In the last year over 11,000 young people passed through Watershed's doors as members of our audiences and nearly 4,000 under 25s participated in targeted screenings, events or projects for young people.
Working with and for young people is a core part of Watershed's mission and our programmes are produced in collaboration with the young people themselves.
Our approach is open and developmental with a focus on producing distinctive work. We work in partnership with a wide range of organisations from across the arts, youth, education, community, media and commercial sectors to provide young people with distinctive opportunities, which develop their experience and networks so they can flourish both professionally and personally. We actively seek to engage diverse groups of young people so that all have the opportunity to participate in the cultural and creative life of Bristol and beyond.
Examples of our current engagement programmes include the BFI Film Academy, which identifies and nurtures young film talent aged 16 – 19 and the Future Producers programme for 18 – 24 year olds that develops their capacity to realise projects and ideas. The most recent achievement of Future Producers was Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, our huge season of science fiction that landed at Watershed last year. Co-curating and delivering programmes for real audiences working alongside professionals helps young people develop the competencies associated with becoming a producer in the cultural and arts sector.
A recent Future Producer shares their experience:
"My time on Watershed's Future Producers Programme was so beneficial in helping me begin my career and without it I strongly believe I would not have the dream job I do now. It also created several friendships and creative partnerships that would have otherwise not come about" Future Producer 2013
This year we have also launched Rife Magazine, Bristol's new youth-led online magazine, and our young journalists are mentored to create stories covering everything from film, music, art, culture, social issues and politics.
"I now know what Rife Magazine is. It’s what it was always meant to be. A platform for many voices with many things to say to be heard" Nikesh Shukla, Editor of Rife Magazine
Working with young people develops their skills and experience, enables Watershed to remain timely and relevant, and contributes vital talent to the cultural sector to ensure it continues to thrive.
"You've given me so many opportunities… Everything I've written on my UCAS form has happened through Watershed" Tessa aged 18
Image Credit: Jon Craig