Illuminate is a new holiday Theatre Arts Project by Blackpool Grand Theatre launched with the bright lights of Blackpool’s world-famous Illuminations and the Lightpool Festival.

Illuminate has been co-designed with Blackpool young people from the ‘Just Uz’ group who is one of the representative groups run by Social Services. Blackpool Grand Theatre are incredibly proud to be working in partnership with the Blackpool Council Social Services engagement team who along with the Ragdoll Foundation, the Arts Council, and Future U have funded this new two-year project.

Blackpool Grand welcoming over 60 young people into the building who will worked on the main stage, in theStudio, and outdoors. They took part in a wide range of workshops including dance, lantern making, and graffiti arts as they design a new attraction to tie in with Blackpool Illuminations and the Lightpool Festival!

Working with renowned artists Dave Healy, Shane Johnstone, Sarah Jane Lockwood and a designer from Blackpool’s Lightworks, the home of the famous Illuminations.

Since the Grand closed its doors in March 2020 the Blackpool Grand continued to work with young people, schools, and community groups. Delivered through online platforms they created new digital creative challenges and working with young people produced new work that gave them a voice throughout this challenging time.

One of the Theatre’s biggest aims is to forge powerful partnerships and build long-lasting relationships so that they can offer opportunities for children and young people to enjoy, participate and learn through live theatre, something Blackpool Grand is very proud of in its community impact and engagement. For them, putting young people’s creative voices front and centre, as well as jointly creating platforms for sharing that work is key to their approach and how they develop projects. Over the past three years, Blackpool Grand continue to engage and produce work with children and young people from the Blackpool community and with the support of the engagement team at Blackpool’s Social Services, the new holiday program the Illuminate - Theatre Arts Project was created and delivered.

Kirsty Fisher, Social Services, Blackpool Council said, ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Blackpool Grand Theatre, collaborating with artists and for our young people to be co-producing a new creative opportunity for our children during the holidays.’

Celine Wyatt Head of Creative Learning & Blackpool Grand Theatre ‘we never stop in the delight of young people at the theatre, when it comes alive with voices, ideas, and imagination – it’s indescribable seeing their joy and engagement. We are grateful to our partners and funders who have shown so much commitment to our work.’

Children and young people from the Blackpool community wanted something they could call their own, where they could select the artists, where they could tell their stories and where they could learn new skills that would help them in other areas of their lives.

They want to shine a light on their stories and experiences of living in our community before, during, and after the Covid-19 lockdown and to tell those stories using light, sound, and music.

Blackpool’s Grand is delighted to be working with Philip Holmes, Creative Director of the Lightworks Festival who has listen to the ideas and to start a creative journey with them, the Theatre, and a range of artists.

Blackpool Grand offers a rich and varied program of engagement programs for children and young people.




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