“We want to celebrate and showcase exactly how the arts can provide part of a great education and advocate that it should be a right for all young people to have this experience”
At Musical Futures Champion School, Fred Longworth High, they are passionate about the excellent arts education that their students receive but they have been growing increasingly concerned about the stories of subjects like art, dance, drama and music disappearing from schools in response to budget cuts and a focus on subjects that form part of the ‘EBACC curriculum’.
Following a visit by Darren Henley (Chief Executive of Arts Council England) last year, the school was inspired to make a short film about the arts at Fred Longworth – they were keen to articulate what they do at Fred Longworth and why they feel that it is so important that all young people have access to a vibrant arts curriculum. The Arts Council kindly supported the creation of their film ‘Where Did All The Art Go?’ which was released on the 9th May at the launch event at The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays. The evening was a celebration of the arts, with performances from Fred Longworth students, the film premiere of ‘Where Did All The Art Go?’ followed by a debate about the arts in education.
The film shows the wide range of activities and learning that Fred Longworth students have been engaged in over a school year and also contains the voices of some key people in the creative and cultural industries advocating for the arts in schools.
‘Where Did All the Art Go?’ – short version
A full version of ‘Where Did All The Art Go?’ (containing interviews with key people at Fred Longworth and in the creative industries) is available HERE.
The messages conveyed by the people interviewed are all different, but what unites them is a fundamental belief that access to a creative education is crucial in preparing young people to make a positive contribution to society and to be prepared to work in an ever-changing world where problem solving and adaptability will be fundamental skills in the workforce of the technological age.
The thread that runs through the short film consists of a poem written by our Head of Drama, Dave Moloney, called ‘The Spark’:
Where did all the art go?
The colours, the sounds, the movement
The buzz buzz buzzing of creation
The walls adorned with the things we made
Folded and filed away
Where did all the art go?
The noise, the fire, the expression
The wide eyes and wider smiles
The scribbles and scraps of spark and ideas
Locked and hidden away
The Spark isn’t something that can be held. Or held back.
The spark is fet. It’s experienced. It’s shared/
The spark is the moment it clicks
The moment it pops
The moment it makes sense
And the spark is everywhere
Even when it can’t be seen
The spark exists in the moments of inspiration
Before hand meets brush meets canvas
Before foot meets floor meets beat
Before idea meets plan meets action
It’s the shudder in your neck when you know it works
It’s the eruption of noise when we’ve done it together
It’s quiet kids in loud rooms finding their voice
It’s loud kids on corridors finding their place
It’s like minded souls finding their match
It’s opposites beginning to attract
It’s four of us playing in tandem
To a rhythm we’re all part of
It’s five of us creating something new
And barely being able to contain the excitement of sharing it with the world
And when the bell goes in the middle of it all we’ll barely notice the sound
Because the spark has ignited, the spark has been found.
We take to the streets, reigniting the spark
In Atherton, Astley, Shackerly and Tyldesley Park
It’s more than a flame, it’s more than a fire
It’s us, it’s community, it’s people inspired,
To change the world in a way we think’s best
To mould it, to shape it, to out-do the rest
We’re back to the future
You’re Ebacc in the past,
You’re stuck in our history,
We’re building to last,
Boys and girls with ideals,
With plans and ambition,
Their minds are the fuel
and the spark, the ignition
Don’t dampen our flames our hope or our glory
Don’t dull our passion, our spirit, our story.