Written by Natasha Cowie, edited by Hannah Finnimore.

Between the 12th - 14th July, we delivered a jam-packed work experience programme of the Cultural Exchange - World of Work for Year 10 Leeds City Academy students in partnership with the Grand Futures Network.

Students took part in a varied and exciting programme including workshops with Leeds City College, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Leeds Heritage Theatres, ITV Studios, Northern Ballet, and Leeds Playhouse. The focus of the programme is to demonstrate the variety of non-performance careers available in arts and culture, and students explored a variety of job roles including curating, programming, technical theatre, script writing and costume design.

Tuesday started with a tour of Leeds City College and a brilliant gaming workshop ran by the Digital Art team. The afternoon then took us to The Discovery Centre which is part of Leeds Museums and Galleries, where we were lucky enough to tour the storage room and see a multitude of hidden artefacts waiting to be put into exhibitions.

Wednesday took us to Leeds City Varieties, where we had a tour of this magnificent old theatre and took part in a programming and marketing workshop to think about how to manage all the great shows being shown at the Heritage Theatres. The afternoon was a firm favourite amongst the group as we had the opportunity to visit ITV studios on Kirkstall Road, write a script with Emmerdale writers and even have some of the main cast perform it!

Thursday wrapped up the programme with a costume designing workshop in the morning courtesy of Northern Ballet, and a technical theatre exercise in the afternoon at Leeds Playhouse where the group were challenged to think about the lights, staging and sound for a scene from Macbeth.

The Grand Futures network is a collaboration between major arts organisations in Leeds to deliver exciting and eye-opening work experience opportunities to young people across the city. Recognising that the arts can often seem inaccessible and that there is a breadth of opportunities in it that are unknown, we hope to spotlight all the varied creative careers that make great art happen.

After the success this year, we are hoping to be able to expand the project to multiple schools across Leeds.

If you would like to find out more, please contact our Assistant Producer Natasha via email [email protected] .

Images by Tim Smith.