Paragon Ensemble Ltd

Paragon uses music and dance to encourage socialisation, self-expression, enhance confidence and heighten ambitions in people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those with additional support needs and from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Through the Your Story pilot, Paragon developed a substantial network of partners, all of whom were very eager to see greater accessibility to arts participation for young people with additional support needs; and particularly keen to see more regular opportunities. Over the two years there was a series of inclusive multi-disciplinary participatory workshops and performances involving disabled and non-disabled young people (15-25).
Paragon has trained a local musician in inclusive arts practice, Darcy DaSilva, who has been working on the Your Story project alongside Stuart Macpherson, Jenny Pow and Charlotte Gibson.
The regular fortnightly workshops have involved 12 young people so far, including some isolated individuals who have said that they have done “nothing else” at all before coming to a workshop. Each person has a diverse set of support needs and so workshops have been tailored to each participant, e.g. more movement; less noise; more interaction. This means that the pieces created are rich in personal contributions, with each participant able to show off their own unique talents to family and friends through the performances and gain confidence as a result.
Following on from the success of “Your Story” pilot project in the summer of 2015, Paragon was seeking to meet the demand that emerged as a result of the project, particularly from groups and individuals across Dumfries and Galloway, including in more remote areas.
This new project will work in partnership with three main organisations in Dumfries and Galloway who would like to work in collaboration with Paragon to develop these regular accessible opportunities. These include The Usual Place, The Stove and the PEER Project (Stranraer area), all of whom will assist with the promotion, recruitment and delivery of the programme.

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