From 2009 until 2013 the Blahs ran the Theatre Academy at the Carriageworks theatre in Leeds. The Academy provided an annual programme for 10 – 16 year olds, giving young people the opportunity to devise theatre in response to commissions and perform to the public. Further partnerships followed with Escape Contemporary Youth Theatre to create performances for the Holocaust Memorial Day event at Leeds Town Hall and RJC Dance and the University of Leeds to create a dance piece looking at ‘engaging young black britons with the relevance of the Holocaust’. More information about this project is available at: http://transnationalholocaustmemory.org/2015/07/30/engaging-young-black-britons-with-the-relevance-of-the-holocaust/
In recent years the Blahs have built on these experiences to develop partnerships with local community organisations. In 2016/17 the Blahs worked with Chapel FM to create the AirPlay project which brought together a diverse group of young people to write, record and broadcast ‘Sansaar’ an original radio drama inspired by the Partition of India under the guidance of writer Peter Spafford.
In 2017/18, the Blahs supported Nameless Theatre, a group of young people from Heckmondwike Grammar School and their drama teacher, to devise and tour a piece of participatory theatre to local primary schools.
The company also has an ongoing relationship with DynaMix, a group made up of young people from migrant backgrounds with whom it has worked to develop performance skills to enable the group to share their personal stories and develop as ambassadors and young leaders.
The Blahs are members of Arts Together Leeds, an arts engagement project that aims to make it easier for community groups to become actively engaged with the arts in Leeds and beyond. Arts Together also facilitates the exchange of expertise, skills and resources between the city’s arts and community organisations: https://www.operanorth.co.uk/news/arts-and-community-organisations-join-forces-in-leeds/