I can safely say my first year with somewhereto_ has been a hectic one. I joined the team just over a year ago under the presumption that the nationwide Cultural Olympiad legacy project that 'unlocks spaces for young people to do the things they love' merely involved getting future Justin Biebers into studios, future Wayne Rooneys onto football pitches, future Fearne Cottons on the air waves and future Damien Hirsts into exhibition halls (you get the point!). How very wrong I was.
somewhereto_ is all about that - and much more. Thousands have practiced and showcased their skills and passions through the thousands of spaces somewhereto_ has provided (and all for free no less), but highlights from my year have seen 'thinking way outside the box' occasions, each one illustrating what creative talent we can develop with young people if we open our minds with them just that bit further. Getting spoken word poets, free runners and boxers showcased in 10 Downing Street, animators with their work screened on the BT Tower's giant LED screens, and a dance crew performing at the Eden Project are pure somewhereto_ examples of how 'unconventional' can equal innovation.
This brings me to the latest instalment of somewhereto_ magic moments, as in October I flew to Rio de Janeiro with young dance crew TriN3rgy, who through a somewhereto_ nationwide talent competition (please hyperlink http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFc5gLtuhms), won a trip of a lifetime and chance to star in a short film directed by Anuvahood's BAFTA Rising Star winner Adam Deacon. The film called 'tRio', which features Francis Ngahu, Troy Cameron-Eastman and Krrishna Sivakumaran (all aged 17) showing off their moves on Copacabana Beach and a local Copacabana market, through the Rocinha favela, sliding down the Selaron Staircase, and opposite the iconic Christ the Redeemer, can now be watched below!
"The whole experience has changed our lives. A year ago we were just three friends dancing in school shows. We've now been to Rio and starred in this film which we'll be proud of forever," said Krrishna. Francis added, "Every location was unbelievable, I'm still dreaming of Rio" whilst Troy stated, "It was special from the moment we flew over the city and saw all the lights. I'll never forget it."
Adam Deacon, who may be more used to working with professional actors than three boys with no acting experience, was full of praise: "TriN3rgy were amazing, always full of energy despite the 30 degree heat every day, and even brought their own ideas to the table. They were great to work with, the tRio looks sick, and I just hope everyone enjoys it."
Another chapter from the world of somewhereto_ comes to a close, but expect much more success stories_, especially as the project has recently been given £7million by Big Lottery Fund (BIG) to support the expansion of somewhereto_ over the next four years.