While adolescence is a period of vulnerability, it is also a time of enormous creativity, one that should be acknowledged, nurtured and celebrated. In 2019 Wigan’s future artists will draw upon award winning neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s cutting-edge and award winning research about what happens inside the adolescent brain, what her team’s experiments have revealed about our behaviour, and how we relate to each other and our environment as we go through this period of our lives. The brain develops during adolescence, and previously unknown details of this process mean society’s treatment of the often-maligned group should change. Self-absorption, hyper-sensitivity and risk-taking, she explains, are all reasonable responses when the biological purpose of adolescence is the creation of a sense of self. This vital process of the creation of oneself will be explored within the context of Wigan’s own cultural transformation in collaboration with young artists. The young artists of today are the imagineers of our future.
The legacy of Wigan’s historical investment in cultural education and activity for Wigan’s youth continues to define the Borough’s future. The Wigan International Jazz Festival was formed in 1986 in response to the region’s growing audience for jazz and big band music, created in part by the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. Featuring many of the world’s finest jazz artists, the iconic event has acquired a reputation for being one of the finest jazz Festivals in the world.
Wigan’s leading cultural curators, producers and artists all attribute a lifelong passion of the arts from visits and encounters at Drumcroon, The Turnpike, tuition from the music service, or playing in Pemberton Brass Band. The 5 year plan aspires to ignite The Fire Within a new generation of Wigan’s future artists, creatives, producers and audiences. Wigan Youth Zone’s arts programme, Wigan College of the arts, and all the cultural organisation’s programmes in our Borough keep this legacy burning.