To recognise how the arts help young people in all walks of life, performing arts school franchise Stagecoach has launched the Creative Courage for Life Awards
It takes courage to get on stage and perform in front of an audience. But Stagecoach, the UK’s largest network of extra-curricular performing arts schools for young people, believes courage isn’t just restricted to the performing arts. It’s needed in all walks of life, from daily interactions right up to the highest levels of business.
That’s why Stagecoach teaches so much more than how to sing, dance and act. It aims to instil creative courage for life in each of the children who come through its doors. To mark its 30th anniversary, and to celebrate the phenomenal talent of young people and their teachers in Stagecoach schools across the world, it is holding the first Creative Courage for Life Awards in December.
Chief executive Sarah Kelly says: “Kids have grown up learning through a screen – through social media and the wonderful world of technology, which connects people all over the world and is brilliant – but it dumbs down social skills. To be able to look another child in the eye, to project your voice, to be a part of performing arts gives you that lovely sense of knowing who you are and what you can do. ”
On December 2, London’s Shaftesbury Theatre will be bursting with young talent as it hosts the fifth annual Stagecoach Charity Gala alongside the first Creative Courage for Life Awards. There are 15 categories including: outstanding singer, dancer, actor and teacher for each respective discipline. Nominees include people from Stagecoach franchises across the world – celebrating the outstanding achievements of young people in countries including Germany, Malta and even Australia.
One special category, the Creative Courage for Life Award, recognises a young person who has demonstrated commitment, dedication and developed skills throughout their time at Stagecoach that will set them up for life. The nominees are: Abigail from Stagecoach in Perth, Australia; Amelia from Stagecoach York; Angelina from Stagecoach Rickmansworth; and Felicity from Stagecoach Chiswick.
There’s also an award for budding composers, with Stagecoach students encouraged to write their own fanfare. The nominees will be judged by award-winning composer David Lowe, who has written theme tunes for BBC News, CBBC’s Newsround and Channel 4’s Grand Designs. The winner will get the opportunity to visit David’s recording studio where they will work on their fanfare with David and then record it. What’s more, the winning fanfare will be used for Stagecoach events throughout the year and will be uploaded to iTunes for anyone to buy – with all profits going to the charity YoungMinds.
All the proceeds for this year’s charity gala are going towards YoungMinds, which is the UK’s leading charity championing the mental well-being of children and young people. Like Stagecoach, YoungMinds helps children and young people cope with whatever adversities life might bring, and ensures they can succeed in spite of those hardships.
In 10 or 20 years’ time, whether they’re acting on a West End stage or running a successful business, it is certain that the confident, resilient and courageous stars of tomorrow will be recognised first when they take to the Shaftesbury Theatre’s stage on December 2 at Stagecoach’s inaugural Creative Courage for Life Awards.
For more information, see stagecoach.co.uk