Home Youth activism VIP visit to the Burnley Youth Theater as the countdown begins for a milestone anniversary in 2023

VIP visit to the Burnley Youth Theater as the countdown begins for a milestone anniversary in 2023


The Minister, accompanied by Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham, toured the facility and Artistic Director and Chief Executive Karen Metcalfe, Operations and Education Director Laura Simpson and Engagement Manager Rachael Bamber were on hand to discuss the arts organization’s impact on the lives of neighborhood children and youth since it opened in 1973.

The venue, which houses a 158-seat theater and has three studios, received funding during the pandemic, enabling it to run a varied digital program for children, youth and families and maintain relationships with schools and community groups through free projects, including their much-loved Christmas production Jack and the Beanstalk, which zoomed into 15 elementary schools and 60 homes over the holiday season.

Burnley Youth Theater welcomed the Rt Hon Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for a red carpet visit.

The team highlighted recent projects carried out as part of its education and awareness work, including school bonding days, building community cohesion and targeted workshops such as ‘Burnley Gets Hangry’ focused on youth activism and food poverty.

Also highlighted were weekly inclusive theater workshops, which include specialized ‘After the Rain’ sessions for LGBTQ+ youth, ‘Theatre for Change’ which encourages participants to use the arts to promote positive, political and social change. and “Connect” for children, young people and adults with disabilities or learning difficulties.

During the tour, guests were able to see some of the work of the Burnley Youth Theater first hand as pupils from Heasandford Primary School enjoyed a creative education session, local community choir ’50 Somethings ‘ was rehearsing in one of the studios and Burnley Youth Theatre’s Heritage Curator Fiona Hornby worked on the charity’s impressive archive as they prepared for their 50th anniversary celebrations from January 2023 .

Mr Andrew said: “It was brilliant to visit the Burnley Youth Theater and see firsthand the difference the organization has made to children and young people in the area.

“Thanks to £120,000 in funding through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, the theater has been able to continue its vital work during the pandemic and is now looking forward to an exciting 50th anniversary year in 2023.”