Gallery 37 Plus represents the expansion of the Gallery 37 Birmingham model to five new locations in England. In 2005 Youth Music established a partnership with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, the Roundhouse in Camden, London, Newark and Sherwood District Council and the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham and approached the Young People?s Fund ? managed by the Big Lottery Fund ? to support arts summer programmes based on the Gallery 37 Birmingham model in 2007 and 2008. Funding was provided to Youth Music to help more than 600 young people over the two years. In each place there is a local Gallery 37 Plus co-ordinator responsible for developing the strands of the programme:
The ethos for Gallery 37 Plus Oldham 2007 was all about being young people led. The art forms were selected by our Gallery 37 Plus Young People?s Steering Group. The apprentices chose and created the content for, and performed in the final production. They also staffed the venue in front of house roles. The key word for the Gallery 37 Plus programme is ?apprentice?, and in Oldham it was made very clear that the selected young people would be entering an arts-based apprenticeship that required good attendance and respect for workplace colleagues. All the apprentices understood this and enjoyed the experience of working in a professional arts environment.
Our team of professional artists quickly earned the respect of the young people, which created a sense of loyalty, friendship and commitment within each team of apprentices, and later across the whole group. As well as learning new skills within their chosen field, the apprentices worked across art forms, which gave them a real understanding and respect for the bigger picture, learning how artists collaborate and achieve high quality work. This work was able to come into being because of the diverse skill sets of the artists and their commitment to the young apprentices who, in their turn, were willing to completely engage with the project and who showed amazing talents once they were given the opportunity to be creative.