Battersea Arts Center launches three new social change projects led by local youth


Battersea Arts Center (BAC) announces the launch of three new social change projects led by local youth (agents). They aim to break down the barriers faced by their underserved communities by giving them access to careers in STEM, politics and theatre.

Each of these agents was chosen by a panel of creative industries experts to receive £2,000 in seed funding. They will also receive ongoing support from BAC and expert guidance from other experts to bring their ideas to life for positive social change in their community.

Now in its ninth year, the Agency’s main goal is to have a social impact on future generations. The projects selected from the 2021-2022 cohort of agents all support opportunities for local youth, including:

Wisdom Woman from Nabeelah (16) aims to inspire girls aged 13-18 from low-income households, who feel discouraged by their parents and society, to study STEM subjects and embark on professional careers in STEMs.

The Civics Convention by Aliya (16) educates ethnic majority youth about the political landscape in England in order to use their right to vote and pass this education on to their families and the local community.

Mikhi’s (18) CUBEIT project aims to build confidence and resilience by bringing young people into their local creative spaces to explore theatre, network and develop transferable skills.

Nabeelah, agent 2021-22, said:
“I’m excited about my Wisdom Woman project, it will benefit a lot of young girls and give them the opportunity to learn more about the different career opportunities available through STEM. It’s something I needed at their age, so I’m proud to be able to create this project for them.”

Aliya, Agent 2021-22, said:
“My time at the Agency made me realize for the first time the opportunities that were available to me at this age and I took it. I am grateful for the support I have received so far and I can’t wait to see what it can help me achieve.”

Mikhi, agent 2021-22, said:
“Theatre has helped me learn to show different sides of myself – to get out of my comfort zone and seek out many professional opportunities. Thanks to the funding from the Agency, I am delighted to invite more young people exploring creative options and discovering one’s abilities.”

The Agency is a national program that allows young people (15-25 years old) to take the initiative to identify the needs of their community and create social change projects to transform their territory. The Agency’s unique curriculum combines the best aspects of culture and business, highlighting Agents’ natural capacity for creativity, insight and innovation. BAC is the Agency’s lead co-partner, along with Contact Manchester and People’s Palace Projects. The pioneer program is supported by the National Lottery Community Fund. Current partners include Energize Me, Southampton.

Socially conscious young entrepreneurs (agents) live in some of the most underserved areas of the country. Working on their self-esteem, their organizational, relational and commercial skills, they develop their ability to make a difference, changing their perception of their place in the city and the opportunities available to them.

After the first 12 weeks of the program, agents pitch their creative ideas to a bespoke panel of experts to be considered for funding and additional support. This year’s London panel included former agent Henrietta Imoreh, who now sits on Esmee Fairbairn’s Care Leavers Advisory Board and presented at the launch of her new welfare reform strategy. Henrietta also sits on the board of BAC and Agenda – an alliance for women at risk of social exclusion.

Henrietta Imoreh, panelist, former agent and activist, said:
“Being part of the Agency panel this year has been a huge privilege, to hear from such pioneers who will impact their community and the next generation. Listening to all of the presentations was super inspiring and reminded me that when the young people have the agency and the power the world can change for the better.”

Stella Kanu, LIFT Festival Panelist and Executive Director, said:
“The level of passion, skill and community entrepreneurship among all agents was inspiring and energizing. Those who received funding have well-being and equity at heart and provided exciting access to opportunities for other young people. I’m excited to see where all these projects go next.”

Liz Moreton, Director of Creativity and Social Change at Battersea Arts Centre, said:
“The fallout from the pandemic and punitive austerity policies have exposed the inequalities within our society. The young people who are most affected by these issues are also the most anxious about the future world they will inherit. The Agency creates opportunities that have been denied them elsewhere, and our priority has been to help young people rebuild and enrich the land with their bold ideas and cutting-edge creative solutions.”

The Agency is generously supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, with our thanks to Rafe Offer for his contribution to LAC Agents in 2022.

Battersea Arts Center launches three new social change projects led by local youth


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