THE OPEN DOOR
Working with young people for over a decade, Lanre (Fine Artist and Founder of Art Alive Arts Trust) has incredible belief in what young people are capable of achieving – once they are given an Open Door of opportunity. The Open Door is an ongoing initiative that organises and is host to a variety of projects that empower young people to go out into the world with the confidence to seek out and grab opportunities to improve their lives and achieve success. The projects are supported by Westminster Council, and Sponsorships have included Shaftesbury Plc, Soho Estates, Soho Housing, Jelly Belly UK, House of St Barnabas, and Awards for All.
THE BIG SOHO CLEAN UP PROJECT
Lanre is always looking at creative and unique ways to publicly highlight the qualities of young people and to change some of the negative perceptions of youth, especially those who are disadvantaged. He works with Centrepoint and also goes deep into the community to seek out youth who feel they are not being given opportunities and have to pay repeatedly for one mistake they made. The Soho Clean Up project mobilised 100 youth, requiring them to get up at 5am on a bank holiday and come and volunteer to clean up the City Streets under the supervision of Veola operatives/ Westminster City Council. In 2014, the first BIG SOHO CLEAN UP was birth. It was a rainy gloomy bank holiday in May, but all 100 turned up at 6am without complaining and after a short training course enthusiastically got to work. It gave them a sense of “humility”, “appreciation for what the people who keep Britain tidy have to go through”, and an “awareness of environmental issues” and equipped them with team working skills and resilience. Once again the local restaurants (10) provided lunch, with a gym allowing them to freshen up free of charge. The day culminated in the youth relaxing and painting at the Art Alive Arts Trust gallery after which they were entertained with poetry and presented with certificates by local counsellors, Cllr Glenys Roberts, Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Cllr Paul Church.
************** WATCH THE BIG SOHO CLEAN UP VIDEO HERE!!!
Please watch this moving video of The Big Soho Clean Up by clicking here.
THE SOHO ARTS FAIR ANNUAL EVENT
Soho Arts fair is a spectacular open air, annual event. Each spring, it showcases a collection of theatre, poetry, dance and other performing arts, in the famous Carnaby Street area. Soho comes alive with diverse youth from all over the City performing in front of passing shoppers, traders and much to the delight of tourists. For many of these young people it is the first time they have ever performed in front of a live audience and many have gone on to pursue a career as musicians, dancers, and comedians. One such person Rachel now has her own dance school called Adore Dance, where she infuses contemporary dance with fitness routines. Adore Dance also has classes for young people with disabilities. Rachel says “I successfully completed my first year studying Performing Arts with a double merit but left because I was approached to do a TV reality show. This fell through which kinda left me feeling demotivated and I lost my way. Lanre asked me to perform at the Soho Arts Fair and it was amazing. It fired me up again and restored my lost confidence. I went on to gain admin skills through the Princes Trust and got a job with Fitness First. That’s when I realised I could pursue my passion and founded Adore Dance. Art Alive Trust believes in youth”. The Soho Arts Fair also gains support from local restaurants who are always willing participants in feeding the youth with lunchtime refreshments, giving the event a vibrant community feel. (www.adoredance.co.uk)
Soho Arts Fair Video
The Open Door initiative, with the help of Sponsorship will continue these and additional creative projects, that bring out the best in young people, giving them open doors of opportunity to aim higher and achieve greater.
Our most ambitious project, compliments, of Westminster Council and Glenys Roberts is to install a gigantic Open Door sculpture in Soho Square, made of recycled materials and representing a door of opportunity. The aim is to have 50,000 people walk through the door in support of giving youth opportunities to enable them to make a positive contribution to the community and the society in which they live. We look to travel with the Door to different cities in the future.
Please support the work we do and call Jessica on 07832 116475 for Sponsorship enquiries or email firstname.lastname@example.org