Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors Youth Arts Calendar

Calling all Arts and Cultural Organisations in Hertfordshire.



FREE Publicity offered for your events in the Youth Arts Calendar of the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors (YCA) Programme 2014-2015. Copy Deadline: Monday, October 6th.

 The Hertfordshire YCA programme is co-funded by the Royal Opera House Bridge working in partnership with Sir John Lawes and The Wroxham Teaching Schools, their school alliances and local cultural partners in Hertfordshire. HertsCreation Community Interest Company manages the project. Now in its second year, the Herts YCA programme will work across 10 schools involving up to 12 young people in each school during the 2014-2015 academic year. The programme aims to develop youth leadership and deepen relationships between young people and arts and cultural organisations in Hertfordshire.

We are creating a youth arts calendar of selected events and programmes across Hertfordshire for inclusion in our YCA toolkit.

  • Do you have a schools, families or young person’s offer that you would like to publicise?
  • Is the offer free or low-cost?

What’s in it for you?

  • Your event or programme will be included in the HertsYCA toolkit for teachers and YCAs across 10 schools.
  • YCAs may tell their school and community about your event.
  • They may participate in your event / programme or encourage their peers to get involved. If YCAs are interested in your work, YCAs may undertake a blog post on the website publlicising your work. YCAs may seek to develop a longer-term partnership between your organisation and their school.

What do you need to do?

Please send us:

  • 1 image
  • Name of event or programme
  • Location
  • When – dates, times of event.
  • Type of event (e.g. workshop, performance, exhibition)
  • Two sentences about the event (50 words max)
  • Cost
  • How to book
  • Website or contact details for further information

Email information to Alex@hertscreation.com including ‘HertsYCA Calendar’ in the subject line. Do get in touch if you would like more information about the programme or have other ideas about how you and your organisation would like to be involved.

Deadline for submissions Monday 6 October 2014


Hertfordshire’s Young Cultural Ambassadors 2014-15 – Apply now!

IMG_5264After a first successful pilot year, applications are welcomed for the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassador Programme, funded by the Royal Opera House (ROH) Bridge in partnership with The Wroxham and Sir John Lawes Teaching Schools, their school alliances and local cultural partners in Hertfordshire. The project is managed and delivered by HertsCreation Community Interest Company.

The programme aims to increase opportunities for young people to participate in the arts and culture, develop leadership skills, and create new connections between young people in primary (KS2) and secondary schools and cultural organisations in Hertfordshire. It will support young people to lead arts activities in schools, enhance their school and local cultural offer and increase engagement in cultural activity amongst their peers.

Applications are invited from primary and secondary schools in Hertfordshire for 10 places on the programme with anticipated engagement of up to 8 young people in each school. This is an opportunity for schools to participate in a programme of student-led cultural activity which has had proven impacts in widening schools’ cultural engagement and promoting whole-school change through the arts.

For more information and an application form contact admin@hertscreation.com. Deadline for applications is 24 September 2014.

HertsYCA Celebration – A Success! Applications for 2014-15 opening soon.

‘This project has enabled a phenomenal spread of talent to emerge from our student community.’

Theodora Nickson, Head Teacher, Bishops Hatfield Girls School.

On July 8 2014 Hertfordshire’s Young Cultural Ambassadors celebrated their achievements during the pilot year 2013-14 at the Sandpit Theatre, St Albans.  A youth led and presented event, audiences were thrilled to see YCAs sharing their talent, through a range of performances, and also news of their impact within school and community environments.  Our special thanks to Sandringham School, the theatre technical team and in particular to Didier Osindero who hosted the event so beautifully.  We were particularly delighted to gain so much support from Arts and cultural organisations across Hertfordshire. Images speak louder than words so do look our gallery to see for yourself just how fantastic the event was.

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With the good news of the 2014-15 HertsYCA funding recently secured, we are pleased to announce that applications for Schools and young people wishing to take part will open next week September 1st – and close on 26th.   We have 10 school places, with a maximum number of 12 students per school participating. Do look out for news of how you can be part of the programme – coming soon!

