Community to enjoy more music

Opera North working with communities. Picture: Tom Arber.
Opera North working with communities. Picture: Tom Arber.
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hundreds of people will enjoy easier access to music thanks to one of Europe’s leading arts organisations.

Six diverse groups from across Leeds have been announced as the 2017/18 Opera North Community Partners, giving their members access to a wealth of opera, music, live performance and workshops both at the company’s venues and their own throughout the coming year.

The new Community Partners include Angel of Youths which helps 16 to 30-year-olds, particularly from BME communities, to explore their passions and fulfil their potential; Aspire for people who are experiencing early signs of psychosis; and Bahar AFG Women’s Association which assists Afghan women and other new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds.

The other Community Partners are: BID Services which provides support for deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, partially-sighted and deafblind adults; LS14 Trust, a community-run organisation which contributes to the positive development of Seacroft; and Peer Support Service which offers services to people with dementia.

The scheme aims to increase accessibility to Opera North’s work among people who have barriers that may prevent them from engaging fully with the arts.

Madeleine Thorne, Opera North community engagement manager, said: “It’s been fantastic to see the increasing involvement of staff members across Opera North with each year of the project. We now have a growing team of community engagement champions who help to welcome community guests to performances, events and parties, as well as identifying and facilitating new opportunities for engagement across the company.”