An Armagh based Performing Arts Academy have been awarded a £3,500 grant which will help deliver a year-long academic programme to the equivalent of ten young people.
DFK (Drama for Kids) Performing Arts Academy, a drama group based in Ardmore Recreation Centre in Armagh City, have recently been awarded the funding from Hope for Youth NI.
Hope for Youth NI are an organisation who offer grants to Northern Ireland based organisations that provide opportunities for young people to come together from different backgrounds to work together on creative and practical projects.
According to their website, they; “provide funding to support art, drama, music, and sports projects that allow opportunities for young people to work together, learn new skills, build friendships, and develop their confidence and creativity.”
DFK Performing Arts Academy describe themselves as a ‘cross-community, all-ability’ group that deliver creative and performing arts programmes for children and young people.
They provide equal opportunities to access drama, dancing, singing and technology in Armagh and the surrounding area. Class content is tailored towards age and ability and DFK strive to keep their group fresh and modern by exploring new opportunities to engage their youth.
DFK have an ethos of ‘equality of opportunity’ which they say is the “backbone and strength” of everything that they do.
Back in June, the Academy staged their first big show after the COVID pandemic hiatus, where they collected money for the Southern Area Hospice, alongside working towards their goal of acquiring a new stage.
DFK Performing Arts told Armagh I:
“The grant from Hope for Youth will help DFK to engage with young people in a safe environment to bring them out of their shell so they can interact with their peers, learn new skills, form new friendships and build self-confidence to perform on stage and learn about working backstage.
“The grant will sponsor the equivalent of ten youths for a full academic year of 39 weeks, from September 2022 to June 2023.
“Our youth will explore situations & characters, which helps to process real life and improves self-confidence, self-esteem and general health & well-being within their peer group. Through the sponsored places, they will create more colour and diversity in everything DFK will produce over the 39 weeks.
“Hope for Youth funding will enable a number of important outcomes for our DFK youth that will help to build and benefit our communities, both within the DFK Family and the wider local community”, they said.
“The young people will improve their oral communication skills and creative problem-solving abilities via improvisation, and through performance work, they will become more self-disciplined and motivated, with an attitude that is much more than ‘let’s just get it done’.
“Our youth will develop skills that will benefit them throughout their lives, including commitment, teamwork, time management, adaptability and flexibility and will learn about accepting rules and respecting others.”