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Prior's Court launches fundraising appeal for new performing arts centre

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Prior’s Court has launched a fundraising appeal to support the construction of a new performing arts centre at the educational and residential care centre for young people with complex autism.

The Let Me Shine Performing Arts Centre will feature adapted facilities to allow Prior’s Court residents to fully access opportunities in music, dance and drama.

The centre will include a variety of different features, such as a drama and theatre space, two music rooms, a dance studio and an outdoor learning area.

Artist's impression of the new performing arts centre (56658119)
Artist's impression of the new performing arts centre (56658119)

Prior’s Court’s director of young people’s learning, Sue Piper, said: “Creativity is not bound by language or social conventions making it a powerful outlet for our young people with complex autism – who often are pre or non-verbal – to communicate their needs, expressions and feelings.

“Ultimately, access to the arts is a right, not a privilege. And by creating this centre, we hope to deliver that right to our young people, and provide access opportunities for other young people with autism who do not attend Prior’s Court.

“Our ambition is to use the centre to research best practice around providing support to access the arts, and sharing these learnings with others in the education and performing arts sectors for the benefit of people with autism, and their families, across the country and beyond.”

Artist's impression of the new performing arts centre (56658128)
Artist's impression of the new performing arts centre (56658128)

One aim of the centre is to mimic a theatre environment to prepare young people to access arts venues in the community successfully.

As well as this, the drama area will have specialised acoustics and light controls to better support inclusion, the music rooms will have space for music therapy, and the dance studio will feature retracting hidden mirrors and a sprung floor.

Head of fundraising Karen White added: “This centre has the potential to transform the lives of young people with autism across the country – both through having direct contact with the facility, and indirectly through our sharing of best practice learning.

“The performing arts has provided many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for young people at Prior’s Court – from recording their own music single at Abbey Road Studios to taking part in music festivals.”

Those interesting in donating should contact fundriaisng@priorscourt.org.uk or visit this link https://bit.ly/3syh18H

As of May 16, Prior's Court has raised £634,000 of its £1,530,375 goal.

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