HertsYCA Celebration July 8

July 8 Single line final

Schools, Young People and Arts Organisations are warmly invited to join us for

The Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors’ Programme Celebration


 The Sandpit Theatre, The Ridgeway, AL4 9NX

Tuesday 8 July 2pm – 3.30pm (Doors 1.30pm)

 Since June 2013, YCAs have been developing exciting programmes of cultural and arts activity that have transformed 6 Hertfordshire Schools (3 Secondary, 3 Primary). This is a pilot programme that is gaining ground and beginning to forge new connections between schools and arts organisations across the county.

 “This project enabled a phenomenal spread of talent to emerge from our school community.” Theodora Nickson, Head Teacher, Bishops Hatfield Girls School

The programme has been a powerful catalyst for school leaders to support young people who have led workshops, school celebrations and visits to arts organisations including the Royal Opera House. This programme is supported by a series of workshops for teachers and pupils.

 YCAs have produced work that has:

  • Increased young people’s engagement in the arts
  • Enabled young people to celebrate their creative talents and lead projects to engage other young people
  • Forged new links with arts organisations
  • Generated cross-school excitement and discovery of the potential of the arts to as a path to whole-school change.

 At this event you will get an opportunity to:

  • Discover what YCAs have achieved through the programme
  • Find out more about programme impacts from teachers
  • Get information about the YCA Programme 2014 – 2015 and how to apply.


 To book FREE tickets for the event, please go to: http://hertsyca.eventbrite.com

Storytelling Masterclass for Adults, with Children in Mind


storytelling image

Led by Storyteller Danyah Miller

If I can’t be a teacher I want to be a Danyah…..”   

7 year old child to her mother

Saturday 12 July 9.30am – 4pm, Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School


Who is this day for?

All those who are involved and working with children (Primary Age) including:

  • Head Teachers, teachers and support staff, parent governors
  • All adults helping children to strengthen their imaginations and thereby advance their literacy skills

Storytelling with children

  • Strengthens the imagination
  • Helps to build literacy skills and a love of language, reading and writing
  • Positively impacts on listening, concentration and memory
  • Aids confidence, public speaking and team building

During this professional development day you will

  • Actively participate in a range of interactive storytelling activities
  • Explore your unique storytelling voiceRe-discover, develop and enhance existing skills and techniques
  • Develop confidence and be inspired to take risks
  • Be offered exciting ideas to use with children in your care.

Places are £100 per person with lunch included. 20% Early Bird discount until 10 June 2014.

To book or for more information contact alex@hertscreation.com with the subject heading Storytelling Masterclass.

story cpd logos

Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School: Free CPD Training and Celebration

During the past year, HertsCreation have worked with our lead school, Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School on a creative learning project: How can we develop our confidence in telling and writing through the craft of storytelling?

Working with Danyah Miller, Storyteller, Theatre Producer and, we think secretly, Magic Maker, Woolenwick Infants and Nursery have embarked on a  whole school project drawing on the craft of storytelling to enthuse and build children’s imaginations, creativity and language to inspire them to write.

Danyah undertook three twilight training sessions with staff at the beginning of the project to give staff the chance to explore, experience and use the techniques of storytelling that would support them whilst they developed their personal storytelling voice.  She then worked alongside them in class with extraordinary results…..

Gnome Hats


“How can we develop our confidence in telling and writing through the craft of storytelling?” with Danyah Miller.

Thursday 8 May 4-5.30pm, Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School, Bridge Road West, Stevenage, SG1 2NU. 

This Free twilight CPD and Celebration will:

  • Reveal key findings and impacts of the project
  • Offer practical guidance for attending teachers and practitioners on approaches that lead from storytelling to writing
  • Offer perspectives on the school journey with Danyah Miller and staff.

Who is this twilight for?

– Infants, Nursery or Primary school staff, Early Years Practitioners and Teachers, Creative Professionals, budding storytellers and parents.   

Please rsvp to admin@woolenwickinfants.herts.sch.uk with the subject heading Storytelling Twilight. Please include your name, organization or school, number of places requested and contact details in the email.  For more information on HertsCreation C.I.C and our Creative Learning Programmes contact admin@hertscreation.com

Danyah Miller will star in  ‘I believe in Unicorns’ with Olivier Award nominated Wizard Presents, in a show which brings best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s enchanting tale to life, in an ‘utterly magical interactive show’ (The Stage), set in a library filled with books. Directed by winner of two awards for innovation in children’s theatre, Dani Parr and designed by Kate Bunce. Produced in association with Royal & Derngate Northampton and Watford Palace Theatre. http://wizardpresents.co.uk/PortfolioItems/i-believe-in-unicorns-2/

