My experience with Odd Arts

Welcome to The Odd Arts’ blog, I am Selina and I will be blogging about my experience. Odd arts develop and deliver issue based drama and arts programmes for vulnerable and hard to reach young people around The North West and mainly work with the criminal justice system.

I took part in Project8, This was held at a Local Youth club Powerhouse in Moss Side. Odd Arts collaborated with Rathbone to do this workshop around Mental Heath and to help us learn about Leadership skills which the goal was to help work on presentation skills, team work, coping with problems and to help with confidence and creativity of the young people.

On the project not everyone knew each other at first. we began with icebreakers and games to begin the sessions and to get to know each other more. As the sessions moved on we were introduced to the day to day issues that may effect our/ others mental health.

We then did this really interesting activity which I enjoyed. As a group we created a person, where we all wrote down day to day issues that teenagers may face around this picture of the girl that we named Naveah who was 18 and had just left college. For example, Some of the issues where that; she fell into a controlling relationship with a drug dealer, she felt isolated from all her friends and family and was lured into the world of drugs which she relied on.

We created a story by putting all these issues on a timeline where Eventually we created a story about Naveah and the others characters who were involved in her life. Each of us picked a character who we created. For Example I chose Naveahs Mother “Jackie” her husband was in jail, the mother was stressed and had a responsibility of a new baby. Naveah and the mothers relationship wasn’t great as Naveah had left home because of the arguments etc.

I really liked doing the review of characters because I felt I could slightly relate to the character because some of the issues related to people I knew and life events which were slightly similar. We did this activity to get into more depth with the Characters. We then devised our own short performance. (Non scripted) we improvised our own knowledge into these characters.

During these few weeks we also went to watch a performance about Knife Crime at Z-arts which was created by a group of young people in Manchester called “Raising Aspirations “. We then expanded on our characters while creating this performance.

After a few weeks of creating this performance we then performed it at Manchester Metropolitan University to the other group of young people, we followed our performance with workshops that we Planned in groups to raise mental health/ drug awareness to the young people.

Part taking in this project has helped me gain some work experience with The Odd Arts where I have been looking at how they plan there projects as well as helping with some similar upcoming projects looking at scrips. I will also be looking at there social media websites and I’m looking forward to doing photography and filming during a workshop next week with The big music Project.