– providing young people with a creative platform to theatrically showcase their aspirations for a sustainable future – 

The Grange Festival’s education department is collaborating with the WWF on its groundbreaking Future Visions project. Building on its track record of working with young people to artistically challenge contemporary subjects, the imaginative format of this latest project will showcase a vision of the future in which the environmental crisis has been overcome and humans live in harmony with nature. The aim is to generate conversations amongst young people and harness creativity to map out a path to a positive future and their role in shaping it.  

Learning@TheGrange will work with 200-250 young people (aged 7-23 years) from schools and organisations across Hampshire to explore different landscapes on Earth. The project will commence with a presentation from WWF experts highlighting the uniqueness of different global habitats and providing a factual base supported by scientific evidence. Through interactive workshops led by Learning@TheGrange’s team of creative professionals, the students will respond to the issues and challenges identified by writing text, composing music and choreographing dance to create an original piece which represents their vision of the future. The outcome will be a collection of short films representing the voice of young people and which imaginatively illustrate the kind of future they want.  Throughout 2021, the ‘Super year of Nature‘, the films will be shown at several international climate change conferences, including COP26. 

In addition to this, instrumentalists from Hampshire County Youth Orchestra will compose an orchestral piece in response to their chosen habitat under the direction of leading British composer Jonathan Dove, and the finished piece will be choreographed by Wessex Dance who will respond to both the music and the subject matter.   

At a time when arts education is suffering, Learning@TheGrange hopes to leverage this project to demonstrate the value of creativity and originality, two of the World Economic Forum’s top 15 skills required for the future workplace. The project will be taking place from the end of April to mid-June 2021, Covid restrictions permitting, and each group’s work will be filmed and edited into short films by Peanut&Crumb, with footage provided by Silverback Films for the Future Visions project. 

The creative team workshop leaders are directors Hazel Gould, Karen Gillingham, and Robert Gildon, and composers John Barber, Jessica Maryon Davies, Peter Letanka, and Jonathan Dove.  

Susan Hamilton, Director of Learning@TheGrange commented: “We know that we must act now to tackle the environmental crisis the world is facing. And it is young people who will be the true stewards of our planet in years to come. Future Visions aims to give young people a voice to express their vision for their future. A project link between an arts organisation and a leading conservation institution might not be obvious.Through creative activity, we hope to encourage young people to think outside the box, open their minds and broaden their perspectives – important life skills.” 

Matt Lawsen-Daw, Education Manager, WWF-UK commented: “WWF is delighted to be working with Learning@TheGrange on this dynamic and creative journey. The current environmental crisis means that we must make changes to the way we live, but moving away from one reality means creating a new one. The world of the future will be shaped by the imagination, creativity and passion of the next generation, and it is a challenge that should be approached with hope and not fear. Projects such as this are essential to inspire young people to dream of a better future, express it to inspire others, and then seek to make their dream a reality.” 

Website – YouTube – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram