“My confidence began to grow…I am now head girl at my school, and I just got an A* when I took my GCSE English early!”
– Tsote, Greenwich
Being involved in the XLP Arts Showcase has been a life changing experience for my students. Not only does XLP give them a professional platform on which they can share and celebrate their talents, the whole experience accelerates growth in their confidence and ability to perform” – Joanne Bird, Leader of Creative& Performing Arts, Langdon Park School, Tower Hamlets
XLP has been working with young people using the performing arts and staging Arts Showcase events in London for over 16 years. Every year we work with over 600 young people aged 11-18 across the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Islington and Camden.
The Arts Showcase project utilises music, dance, drama, comedy, rap and poetry, in order to provide a platform for young people to express the issues they are facing, as well as unearthing some incredible hidden talent.
Young performers are selected, either through auditions held within schools and pupil referral units or on the recommendation of their teachers. Rather than simply copying celebrities the young people are encouraged to express the challenges they face and to tell their stories through their chosen art form. XLP staff work with the young people to prepare their showcase performances through coaching and rehearsals. This process helps to instil a sense of discipline, provide a positive focus, and build their confidence; skills which can contribute to improved educational achievement, behaviour and attitude.
The Arts Showcase events are hosted in each borough and bring families, teachers and young people from local schools and inner city communities together to celebrate the achievements and talent of their young people. The best acts from each borough then compete in the annual Arts Showcase Final, held in the Mermaid Theatre. Usually attended by over 600 people, this final event uniquely links communities, helps to overcome postcode tensions and celebrates different cultural traditions.
This programme has met with the strong approval of teachers, councillors, politicians and the police, not to mention the young people themselves for whom the experience has often been life changing.