Conference: Cultural Skills Provision for 14-19 Year Olds in Hertfordshire, Feb 7 2014


Yart Consultation workshop with Young People lead by HertsCreation and Socani, Autumn 2013

Yart Consultation workshop with Young People lead by HertsCreation and Socani, Autumn 2013

On February 7th, HertsCreation will be sharing the results of research funded by Broxbourne Council and Royal Opera House Bridge into cultural skills provision for 14 – 19 year olds in Hertfordshire. Co-Director Martin Heaney will share first findings of the research in a seminar and workshop for an invited audience from the Hertfordshire arts and cultural sector in Broxbourne.

The focus of the research has been to identify gaps, needs and opportunities in cultural skills development. Particular areas of investigation have included engaging young people not in education and employment and education (NEETs) in pathways to Further Education and in progression routes from FE courses into the creative industries. The presentation will highlight areas of best practice and key perspectives on developing the sector from interviews with industry leaders.

Recent years have seen the erosion of networks and forums for professionals to develop joined-up, cross-sector approaches to education and the arts. Acknowledging this challenge, the seminar presentation will be followed by a workshop designed to encourage further discussion and map potential routes to build capacity. The workshop will also offer information on opportunities to find out more about further funding routes and partnership investment opportunities. A final research paper will be available from the end of February.

For more information on the event, please contact Martin Heaney: martin@hertscreation.com.

HertsCreation Autumn Newsletter 2013


It’s been an exciting year so far for HertsCreation! We began life as a Community Interest Company in October 2012 with a busy period of funding applications and meetings across the county with organisations in the voluntary and local government sectors.

Although the funding climate remains challenging, one striking feature across the Herts landscape is the growing number of networks and hubs for arts and cultural activity, including the Hertfordshire Arts Partnership and support of Royal Opera House (ROH) Bridge.  We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of doors that were opened for us by different individuals and groups with a vision for the arts. We are fortunate that these conversations are now helping us build a strong programme of activity this autumn. So what are we up to?

June 20, YCA Launch Event, , Royal Opera House

Our Activities in 2013 Continue reading

YCA Launch Event June 20, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

HertsCreation are delighted to be project managers for the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors (YCA)Programme and to have facilitated a successful launch in the Crush Room at the Royal Opera House on June 20th, attended by over 70 young people and an additional 30 teachers and artists. The programme reflects our passion to continue to support teachers and young people to access and produce high quality art and cultural experiences. The work continues our engagement in Hertfordshire which began with the support of Royal Opera House Creative Partnerships. The current work of ROH Bridge is invaluable in sustaining and building new partnerships with Teaching Alliances and other arts organisations in Hertfordshire. The YCA programme is showing strong potential to act as a catalyst for dialogue and exchange between different cultural groups and organisations. We look forward to the next phase of activity which we hope will expand cultural capacity of schools and arts organisations in Hertfordshire and support the engagement of young people in the arts and cultural sectors. Visit www.hertsyca.org.uk  to see what we have been up to and read teacher posts on inspiration.
Emily Gray, Artistic Director, Trestle Theatre said : ‘what a pleasure and privilege it was to work with you at the Launch – splendid collaboration in a splendid setting. There is such passion and energy behind this project and I do hope it goes well for Herts Creation and all the young people involved.’
Sandringham School tweeted: ‘@ROHBridge @HertsCreation Thank you all for an inspiring day. We have lots of ideas to go away and work with. A fantastic and inspiring venue.’

Herts YCA Programme – the next chapter

A while ago Martin referred to starting up a community interest company as a little like jumping out of a plane and making the parachute on your way down.  Well – now we have a team of sky divers with us and, like skydiving (I can only imagine here) – it is exhilarating!

Establishing relationships

We met our YCA Lead Teachers again on May 10th at Welwyn Garden City Library.   Emma Betts, Programme Manager ROH Bridge, and our evaluator Hannah Wilcox also joined us.  It was a fruitful morning as everyone arrived excited and raring to get going.  First we explored the YCA role – the tasks that might be undertaken, the skills and qualities needed,  who we might want to recruit to the programme, and how.  Together, we asked  how the YCAs might be supported in their role, where there was space for them to lead and how they might drive the programme – both online and off, in the schools and across the wider communities.

Next we got cracking Continue reading