Never let it be said there's nothing for young people in London to do. The city's cultural institutions run a huge range of workshops and activities aimed at teenagers, covering all manner of creative pursuits. From DJing to dance, painting to performance, video editing to event production there are opportunities all year round to hone some skills, make new friends and get behind the scenes at London's biggest venues.
The Roundhouse hosts an impressive range of workshops and courses for participants aged 11-25 covering music, creative media and performing arts, all based at the high-tech Roundhouse Studios. Projects include music production, filming and editing, journalism, drama and circus skills. You can audition for the Roundhouse Choir or Music Collective, try out radio, circus and DJing at weekly drop-in nights (only £2 per session) or contribute to the award-winning Roundhouse Radio. Check out the Roundhouse website for full details.
The SLG has a number of ongoing, often refreshingly quirky, projects for teenagers. The gallery's Art Assassins, a peer-led group of 13- to 19-year olds, meet every Thursday with the aim of gaining an insight into the workings of a contemporary art gallery, collaborating with artists and curators to create a programme of events for other young people. To find out about joining the Art Assassins email email@example.com or see the South London Gallery website.
BAC's Homegrown is a creative programme for 12- to 25-year-olds, held every Thursday evening (5-7pm ages 12-17; 7.30-9.30pm ages 18-25). Drop-in workshops are led by professional theatre-makers and musicians who can help participants develop their skills as well as giving an insight into working in the theatre. Each workshop costs £4 and for 2011 the autumn term begins on Sept 29. Go to the BAC website for more info.
The Old Vic provides mentoring and nurturing for new creative talent aiming for a career in theatre. The New Voices Club provides the chance for young writers, producers, actors and directors to meet like-minded peers at a series of social events, masterclasses and workshops run year-round by industry professionals including the theatre’s artistic director and Hollywood veteran Kevin Spacey. See the Old Vic website for full details.
The Tate Collective is an initiative offering young people aged 15-25 an opportunity to discuss, make, critique and explore art. Participants can work collaboratively with artists to exchange new across art platforms and new media in response to exhibitions at Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Visit the Tate website to find out more.
Dulwich Picture Gallery hosts an array of arty activities aimed at young people, ranging from one-day intensives to after-school courses. Projects include portfolio development, life drawing, block printing, mosaics, quilting and more. Find the current programme on the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.
Top chamber music venue Wigmore Hall hosts a range of workshops and activities giving 8- to 25-year-olds the chance to join in with chamber music and song as performers, listeners and composers. The venue is also recruiting a team of Young Producers to dream up, curate and produce a 45-minute gig to take place in 2012. Go to the Wigmore Hall website for more info.
The Saatchi Gallery hosts interactive workshops for families or groups of friends based around the gallery's current exhibition. Workshops can be booked via the gallery's education department: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Theatre’s Entry Pass is a young person’s membership scheme that offers £5 tickets to NT shows, free pre- and post-show talks and backstage tours, and exclusive access to a range of theatre-related workshops. Age 16-25. The National Theatre website has details of the latest events.
The Half Moon's inclusive policy places particular emphasis on engaging those often excluded by ethnicity and disabilities. Their broad participatory programme, which goes out to youth theatres and schools, is a vital extension of this. Within their East End hub, two studios provide a calendar of performance for children aged from six months, while kids can join one of a range of youth theatre groups. See the full programme on the Half Moon Young People's Theatre website.
Somerset House's Studio Days are for young people aged 13-18. Regular workshops exploring painting, drawing, design, printmaking and sculpture are supported by experienced art practitioners. Find out what classes are coming up on the Somerset House website.
The NPG's Young People's Programme includes practical art, music, photography, poetry and dance workshops, led by well-known artists, which aim to explore various aspects of portraiture, inspired by the gallery’s collection and exhibitions. Day-long Sunday Sessions are held on the first Sunday of the month, while holiday workshops take place over two or three days, usually culminating in a performance or private view. The free-to-join creative Youth Forum – a social group for budding artists – meets on the first Thursday evening of the month. All events and workshops are free and run throughout the year. Go to the National Portrait Gallery website for more info.