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A group of young artists in Newcastle have successfully achieved Arts Awards – a national qualification which recognises the skills they have developed in their chosen arts activity.

The seven young people are all members of Skimstone Arts’ Young Artist Collective, where they work alongside professional artists to develop their own creative skills and practice.

Peter Saaremets, Young People’s Programme Manager at Skimstone Arts, said: “Six members of our Young Artist Collective were awarded their Bronze Arts Award and one achieved their Silver Award.

“It’s a well-deserved recognition of the real artistic ability of these young people, and the skills they are developing in leadership and management.”

As part of their Arts Awards, the Young Artists Collective curated an exhibition of their own photography, performance and creative writing called Let Freedom Ring. The work on show was inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s speech at Newcastle University in 1967 and was commissioned by Juice Festival.

Ben Chilcott, who was awarded a Bronze Arts Award, said: “It was great to get the award after months of hard work.”

The national Arts Award Moderator described Let Freedom Ring as “a very exciting project with excellent development for a young person…these are very high level Bronze Arts Awards.”

There are five Arts Award levels: Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The artists who achieved the Bronze Arts Award were Michaela Baird, Emilia Allen, Ben Chilcott, Calum Stevenson, Adrian Cadman and Alice Forbes, while Phillip Melody achieved the Silver Arts Award.

Skimstone Arts’ Young Artist Collective members explore art forms including photography, art, music and film. They regularly work alongside professional artists and the Young Artist Collective band, Reality Boots, released their first album in 2014.

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