The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund supports young people to develop their talents in the arts

The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund has awarded over £26,000 in the latest round of grants and bursaries to community groups and individuals across Leeds to develop the aspirations of young people.

The Fund which was set up to honour the memory of local school teacher Ann Maguire has distributed over £90,000 in grants to date.

Managed by local charity Leeds Community Foundation, the Fund has distributed grants of up to £5,000 to support five fantastic community groups including Dance Zone Action Leeds (DAZL), who are working with inactive young people to improve their emotional wellbeing and resilience via mental health anti-stigma workshops, dance and film. 

Other successful projects include:

  • DJ School UK, who will provide 13 bursaries for their accredited DJ course, enabling young people with an enthusiasm to pursue DJing as a career to build relevant skills and learn more about the industry.  
  • New Wortley Community Association, who are providing free drama sessions to enable young people to develop skills in acting, self-expression, singing and dance. The project will result in a production at the community centre.  
  • Shakespeare Schools Foundation, who will host the Shakespeare Schools Festival, working with 10 local schools to make Shakespeare accessible and exciting by running sessions on storytelling, character, voice, ensemble building and staging techniques that promote teamwork and social cohesion.  
  • Leeds West Indian Carnival, who are transferring skills in carnival arts of costume design and construction to the next generation of children and young people of Caribbean descent.  

Stuart Bailey of Leeds West Indian Carnival, said: “The arts can have a significant impact on the aspirations and educational attainment of young people and can be central to widening participation schools, colleges and universities as well as uniting all communities.  Carnival arts encourage participants to enhance modes of performance, which allows them to communicate their thoughts, concerns, feelings, ideas and enthusiasms to express and represent themselves to each other and to the world. We are truly grateful to the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund for supporting this project to engage young people within the local and wider communities and help to develop new vocational skills to reduce the levels of unemployment.”  

Supporting young people under the age of 18, the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund also offers bursaries of up to £500 to individuals who, without financial support, would be unable to pursue or develop their skills within the arts. In the latest round, bursaries were awarded to purchase musical instruments and enable a gifted young musician to attend a singer and song writing course.   

Emma Maguire said: “The arts can provide a whole new world of inspiration for young people. We received some fantastic applications this year and I am delighted that we can continue to help young people gain access to the arts and develop their skills and confidence in dance, drama and music. Special thanks to Leeds Community Foundation for continuing this important work in managing and distributing funds.  A big thank you to all who have supported the Fund over these past years especially those who have given of their time and talents to raise funds.  We are grateful for this fitting and meaningful work in memory of a very special lady. The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund will continue to open for applications in December each year and we would love to hear from more individuals and community groups who need support.”  

Kate Hainsworth, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Foundation, which manage the Fund, said: “It is so important that we continue to provide young people with opportunities to experience the arts and showcase their talents. The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund provides the funding to do just this and we look forward to seeing more worthwhile projects and talented individuals benefit for years to come." 

The Fund will re-open for applications in December 2019. For more details about the Fund, or to donate to this great cause, visit:

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