The challenge of getting more young people involved in Hillingdon's art scene has proved irresistible for two local artists. JERRY LYONS speaks with the determined duo about their project which showcases artistic activities in 10 days of events at Uxbridge Library.
JAMES Newton and Charlotte Baldwin are on a mission. The pair have got together with Hillingdon Council to organise Launchpad, which will give young artists an opportunity to gain experience and exposure with a series of free events that began on Monday (June 2) and will continue until Friday, June 13. Launchpad aims to encourage people
aged from 16-30 years old to become more involved in the arts, as art graduate James, 25, from Uxbridge, explained: "We felt there was a real need for this project.
"There is a lot of talent in the borough, but they often don't get a chance to show it locally. æWe want to get some new blood involved in the arts scene and add some youthful artistic energy into the area.
"Organising the events has been hectic, but also exciting because we are breaking new ground. All events are taking place in the Atrium at Uxbridge Library, and the council - in particular Kris Holliday - have been very supportive."
Charlotte Baldwin, 24, also from Uxbridge, added: "During the course of the 10 days of Launchpad we will have ballet, street dancers, fashion shows, art exhibitions and theatre performances.
Uxbridge is not the sleepy place some people think it is and these events will make that point."
James and Charlotte attended the same school, White Hall Primary, in Uxbridge, and working on the project reunited the old school pals.
James said: "We were in the same spelling class about 15 years ago.
"When I originally became interested in the project I noticed Charlotte's name on a group email and then we met up to discuss Launchpad and it turns out we work well together."
Charlotte added: "We really hope people join in the fun, find out more about what the borough has to offer culturally and support this project by coming and seeing the shows."
James and Charlotte are also contributing to an art exhibition which will be on display at Uxbridge Library throughout the ten days of Launchpad.
**For more information about Launchpad's events, email firstname.lastname@example.org