Location, location, location

After our first weekend, the ORBIT Youth Council were charged with researching possible locations for a creative happening in a place which was important to them. When we last met the young people worked in small teams to 'pitch' their location ideas and ultimately put forward one suggested location per team to the rest of the Council. Jupiter Artland facilitators were on hand to diffuse any awkward moments but they weren't needed! All the groups were able to negotiate to a consensus. Council members put forward their points of view but also recognised how ideas which were important to them could be taken forward in other locations.

"I felt the presentations were organised incredibly well- the structure of smaller groups really suited my learning and teamwork strengths, as well as providing an environment where everyone felt really confident and comfortable sharing their ideas and suggestions."

The teams were encouraged to think who their audience would be and what they wanted the event's impact to be. They were encouraged to identify existing sources of support and engagement. Finally they thought about possible barriers to people attending the event and any practical considerations and possible costs.

The first location, put forward by Jenny, Ollie, Bea and Eilidh was The Biscuit Factory in Leith. It is an arts and fashion hub housed in the former Crawford’s biscuit factory. Having lain empty for some time it has recently been transformed into a multi-purpose arts hub. The team cited the positive benefits of using an established arts venue in terms of having the necessary pre-existing audience and infrastructure.

The team wanted to celebrate the working history of Leith and its people. As an area, Leith is rapidly becoming gentrified and trendy. While this has benefits there is a downside in the existing community being priced out of the area, fractured and disorientated. Twenty-seven percent of children in Leith are growing up in poverty. The team were keen to put on a happening which would help Leith regain its true Scottish identity and make connections in the community and beyond.

Celebrating the history of place, getting communities involved and overcoming isolation were themes which were common to all the teams presentations and we will explore them more in the weeks to come.

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