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This #GivingTuesday, we are delighted to celebrate Déda’s projects with young people and families in Derby, which were recognised at the Mainframe Awards 2020 on Monday 30 November. Déda was shortlisted for Creativity for Good for our work on the STEAM project, and won Family Participation for the Full Moon Friday inclusive family programming at Derby Festé 2019. Thank you to the teams at Mainframe and The Big House and to the judges Anna Dever from The Albany and Simon Carnall from Derby County Community Trust.

As we launch our #GivetheGiftofDance campaign, inviting our friends and supporters to bring arts opportunities to young people, we reflect on the two projects. If would like to support our work, you can donate here to #GivetheGiftofDance and support young people in Derby by helping them access the arts.

Family Participation - Winner: Full Moon Friday

Full Moon Friday, the magnificent opening to Derby Festé’s twelfth annual festival, won Derby Mainframe’s 2020 Family Participation Award. The event was also recognised nationally as one of thirteen events shortlisted for Fantastic for Families 2020 Best Family Event award.

Hubbub Theatre Company about to release a biodegradable moon into the River Derwent as part of One Moon. Image credit: Graham Whitmore

Friday 17 September 2019 saw Derby Festé’s Full Moon Friday bring a range of regional and international high-quality art to the heart of Derby as part of the festival’s accessible family programme. Marking the 70th anniversary of the moon landing, Derby Festé 2019’s programme of largely free events took inspiration from space, tides and the moon.

First-up Splash!, created by Extraordinary Bodies and Diverse City delighted audiences on Cathedral Green with puppetry, physical theatre and circus. The water-themed show was created specifically for children and young people with disabilities and their families. Commissioned by East Midlands Splash! Consortium, led by the Mighty Creatives, Splash! put a Deaf and disabled aesthetic at the heart of the production process.

Hubbub Theatre Company performing One Moon underneath Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon at Derby Cathedral. Image credit: Graham Whitmore

Families were then encouraged to take a stroll up Amen Alley to Derby Cathedral, to experience the beauty of Luke Jerram’s installation Museum of the Moon. The acclaimed artwork attracted 70,000 visitors during its time in the cathedral and provided a thought-provoking setting to the excellent One Moon community participation event from 6 – 7.30pm with Hubbub Theatre Company.

One Moon, an artistic commission by Hubbub Theatre Company Director Jen Sumner, brought together over 500 people from across Derby and Derbyshire’s’ communities to create a choreographed human wave connecting the spectacular Museum of the Moon in Derby Cathedral to the River Derwent, highlighting the unbreakable connection between the moon, tides and humanity. This performance and participation event saw a beautiful moon crafted out of bio-degradable materials, flowing down the human wave to the river, accompanied by music, movement and circus performances from a diverse range of people including families from Derby and beyond.

“It was great to be a small part and see the joy on participants’ faces. Well done everyone involved” - One Moon participant

Close-Acts Theatre Company in the Full Moon Friday Parade in Derby City Centre. Image credit: Silviya Chovanska

International acts on the bill for Full Moon Friday included the amazing Los Galindos, from Catalonia, Udul with an exquisite performance of dance and contemporary circus inside a yurt. Netherlands- based outdoor theatre company Close-Act Theatre provided a grand finale to the evening with a procession of giant futuristic silver creatures leading a delighted family audience through Derby City Centre.

Derby Festé, attracts 30,000 visitors to the city each year benefiting the community of Derby, and beyond by enriching people’s lives with arts and culture, as well as spreading a sense of unity and community spirit.

Derby Festé 2019 was produced and presented by Déda with support from cultural partners in the city including Derby LIVE, QUAD, Derby City Council, Derby Theatre, Derby Cathedral, Marketing Derby, Visit Derby, Cathedral Quarter Derby, St Peter’s Quarter Derby and the University of Derby. Derby Festé is produced and presented in association with the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. Thank you to funders including Arts Council England, Derby City Council, Without Walls, Intu Derby, the University of Derby and Foundation Derbyshire.

