The Paper Birds Theater Company
The Paper Birds Theatre Company

The School of Hope Graduation

Celebrating our young creatives and the impact of The School of Hope

The School of Hope | Impact – Illustration by Julia Miranda

Launched in June 2021, The School of Hope (TSoH) was our digital, multi-artform project, for young creatives aged 13-25. The project saw dozens of workshops and Zoom masterclasses lead to hundreds of conversations and artworks around the theme of empathy.

We commissioned 4 exceptional British artists to each create a bespoke filmic artwork on the theme of empathy; along with the company’s own original artwork, which were at the heart of the TSoH online programme. The Company also collaborated with Academics to shape the project and measure its impact. 

TSoH delved into what makes us care about other people, especially those who may be very different to us. Working with 150 young creatives, from 9 partner organisations from 5 countries across 3 continents, the project provided a space for them to meet, discuss, discover and find their voice as artists and as a creative thinkers. By reflecting on the values and beliefs that are important to them and to different communities they creatively shaped their thoughts into social and political artistic responses, connecting them to the world around them and questioning what changes need to be made. 

On Thursday 18 November 2021 the young creatives and Academics involved in the project, along with professionals working in theatre and Youth Arts and 4 invited UK-based artists, joined together for The School of Hope Graduation. The event looked back at the project and celebrated the achievements of the young people involved. The Academics involved fed back around the success of the project in increasing the levels of empathy and pro-social behaviour in the young creatives that participated in the project. Attendees of the event also had the opportunity to take part in a number of discussions and Q&As about empathy and how young people find routes into the arts. 

The informal event was recorded, and we’re delighted to be able to share the films from the different chapters of the day, with you here:

Chapter 1 | Welcome

Welcome from The Paper Birds and World Premiere of The School of Hope documentary by Kee Lewis.

Chapter 2 | The Impact 

The Impact Findings – ‘Did empathy levels change?’ A presentation of the qualitative and quantitate findings from The School of Hope Academic’s research, about how levels of empathy and pro social behaviour increased in the young creatives involved in the project.

Chapter 3 | World Premiere of Naomi Waring’s short film ‘ A Call for Radical Empathyand Audience Q&A

World Premiere of Naomi Waring’s short film ‘ A Call for Radical Empathy, which was made in response to the artworks and experience of The School of Hope. The film was followed by an audience Q&A with Naomi and TSoH graduates starring in the film.

Chapter 4 | Live Artistic Labs

Live Artistic Labs with Young School of Hope Creatives from around the world sharing their artworks and taking questions from audience.

Chapter 5 | Panel Discussion 

Panel Discussion with a range of leading UK-based radical artists about finding routes into the industry and having the confidence to take your space and call yourself an artist, which featured:

Grace Savage

Grace is a multifaceted artist; actor, 4 x UK beatbox champion and creator of her own unique blend of electronic-pop that has been heard on the likes of BBC Radio 1, Radio 6 Music and many more. 

Myah Jeffers

Myah is a Barbadian-British dramaturg, director and photographer, living in London and working across the UK and internationally. She is the former Literary Associate at the Royal Court and is also the 2019 Portrait of Britain winner. 

Olivia Twist

Olivia Twist is an Illustrator, Arts Facilitator and Lecturer from East London with an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. The key threads which can be found in her work are place, the mundane and overlooked narratives. 

Sonny Green

Sonny has worked in the spoken word and live music scene for many years doing various gigs including being the first ever rap artist to perform at the House of Commons supporting Fatboy Slim. 

Chapter 6 | Graduation Speech

Graduation Speech. A bespoke commissioned artwork by The School of Hope artist Sonny Green with a departing message for you all.