GOLDExpo heralded a huge success!

A demonstration of the successes of Arts Award

GOLDExpo heralded a huge success!

Last Thursday saw the first ever GOLDExpo be held, and it would be fair to say it was a great success!

Hosted in Rich Mix, Shoreditch, the event saw young artists and dignitaries come together to celebrate Gold Arts Award for all the benefits it has brought to people over the last 10 years.

The event played host to so many talented young people - poets, circus artists, singers, dancers, musicians, photographers, sculptors and more! It really felt like we were bringing together people from so many backgrounds and art forms together to participate in a shared experience, which is exactly what art is about, and perfectly captures some of the core components of Arts Award.

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I was lucky enough to host a panel with Laura Gander-Howe, the Director of Learning at Arts Council England, musician and music educator Faz Shah and Agi K, a YouTuber who completed her Gold Arts Award when she was just 12. We spoke about how Gold gives young people the opportunity and incentive to try something new, collaborate with others, and learn more about themselves and the creative sector they will almost certainly one day contribute to.

Faz Shah is a particularly interesting example of how Gold can set you off on your professional career. Although already an accomplished musician, skilled at violin and beatboxing, Shah had never considered combining the two skills together before. He performed at the 5th Arts Award birthday, and bringing him back for GOLDExpo - which is part of Arts Award's 10 month 10th Birthday celebrations - was a great privilege.

He launched two singles the same day, which can be found on Spotify and iTunes, but also performed with 18 year old flutist Chris Hill, who recently completed his Gold Arts Award. The pair had only met a week previously but still managed to collaborate to create a piece.

I remember four years ago when I completed my Gold perhaps being quite dismissive of the actual benefits. I'm very comfortable now saying that I was needlessly cynical, as I have been given so many opportunities since then, all directly linked back to my involvement in the Arts community, which wouldn't have happened had I not worked on Gold. This Expo served to further hammer home that point. Being surrounded by people who have also completed Gold, each with a personal story of how they have advanced as individuals and professionals subsequently, to me perfectly encaptures why we should be further advocating Gold Arts Award.

More information and pictures from GOLDExpo can be found on our GOLDExpo page. If you attended the event we would be exceptionally grateful if you could fill in the feedback form found on the page too!

Photos: Eileen Tracey

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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