Getting creative in a time of Covid I

n our final feature this month, we take a look at music and the performing arts in

(and out of) schools, and are delighted to hear from Miguel Doforo, creative director and founder of MD Creatives, an independent, vocational education provider based in St Helens, Liverpool City Region, who discusses the positive impact self- expression and extra-curricular activity can have on young people. The power and impact of the performing arts

on our young people cannot be understated - now more than ever. The Covid pandemic has disrupted all our lives -

with self-expression, self-esteem and day-to-day connectivity with our peers severely affected, particularly for young people who are still finding their feet in the world. Covid is ripping through every aspect of society, with unemployment rife, especially for those aged 16-24, making competition for jobs for school leavers increasingly more difficult. Our youngsters were already under a lot of pressure before the pandemic, so you can only imagine what they are feeling now. Within this context, the performing arts are

essential in the wellbeing of our young people, providing them with a release from day-to-day life, an escape from reality, an opportunity to connect with their contemporaries, and the hope of a better future - and in autumn 2020, we

32 November 2020

could all do with a bit of that! Throughout my twenty year career, from the

MD Productions days to now, I have remained a huge advocate of the performing arts, and have witnessed first-hand the positive impact self- expression and extra-curricular activity can have on young people, particularly those who feel like they are on the outskirts of society looking in. Many of our ‘Creatives’ see MD as their safe space and the only place they can truly be

themselves - that alone makes me feel like I am doing my job. The performing arts helps build resilience and

open the mind creatively - and it is my personal belief that it is equally as important as maths, English or science on the school syllabus, because it helps teach life lessons and create well-rounded individuals. This is despite it often being the first thing to disappear from the syllabus when financial cuts are made.

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