Here at The Met, inspiring the next generation of artists and performers is one of our biggest priorities. As a charity we work hard to support our community, and we invest between £80,000 to £100,000 each year into our outreach work which is designed to get people of all ages and abilities involved with the arts.  

Creative Learning at The Met encompasses several different areas of work including theatre groups, music tuition, providing a home for external groups and supporting local artists.  

We are a hub for quality participatory drama and theatre for children, young people and adults with and without disabilities. Bury Youth Theatre, Aiming High and Met Express all meet on a weekly basis to support children, young people and learning-disabled adults to explore their creativity, find new talents and make friends for life in a creative and inspiring environment. 

We have a thriving programme of music tuition available at The Met from one to one sessions in guitar  and harmonica to the chance to perform and enhance your skills by playing in an ensemble with the brilliant Metro Jazz. We also offer a six-week Introduction Course to Sound Recording in our purpose-built Edwin Street Studio. 

The Met also hosts a variety of external groups who support different communities to engage with arts and culture. These groups include Engage2Stage, a theatre company for visually impaired adults; Uniquely Us, a creative group for autistic women; POG, an LGBT+ support group; Sara Lucarelli who delivers Family Yoga; and Alfa Education who provide participatory music workshops and music provision in schools across Greater Manchester.  

We support Suzanna Law and her Pop-Up Play Shop in Radcliffe, and story-teller Oliver Bishop (Yan Tan Tethera), both of whom are professional artists creating innovative participatory work in the local community.  

We are able to deliver this programme thanks to the support of our members, corporate sponsors and through donations from the public 

How have workshop groups been working during the pandemic?  The workshop groups that meet at The Met all thrive on interaction and face to face contact. During the summer months, our leaders worked hard to ensure that our participants still had the chance to engage in their groups online. As of September, BYT and Aiming High have been back to face to face delivery and all our groups are working towards exciting projects.  

During the initial lockdown, BYT took part in ‘The Coronavirus Time Capsule’, a national online project bringing together youth theatres all over the UK. You can view all the videos that BYT created on their own YouTube playlist

BYT are now back to face to face working in COVID-secure, socially distanced workshops. You can find out all about the group on their page. Places are currently closed to enable us to maintain a consistent bubble but we will re-open to new members in the New Year. You can contact us if  you would like a place on the waiting list. The groups have been working towards film and spoken word projects this term and we can’t wait to share their work. 

Thanks to Children in Need Booster funding, Aiming High continued to meet online throughout the summer. They are now back to meeting face to face in the venue in mini-groups, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund. Our leaders are continuing to make sure that workshops are as accessible as possible including making filmed sessions available to anyone self-isolating. They will be creating a short film at the end of the term. 

Met Express have been meeting and creating online since July and will continue to do so until the company are happy to come back to the venue. We have been able to provide these sessions thanks to the support of the United We Stream fund and the National Lottery Community Fund as well as help from Bury’s Adult Education Service who helped some of our members get online. Met Express will be sharing their special Advent Calendar films online through their Facebook page in December. 

Engage 2 Stage launched their new website in May and, thanks to support from the Bury Council COVID-19 support grant and other subsequent funding, were able to start running online workshops for their members and some new participants who joined in from around the country. 

Drama for Younger Children

In August we ran a successful three day summer school for children aged 6-10. This programme enabled children to work together in a COVID-safe space to create brand new pieces of drama inspired by James and the Giant Peach and Commedia Dell’Arte. This October we are back with another day of drama fun, bringing children together to explore spooky stories.

Greater Manchester Creative Care Kits

We have been part of a group of arts organisations across Greater Manchester who have contributed to artistic packages that have been sent out to young people and older adults who cannot access the online creative work that has been so prolific during this period. Information and downloadable versions of the kits can be found here. The second young people’s kit will be live soon.

Artsmark 

The Met, as a cultural venue at the heart of the local community in Bury values working in partnership with our local schools. As such, we are now part of the Artsmark Partnership Programme. Artsmark is a national kitemark for schools that demonstrates our commitment to cultural education. Being an Artsmark partner means that we, as an organisation, understand the award and the steps that schools need to undertake to achieve it and are ready with a range of offer that speaks to the different elements of the journey. We have a range of information available to how we can support schools, if you would like to have a conversation about your Artsmark journey, please contact Education and Learning Manager Steph Meskell-Brocken on steph.meskellbrocken@themet.org.uk

How Can You Help?

We need your support to help ease the transition back to face to face sessions for our participants, help us reach out to more groups in the local community to provide creative support and help more artists profile their work. You can help us to support our community by donating to our Coronavirus Recovery Fund.

The Met Recovery Fund

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The Met is a stunning, award winning live music venue noted nationally for its…