Birmingham’s shoppers to get a surprise as youths display talents

Birmingham’s shoppers to get a surprise as youths display talents

On 12th March, young people are going to take to the streets to persuade Birmingham’s shoppers of the positive contribution that they make to local communities in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Starting from 11am, young people are going to take on the Ultimate Challenge being run by charity Envision and their Truth about Youth campaign. The Challenge will see twenty teams of young people hit the busy streets of Birmingham City Centre in a scavenger hunt style quest to convince people of the beneficial role young people play in the life of communities.

Throughout the day, over 100 young people will also take turns to inhabit a shop window at the We Are Birmingham store on King’s Parade. The shop, more accustomed to selling inanimate arts and crafts from Birmingham artists, will spend the day selling the virtues of the talents of local young people. Inspired by the Fourth Plinth in London, young people will take it in turns to perform, present and pose to challenge negative stereotypes about the “ASBO generation”.

Many will remember the buzz surrounding the 2,900 people who each spent an hour atop the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2009 as part of Anthony Gormley’s winning entry to (literally) populate the empty space that now holds a series of temporary artworks. Others may remember the idea being replicated at the Ambridge village fête in The Archers. So it is with some anticipation that we wait to see what ingenious and entertaining pieces of performance art the young Brummies come up with.

Charityzine will be on the ground on the day to cover the events and a report will be published here in due course.

Envision helps young people take the opportunity to make a difference. The charity was established in 2000 by four young people who wanted to challenge the stereotype that young people are apathetic and disengaged.

Envision’s programmes now support 13-19 year olds from over 123 schools and colleges in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and London, helping them design their own local community social action projects tackling issues ranging from street crime to climate change. Truth About Youth is being funded by The Co-operative Foundation and seeks to challenge negative attitudes towards young people in the UK.

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