful and we'd love it if you could help us spread the word by sharing the link to the fundraising page with friends and family.
Thank you so much for helping us spread the word and raise more in the run up to Christmas. If you’d like any more info or want to chat about the fundraising campaign, please contact us.
We're excited to announce that AAM are launching a series of Digital Inclusion Workshops, as part of our AbleWeb York community media programme. The workshops will tackle digital isolation by helping local adults with additional needs to safely access online information and services.
Over recent years there’s been an explosion in the amount of information available online. Some information is now solely provided in digital format. And with the growth of social media, a lot of social interaction now also takes place online. For people without much experience of using the internet, accessing all of this information can at times feel overwhelming and challenging. This can lead to people feeling excluded from vital services, from family and friends, and from information on local activities and community news. It can be difficult for some people, especially those with disabilities and additional needs, to gain the confidence and skills to be able to find trusted and relevant sources of information online. Thanks to funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Accessible Arts and Media are now able to offer specially tailored Digital Inclusion workshops. The sessions will be delivered by their AbleWeb York team to those who most need support in accessing information safely online.
AbleWeb York is a vibrant community media training programme run by AAM at Burton Stone Community Centre in Clifton. The programme is run for adults with disabilities and additional needs, offering training in computing and internet skills and in digital and social media. The AbleWeb team run an information website, www.ablewebyork.org, and work with local community groups to create films and radio broadcasts helping them to have a voice and promote the work they do. AbleWeb York also works with local volunteers, supporting different members of the local community to work together and support each other in a safe, inclusive and fun environment.
For the people who make up the AbleWeb York team, accessing information in digital formats used to be a real challenge. Through the tailored training and support they’ve received at AbleWeb, they now have the skills and confidence to access online information safely. They also know all about the equipment and online tools that are available to help people with additional needs to use computers and access the internet. Keen to share their skills and knowledge with others, they’re all now taking part in the AAM Apprentice Training Programme. They’re training to become workshop leaders and the Digital Inclusion workshops they’ll be leading will support other people to safely access information online. They’re proud to be part of tackling the growing problem of digital isolation for those with additional needs.
Creative Director Rose Kent says: “It’s incredible to see how our AbleWeb team have flourished and grown in confidence as they’ve trained with us. They’ve got a real insight into how overwhelming digital technology can feel to people who haven’t been given support to access it. They also all have very different learning styles and information format needs. This makes them some of the best placed to understand and to provide the different styles of learning and training needed by other adults with additional needs. When we support people to safely and confidently use the internet then we’re supporting them to make their own choices, to link up with friends and family and their local community and, vitally, to feel more included in this increasingly digital age.”
Helen Robinson, Community Grants Support Officer at JRF says: “We are very pleased to support this project as it is providing both the workshop leaders with the opportunity to develop themselves as well as others via digital skills training. It is envisaged that this positive role model and socially inclusive approach will be an enabling and empowering experience for all involved.”
On Friday November 11th there’s going to be a very special gig at the Crescent in York, organised by our wonderful musical pals Mulholland. The night will feature performances from Atomic Ray Gun, Carrie Martin, Mulholland and our very own Hands & Voices Choir.
All money raised on the night will go towards supporting our work. Huge thanks to Ann and Stan from Mulholland for organising what promises to be a brilliant night.
Tickets are £6 in advance. You can buy yours online here.
Sensory Drama is a new Friday morning session, adding a drama offer to AAM's music, movement and visual arts activities.
It’s a development of our previous Sensory Extra session. We’ve developed the new drama session following feedback from participants and supporters. They told us that they’d like to explore new ways of sharing and celebrating participants’ creativity and achievements. Drama’s a great way of doing this!
We'll be using story, puppets, costume, props, mime and make up to have fun delving into the different elements of drama. The sessions include some group activities and some time for individual one to one engagements. The Sensory Drama team use Intensive Interaction techniques to help participants unlock and explore their interests and talents. We’re also experimenting with choosing styles and themes together, and sharing and showcasing the results.
We'll also link more between sessions to share participants’ achievements. For example, by using props, films or original music made in some of our other art, movement and music sessions. You can find out more about the new sessions and book your place here.