01526_Capture - CopyThe iOpen Youth Project

Students were able to access the materials in different ways and the sessions were well planned and resourced… thanks for coming to work with us…‘ Deputy Head – Downs View School.

The project’s aim is to increase the self-esteem of young people aged 14-19 in the Brighton and Hove area – in particularl those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Currently our Session Leaders (CVs and pictures, right) have delivered spoken word workshops to – or are working with:

Downs View School – for pupils aged 4 to 19 years, who have severe learning difficulties. Some pupils have additional disabilities such as autism, hearing and/or visual impairment, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The Crew Club: Whitehawk (bi-weekly night for 12-19 year olds) – involving young people with rhyming structures and exploring rap/poetry/grime artist crossovers.

Brighton Youth Centre (The Bandbazi Youth Group) – working with refugee communities to build on existing performance skills from drama and applying these to spoken word performances.

Longhill School – developing a programme of 6-7 workshops, working, provisionally, to the theme of ‘Telling my Story’ with the potential to build towards a showcase performance event.

The iOpen workshops have these key objectives:

Be constructive and engaging.

Seek to foster an appreciation of performance poetry and prose in its many different forms, from rap, to free verse, through to haiku.

Encourage participation and Inspire young people to get involved

The session leaders are supported by: Brainfruit’s artistic director and our Project Administrator, in association with  Rebecca Fidler, Learning Access and Participation Manager at the Brighton Dome and Festival, and Pippa Smith, Head of Learning Access and Participation, Brighton Dome and Festival. Each session leader has attended a Brainfruit: train-the-trainer spoken word workshop and has an Enhanced Certificate (CRB) The project is funded by:



TanyaMICHELLE LAING Based in Brighton, Michelle Laing is a visual artist, poet and performer. She works in various mediums, and creates unique artworks that stimulate the onlooker through exciting materials and thought provoking results. Currently Michelle is studying Spanish, Ninjutsu and oil painting.







ElanELAN STARK Elan began performing his poetry after moving to Brighton in 2007. He has always had a passion for lyrical word-smithing; and his rhythmical, story telling delivery style -bring his poems to life on stage.







Charlie Wilson

CHARLIE WILSON Charlie has been performing poetry since 2009. He has run writing workshops at festivals under the SAFE Collective. He is part of the Brighton Forum Theatre Collective who put on plays every year. Charlie works full time in Children’s Homes in the Sussex area.







Alex Crumbie ALEX CRUMBIE Began writing poetry in 2012 and has since become increasingly interested in writing and performing poetry and spoken word. He has read his work at several spoken word event s and recently had his poetry published. He is currently in his third year at Sussex University, studying International Relations and Philosophy.








 Katrina Quinn

KATRINA QUINN  has been writing for as long as she can remember – and started sharing her words with others in 2006 after seeing performance poetry for the first time. Katrina is a graduate of the University of Sussex where she studied anthropology and Spanish.









Tristram Ovington

TRISTAN OVINGTON wrote his first poem when he was15 – a piece about farmers killing animals for food and foxes for fun. Since then he has explored topics like spirituality and childhood. A regular performer on the Brighton Poetry scene – he is currently studying his second degree at the University of Brighton.