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This spring, each of Derby's five Reimagine Hubs is taking the chance to share their work, learning and experiences from the ambitious city-wide project, with the spotlight on a different Hub every month.

From April to May, the team at Déda will share our journey with Reimagine2020 and the Derwent/Chaddesden Hub; from Zoom choreography through the first lockdown, to socially distanced workshops in our theatre last autumn and returning to work with schools this spring.

Déda's four part blog series will be told through the voices of some of the young people and artists that we have worked with, along with the members of our team who have pulled the project together behind the scenes.

In the third of Déda's four blogs, we look back at the videos created as part of the Reimagine project from January, when the UK moved back into lockdown the project had to reach young people remotely.


During the first five months of 2021, Déda's Reimagine artists created activity which could be accessed remotely, to help with mental, physical and creative wellbeing. This activity included:

  • A series of Emotional WellbeingToolkit Videos with Learning Coordinator [Reimagine] Simon Marshall available to watch for free here.
  • A video series on reimagining a journey that was created for primary schools in the Derwent and Chaddesden Hubs by Simon Marshall, Dance Development and Learning Coordinator for Déda Isobel Davis and freelance artist Danni Chell.
  • A creative tour of Déda with Simon Marshall and Isobel Davis from Déda's Dance Development and Learning team.

Simon Marshall, Learning Coordinator [Reimagine] tells us more in this video (subtitles available):


We chatted with Reimagine artists Isobel and Danni about creating the video resources and what they hope they have offered to young people.

What were the chief learning outcomes of creating these kind of online resources?

Isobel: Our chief outcome is re-engaging young people with arts opportunities. They’ve had a period of their lives in lockdown, so we’re supporting their transitions into the new normal. All of our sessions have supported the social, emotional, mental wellbeing of our young people.

Danni: The main aim for me with the Reimagine sessions is to enable young people to use their creative voices and find the confidence to be able to share their vision with others. The sessions include warm ups, mobilisations, creative exploration, time to perform and finally a short cool down.

What kind of impact and benefit do you hope the resources have had?

Isobel: I hope they take away that they can be creative anywhere, and I hope it gives them inspiration to join in arts activities – things they feel enrich them!

Danni: The sessions engage our imaginations, requiring a level of focus which can be tricky at home. I tried to find ways to keep encouraging throughout the recorded session. I have also explored visualisation and expressing in regards to feelings, trying to include lots of examples to prompt responses.

Were there any challenges delivering in this way?

Isobel: The challenge has been the lack of live response, you have to pre-empt how a young person might take the video, not having them to bounce off.

Danni: When trying to record these kinds of sessions, compared to being in a shared space, the challenges are making this safe space we normally find in the classroom where we are free to create, move and express. You're aiming to make the young people feel supported even though you cannot see them and keep verbally encouraging and responding to what they are doing in the moment.’

And what legacy do you hope this work has had?

Isobel: I hope those videos can be used by a young person for any part of their lives – lockdown’s one barrier, but what about illness, anxiety, and other obstacles? I hope the legacy is that young people continue to access creative arts and performance.

Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, one of the recipients of the Reimagine Journey videos were grateful to receive the work:

"Thank you for all of the activities that you have been sending through to us over the past few weeks, they have been very appreciated."


The Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit videos were circulated by primary and secondary schools, as well as youth organisations, wellbeing networks and across Déda's channels.

"We enjoyed your Emotional Wellbeing videos - we passed them on and have been playing them in formtime."

"Thank you, these will be really appreciated by our young people"


The Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit series has been viewed over 350 times and has inspired Déda's future work with Dani Bello of Bello Mind and Soul, a Creative Wellbeing Practitioner based in Derby.

Watch the first Emotional Toolkit Video below.

About Reimagine2020 and Reimagine

Reimagine

Reimagine is an ambitious, strategically connected, performance programme delivered with young people in the city's areas of lowest cultural engagement.

Through the project, Derby’s performing arts organisations collaboratively support the young people across 5 ‘hubs’ through progressive encounters with inspirational artists and settings.

The young people will produce their own work, reimagine everyday spaces and author the story of their lives in innovative and extraordinary performances.

As new skills are nurtured, families will be engaged, teachers will gain new knowledge and the young will uncover routes to creative careers.

The five Reimagine Hubs are...

  • Abbey, working with Derby Theatre
  • Chaddesden/Derwent, working with Déda
  • Normanton/Arboretum, working with Artcore
  • Sinfin, working with Baby People
  • Virtual Hub, working with Sinfonia Viva and SEND schools (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

Reimagine has been made possible through £1.1 million of investment from Arts Council England through the Young People’s Performance Fund, with additional support from Derby’s Opportunity Area, Derby County in the Community Trust and Derby City Council.

Reimagine2020

In spring 2020, Derby Theatre, Baby People, Déda, Artcore, and Wrongsemble called out to young people and families to reimagine a future after Covid-19 and get involved in a new digital creative project during lockdown.

There were 3 ways to get involved to make a creative response to this question: how would you reimagine the world differently when lockdown ends?

The project has now ended, but there will be more opportunities to get involved soon!

Find out more at https://www.derbytheatre.co.uk...

Join us next week for the last blog in the series, where Simon Marshall, Learning Coordinator [Reimagine] shares his experience of working on the project.

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