This year’s National Skills Academy signature project, The Design Challenge, to launch in Cardiff
Creative & Cultural Skills has teamed up with Welsh National Opera to deliver the 2019-20 signature project for National Skills Academy (NSA) leadership colleges. On Thursday 17 October, staff from each of the colleges will meet in Cardiff to learn more about the project, and the relevance it has for skills development in the sector.
Welsh National Opera (WNO) is Europe’s largest touring company. Annually, they give more than 120 performances of eight main stage operas to a combined audience of around 150,000 people.
WNO creates large scale opera productions throughout the year each with their own set and costumes. The sets are used for rehearsals and then a run of performances at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, before being loaded onto trucks and toured around the United Kingdom.
The Design Challenge invites students from leadership colleges to design a concept for a set for one of the touring productions in WNO’s spring 2020 season.
It’s not just design and theatre students who will be taking part in the challenge. Learners from all disciplines will be encouraged to get involved. The goal of the project is to help young people to develop vital creative skills as makers and do-ers, and build confidence, self-belief, teamwork, resilience and communication skills.
Entries will be judged by a panel from WNO, including the Artistic Director and Technical Director and the winners will be celebrated at an event in the summer term of 2020.
Shortlisted entries will be displayed in the Wales Millennium Centre on the opening night of a WNO production.
CPD for college staff
The project is designed not only to help enhance the skills of the learners involved, but also to provide CPD opportunities for tutors.
On Thursday 17 October, staff from each NSA leadership college have been invited to a planning and CPD session held in Cardiff Theatrical Services, joint hosted by Creative & Cultural Skills and WNO. This is a chance for colleges to gain insight into the current skills gaps and challenges within a major touring opera company.
Staff will learn more about the project and understand the process design which they will be expected to guide their students through. They will find out what the brief is for the 2019-20 project and take part in a workshop on how to interpret a brief.
Sarah Hughes, Head of Skills Academy Wales, said, “This CPD day is a great opportunity for tutors from NSA colleges to gain insight into the current skills gaps and challenges within a major touring opera company. It’s also a chance for them to develop a thorough understanding of this year’s brief so that they are prepared to help students from a range of disciplines to approach the challenge.”