The Splash! Consortium includes: Attenborough Arts Centre, Graeae Theatre Company, Canal and River Trust, Curve (Leicester Theatre Trust), Déda Derby, Lincoln Drill Hall, NEO Learning, Nottingham Playhouse, Royal and Derngate Theatre, University of Derby and Hubbub Theatre.

A special acknowledgment and thank you to former Déda Director and former Artistic Director of Derby Festé Stephen Munn for leading on Full Moon Friday.

Creativity for Good - Shortlisted: STEAM Project

In 2019, Déda worked with Derby Rolls-Royce to use arts to make the STEM subjects more accessible. Déda worked with three primary schools across Derby to achieve the following six aims.

Circus artist Matt Pang with children from one of the STEAM partner schools. Image credit: Déda

Improve academic outcomes in STEAM subjects and especially improving outcomes for disadvantaged young people in STEAM. We did this by presenting a highly accessible and engaging piece of theatre by Matt Pang an artist for who STEAM is at the heart of his practice. The participatory workshop aimed at year 5 pupils was designed to captivate and engage children in STEAM more directly by showing how an understanding of and skills in science, engineering, technology and maths can be linked directly with the arts. This rich and engaging experience involved experts from the performing arts sectors working alongside experts from STEM based industry partner Rolls-Royce.

Tsamajia Forsythe-Gidharry, apprentice engineer for Rolls Royce and Clare Limb, Head of Dance Development and Learning at Déda with children from one of the STEAM partner schools. Image credit: Déda

Present a better gender balance in children and young people following STEAM subjects. Déda did this by ensuring that all children at KS2 were able to see the interactive performance and that we actively encouraged both girls and boys to attend the STEAM Clubs. Déda will also tried to demonstrate balanced gender representation in our role models from the STEAM Partnership.

Create a unique STEAM partnership between learning providers, arts providers and industry. We did this by ensuring that all of the partners were actively engaged in and have ownership of the project. Déda created an innovative participatory workshop involving co-design with Matt Pang, Rolls-Royce and Déda’s Dance Development and Learning Team. The partnership provided joint training to ensure that we shared knowledge and best practice across our STEAM partnership in order to make the STEAM clubs have the best chance of success.

Improve/reinforce school-based teaching and learning in STEAM via shared CPD sessions with the STEAM Partnership. This will provide a long-term legacy for the project as teachers will be enabled to deliver STEAM clubs and/or teach STEAM subjects in a more interactive way past the life of this project.

Raise awareness of positive pathways in STEAM, for example, through STEAM information, advice and guidance for young people. Déda did this through demonstrating to children how STEAM can be applied to an interactive performance. Also through using the participatory workshop and STEAM club sessions as vehicles to raise awareness of different STEAM based pathways to children.

Isobel Davis, Dance Development and Learning Coordinator at Déda with children from one of the STEAM partner schools. Image credit: Déda

Build a strong evidence base of effective STEAM practice which includes the voice of children and young people. We did this by enabling the children to design their own piece of performance involving dance, contemporary circus, science, technology, engineering and maths. The young people taking part in the STEAM Clubs co-produced their projects.

"I’d work for Rolls Royce or Déda as they are both creative jobs and I’m a creative person" - STEAM participant

"I enjoyed the participation of professionals throughout the entire course. This allowed the children to see adults in a variety of jobs and professions and further their own aspirations." - Project partner school teacher

The STEAM project was funded by the Derby Opportunity Area through a Derby City Council STEAM Grant.

Find out more about the STEAM project here:


Déda bring a huge variety of cultural experiences to families, children and young people. If would like to support our work, you can #GivetheGiftofDance, and support young people in Derby by helping them access the arts.

£5 can give a child their first experience of dance

£10 can help provide materials and equipment for covid safe dance workshops in schools

£20 can help us bring free, accessible online performances to families in the safety of their homes

£100 can support a young person to follow their dance dream with a bursary

Donate here

No matter how big or small your donation, every penny helps us to make a difference to people’s lives through dance and the arts. Thank you.

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