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Bubble up! A Curious Commission with Niparun Nessa

We were delighted to work with Curious Minds as part of their Curious Commission programme.

The new initiative has been designed by Saphena Aziz, Director of Inclusion at Curious Minds with the aim of improving the diversity of the cultural education workforce in the North West by championing the work of Black, Asian, Ethnically Diverse and Disabled creatives.

Following a call out, 19 North West based freelance independent creatives were selected to work children and young people who are often excluded from the mainstream, to inspire and empower them through the arts.

We were delighted to have been selected to work with Niparun Nessa a creative writing and circus arts practitioner to work. We spoke to Niparun about her commission.

Tell us a bit about yourself

"I am a secondary teacher and also part-time freelancer. I finished teaching after 13 years in September to spend more time on my freelance and arts work. I deliver creative, aerial and circus arts workshops and classes to young people and adults as well as antiracism and equalities training to educators and community groups."

What do you hope to achieve with the Curious Commission?

"My aim with the commission is to share creative, circus and aerial arts with young people of colour. I have created workshops themed around identity and want to share ideas on how young people can express themselves and celebrate their identities, individuality and personality various art forms. I want young people to learn a new skill and create a space where they can feel safe and share what's important to them. My aim is to bring these workshops to different centres that cater to diverse communities."

Tell us about the work you've delivered for Afrocats?

"I have facilitated one poetry session and one circus session with the Afrocats group so far and it was great to see how much progress has been made in such a short time. By the end of the creative writing session every young person had created a beautiful poem celebrating themselves and really shared positive role models and factors that make them who they are.

"With the circus workshop we focussed on ribbon twirling and hooping and all the groups regardless of age and gender threw themselves in and had a go which included all the volunteers and staff too. It was great to see the smiles and laughter and the individual creativity everyone brought to this. I'm look forward to seeing how this progresses. It was also nice to hear that one of the boys who really enjoyed the session often opted out of some activities.

"The commission is still at the start and I feel very fortunate to be able to share my art and passion with communities. It is so important to create a space where we can have deep and meaningful conversations with young people about their identities and using the arts to support and scaffold these talks and provide an outlet for young people to express themselves."

Want to discover more about how we mentor emerging and diverse artists? Go to the Mentoring page to find out.

You can also help us fund our vital inclusive work for vulnerable young asylum seekers and refugees in Manchester by visiting our Support Us page.

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