THE ARTS SOCIETY AYRSHIRE
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AYRSHIRE YOUNG ARTS

In the past year, MDYA and AYA have combined operations, retaining a membership of 14 children, with average attendance at workshops of between 10 and 12. Potential new members continue to present in the form of guest attendance. Most member families are from Ayr, and we retain a large age range, between 6 and 16, which seems to work well as children can work to their own level within the workshop brief. However as members outgrow the group there are ongoing challenges in raising the profile of AYA and recruiting new members.

The new season venue of Rozelle House, which started in November 2016, has worked well in terms of being central, in a public space, and free, although the art room is small necessitating the use of 2 rooms if we have any more than 10 - 12 attendees, with a concomitant need for additional committee members to supervise both rooms.

MDYA continues as one of the operating names of AYA, in relation to project work, most recently including :

1. Carrick Ensemble - Two Baroque concerts in the Carrick Centre, Maybole in the autumn of 2016, with £300 having been granted by South Ayrshire Council to help with soloists expenses. The concerts allowed three young musicians between the ages of 15 and 20 to gain experience of playing solo parts in public. All profits (£606) went to the Carrick Centre, which is a Community Centre and a registered charity.

2. Animation Series at Maybole Youth Club: again with the help of North Carrick community funding, we have arranged a series of 10 structured workshops at Maybole Youth Club, helping members to develop creative and technical skills to create a short animation, using art materials, props, a storyline and IT programmes. This started in November 2016 under the leadership of Graham Byron and Yvonne Kiltie, and has now completed, with the production of a short DVD. Participant engagement was not as full as we had hoped; we are not sure whether this was due to the workshop not meeting the needs or interests of the group, or the lack of a suitable space within the club.

Maybole Young Arts Festival, September 2016, Maybole Town Hall. This was the 5th anniversary of the Festival which on this occasion had a Latin American theme. Over 40 children attended, many for the whole day, although attendance from Maybole and surroundings was disappointingly low. As a committee we have discussed moving the Festival to Ayr Town Hall, but this was fully booked for the dates we had in mind and we have not found a suitable alternative venue, therefore we will not be proceeding with a Festival in 2017.

3. Maybole Charity Shop remains the cornerstone of our fundraising activities, with over £1000 raised in 2016. We have another date for one week commencing 29th July 2017, and we would welcome offers of goods and of assistance at the shop, from members, committee members, and ADFAS. Please contact Gail McAulay for uplift. Volunteers are needed to man the shop any day from 29th July through to 3rd August. Please contact Gail (01563 830879), or gail.mcaulay@btopenworld.com

We look forward to a new season of activities in 2017-18, and to working with artists and partner organisations. We are highly grateful for the unstinting support from ADFAS members, in particular our Young Arts representative Gail McAuley. Sadly, she is resigning later this year. ADFAS have been absolutely central to our fundraising activities, in addition to the support and advice available from NADFAS in London.

Robert De Mey AYA Chairperson 20th May 2017