The Kids Are All Right

The Las! / Ig­nite! Fes­ti­val of­fers a ma­jor plat­form for tal­ented young­sters

The Scots Magazine - - Focus On… Dundee -

CRE­ATIVE young is­landers from the Outer He­brides will be tak­ing over one of Scot­land’s key arts cen­tres this month, stag­ing a dy­namic new fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing youth tal­ent.

Cu­ra­tors and pro­gram­mers at An Lan­ntair in Stornoway have handed over con­trol to Board Not Bored, a group of vol­un­teers aged 16-26 who have planned and or­gan­ised a week of cul­tural events show­cas­ing the cre­ative di­ver­sity of young peo­ple through­out the Western Isles.

The Las! / Ig­nite! Fes­ti­val, which has been funded by Event Scot­land as part of the Year Of Young Peo­ple, in­cludes an ex­hi­bi­tion of vis­ual art, youth the­atre pro­duc­tions, gigs, gam­ing com­pe­ti­tions, open mic nights and a sym­po­sium of arts in­dus­try lead­ers.

Ella Ma­caulay, the fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor, says the event is all about spark­ing change, show­cas­ing lo­cal tal­ent and shak­ing up the arts, as well as pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the younger com­mu­nity and ad­dress­ing some of the big­ger is­sues fac­ing them on the islands.

“Las is the Gaelic trans­la­tion of the word ‘ig­nite’ – and our theme for the fes­ti­val is change,” Ella ex­plains. “We’re trying to change the con­ver­sa­tion, so as well as the arts we’re also talk­ing about things like men­tal health and giv­ing young peo­ple a plat­form they wouldn’t other­wise have.

“We want to keep the pro­gramme very arts-fo­cused, but men­tal health is a con­cern in the com­mu­nity, and so that’s some­thing that we wanted to fo­cus on well.”

Young peo­ple on the islands – any­one aged 27 or un­der – have been in­vited to sub­mit work for a vis­ual art ex­hi­bi­tion that will be se­lected by a com­mit­tee of young cu­ra­tors. Ella and her team have also been work­ing with col­leagues at Shet­land Arts on Be­tween Islands, an ex­change pro­gramme in­volv­ing film­mak­ers, artists and weavers that will show­case their work in both venues.

The fes­ti­val funded a place for one young is­lan­der to take part in Muir Is Tìr – Land And Sea, a res­i­dency of in­ter­na­tional artists on a sail­ing boat that trav­elled around

Pro­mot­ing the Year Of Young Peo­ple at An Lan­ntair

An Lan­ntair

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