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Meet the YO Arts Fest team: The Hosts

Katy

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“We’ve got more creative talent from the south west than you can shake a stick at.”

 

Pravanya Pillay and Nia Evans are the two amazing hosts of the YO Arts Fest, and this dynamic duo is sure to add a sense of energy, vibrancy and spontaneity to the event. Pravanya, who now resides in Bristol, is a performer, social activist, and comedian whose past projects have earned her recognition into the Bristol BME Power List. Pravanya met Nia through improv classes during University, which helped build Nia’s confidence as an artist, and the pair has been working and performing together ever since.

The duo is hosting the YO Arts Fest and whilst entertaining the audience, they will be highlighting the different organisations, connections and fun events happening throughout the day. The event is specially designed and hosted by young people, for young people, with the collaboration between The Diverse Artists Network and PAPER Arts allowing young creatives to have fun and venture out into the creative arts industry. As hosts of the event, we wanted to discover more about this talented twosome and learn further about the YO Arts Fest.

 

How would you describe your act? 

 

Pravanya: “Erratic.”

Nia: “Full of props.”

Pravanya: “Lots of props.”

Nia: “Gimmicky?”

Pravanya: “A lot of gimmicks!”

Nia: “A lot of character diving in and out.”

Pravanya: “Yeah there’s loads of… character heavy [content].”

Nia: “Moustache… just moustache.”

 

 

Can you tell us about why you decided to get involved in the YO Arts Fest, and why you think the event is a good opportunity for young creatives?

 

Pravanya: “There’s a lot of young people in Bristol who are really talented, really creative and just don’t really know where to go and what to do. And this event is so great for connecting those young people with organisations.”

Nia: “It’s definitely about making connections between people who need to meet each other, showcase their work to get the businesses off the ground and also just celebrating the brilliant talent that we have in Bristol. There’s going to be visual artists, filmmakers, photographers, graffiti artists as well! We’ve got more creative talent from the southwest than you can shake a stick at.”

 Pravanya: “What?”

 Nia: “Yeah that’s the line I’m going with. Than you can shake a stick at!”

Nia: “Ever-changing.”

 

 

What would you say to someone if you are trying to convince to come to the event?

 

 Nia: “It’s free for under 25s, there’s loads of opportunities if you’re an artist who wants to get in touch with organisations, find out what’s out there for you, then it’s the place to be and there’s nothing else like it really happening.”

Pravanya: “Yeah, and it’s going to be like a celebration- it’s just a celebration and it’ll be really fun!”

 

 

 

And finally, if you could summarise YO Arts Fest in 3 words, what would they be?

 

Nia: “I’m going to slightly cheat and use a hyphen. Youth-led, is a major one, creative and fun.”

Pravanya: “I would say fun, youth-led, and creative.”

Nia: “Yep, great. I love your originality.”

 

 

If you want to catch this amazing event hosted by Pravanya and Nia, check out YO Arts Fest on Thursday 15th November at Docklands Youth Centre St Pauls’s Settlement, 74-80 City Rd, Bristol. The free arts event celebrates the creativity of vibrant youth, talent and community. This interactive event will include local youth talents, inspirational speakers, arts workshops, stalls, signposting, exhibitions, delicious food and arts opportunities!

 

 

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The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors

 

Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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