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Fierce Talent: Di Goldsmith’s Youth Arts Story

As part of Jumped Up theatre's Fierce Talent campaign today we speak with Di Goldsmith, and find out more about her Youth Arts Story
Di Goldsmith
Di Goldsmith

The campaign celebrates and promotes young people’s creativity in Peterborough. Working with Youth Inspired and the Key Theatre to offer a range of opportunities which will culminate in a campaign film spotlighting young creatives.

Di Goldsmith originally trained as a contemporary dance specialist. She now volunteers on two local boards including being a director of PHACE. Di also runs UROCK, a youth theatre based at the Undercroft. Through her diverse work Di runs projects mainly for vulnerable people and children and is passionate about access to arts in the city for young people.

What or who got you interested in the arts when you were young?
My parents were always interested in theatre although mainly more west end and musicals when I was young. I also had an amazing dance specialist at my school who was incredibly innovative in their practice, they had such a big influence on me at the time. I grew up in Kings Lynn and we just didn’t have much access to culture outside of school.

When I moved to Peterborough, I noticed a lot of similarities, in those days there wasn’t really an arts scene or offer for young people, but I think it’s slowly improving.

What inspires you to keep creating, and why in Peterborough?
I think there’s still a lot of work to be done in Peterborough, we still don’t have that arts leadership or those core organisations that influence the city. I made a decision to embrace what’s still needed in Peterborough and continue to ask difficult questions. The city is slowly getting there, I’ve still got the energy to keep pushing it and so do many others.

Why do you think it’s important to work with young people? 
Working with young people has been the core of my lifetime of work, young people are our future and I’ve included youth voices throughout my career. For 10 years at UROCK we’ve maintained a programme across schools and offer contemporary theatre and cutting-edge new writing for young people to engage with. Young people join us from across the city and it’s boosted their exam potential, it’s like a booster class for the arts.

We really have to encourage young people’s opinions, talents and creativity or everything will become stale and we won’t move forward. We should be celebrating all young people being creative in the city and supporting homegrown talent. 

UROCK are based @theundercroft theatre at Serpentine Green hosted by Eastern Angles Theatre Company  - contact Di Goldsmith on 07885250443 

Find out more about UROCK here, and Fierce Talent here