The Forge: Showcase your creativity is a programme that offers exciting, FREE creative workshops for 11- 18 year olds living or at school in Worcestershire. The Forge is youth led, with participants choosing the art forms and activities they wish to pursue together.  

Workshops are delivered by a facilitator and a specialist practitioner who each share their expertise on different art forms, from fashion and film to dance and graffiti! Participants learn a variety of new skills and work as a collective to steer the direction of the project based on what interests them.  
Over eight weeks from October to December 2023, participants explored a range of creative activities and worked together to produce and showcase their own artwork and performances. 

Tenbury Wells 

The 7 young creatives at Tenbury Wells Ormiston Academy decided to focus on singing, songwriting, acting and film. 

“This project has massively boosted my confidence and has made me much more comfortable standing on stage in front of many people. “- Forge Participant, Tenbury

Their sessions focused on: 

  • Singing and stage presence with Daz Adderley  
  • Songwriting and recording with Alex Lowe  
  • Acting and devising a music video with Jimmy Bates 
  • Filming the music video with George Cleland 

During their sessions with Daz Adderley, one participant wrote the lyrics to a song called ‘Tick Tock’, Daz then helped the group put music to the lyrics. With Alex Lowe, the group worked collaboratively on a new song which they called ‘Don’t Let it Break You’. Everybody contributed ideas for the song, and they used digital music software to create a backing track and record the vocals. Jimmy then explored themes within the song and helped participants devise a performance in different locations around the school, with George filming the performance and editing it into a music video. 

These sessions culminated with a final showcase event held at Tenbury High, to which friends, family and teachers were invited. There was a live performance of their song ‘Tick Tock’ and a screening of their music video for ‘Don’t let it Break You. 

Malvern Cube

There was a core group of 9 young creatives at Malvern Cube who decided to focus on fashion, photography, sculpture and illustration. 

‘This project let me do more creative things with others, socialise and practise more of my passions. I loved the positivity and structure of the group and support, it was a very nice environment. – Forge Participant, Malvern 

Their sessions focused on: 

  • Hat making with Roz from Complex Simplicity  
  • Outdoor photography with Donna Lawson  
  • Clay sculpture with Kay Mullet  
  • Portrait painting and illustration with Sarah Edwards 

The group decided that their showcase event would be an exhibition at Malvern Cube and that the themes would be Nature, Pop Art and Japan. All the work they made then incorporated these themes and included hats, outdoor digital photography, clay sculptures and brightly coloured painted portraits. Each participant then helped to curate and hang their pieces in the exhibition space. Friends, family and special guests were all invited to the launch of this wonderful exhibition. 

‘M has really enjoyed the sessions, I feel he’s got a lot out of getting the chance to try different avenues of creativity and meeting a range of different people and their skillsIt was so fun for him to experience an actual exhibition and collaborate with the other kidsWe enjoyed it!’ Parent of Participant, Malvern

The Forge: Art for 

Art for Outdoors was an opportunity for forge participants in Malvern to design and create artwork for public display on the grounds of Malvern Cube. Working with artist Mark Riley from Creative States, 5 participants were given a brief to create artwork that best represents the ethos of Malvern Cube, which is to be:  

  • Responsive to community need 
  • Accessible 
  • Inclusive 
  • Affordable 
  • Ethical 
  • Diverse 
  • Sustainable 

From these the group selected three key words to explore in their designs: ‘Ethical’, ‘Accessible’ and ‘Community’. They then decided that they would use wood, paint and clay to create panels to be displayed on one of the outer walls of the Malven Cube building. 

“Absolutely wonderful! And I love the concept and the way the young people have chosen the key words. I am thrilled with the result.” – Manager, Malvern Cube 

The finished work will be included in the Young Voices New Visions 2024 exhibition at Worcester Cathedral. Once finished, the artwork will be returned to Malvern Cube for public display in July 2024.