Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting MAP (Music and Arts Production) Charity – an innovative charity in central Leeds. They are a pioneering alternative provider in creative education, offering qualifications and first-hand experience to young people at risk of exclusion from mainstream schools and providing a space for practical talents, functional skills and artistic expression.
The charity is based in the stunning Grade II listed Hope Foundry, which dates back to 1831 and was once a home for a range of multi-disciplinary craftspeople. MAP’s vision is to return Hope Foundry to a space of making and creating – a piece of history brought back to life to benefit all ages in the local community.
Silk screen printing, rooftop aquaponic gardening, creative media and sound engineering are just some of the activities that add to the vibe of this unique environment. These provide the foundation for its education provision, training young people aged 11-16 years to BTEC level in Art & Design, Creative Media & Music as well as honing functional skills in Maths and English. The aim of MAP is to help learners build their confidence, gain qualifications and eventually re-engage with mainstream education.
Enhancing the charity’s creative ecosystem, are a hive of studios and workshops inhabited by independent businesses, artists and practitioners who feedback into the educational ethos by offering free workshops and work experience, strengthening the skills and experience of the young people.
As Tom Smith guided me around Hope Hall, it was absolutely apparent that his vision and energy drive the success of MAP Charity. Since 2008, through his sense of responsibility to his hometown, Tom has dedicated himself to inspiring these young people to reach their potential through a unique model.
Let’s hope that MAP Charity can continue to forge an innovative blueprint for creative education and charities in the future.
For more information or details on how you can get involved – MAP Charity