About the programme

Funded by Creative Scotland, MiM’s Youth Arts Programme will provide arts activities to children and young people in Midlothian. Especially those most affected by COVID 19.  The programme consists of six exciting and eclectic projects delivered by seven outstanding Freelance Arts Practitioners. The projects will be shaped by the young people involved. There will be a showcase of the output of each project in March 2022.

Meet the Artists

Adie Baako

The Project:
A summer programme of West African Dance that will involve the participants as co-designers and co-creators will allow them to have their voice heard in their own project’s design and shape. The project will culminate in a performance/sharing event.

Adie is a dancer, musician and singer. He is primarily a performer and teacher of traditional West African dance. He was trained in his home village of Langma, Ghana, in the school of world-renowned Mustapha TeQey Addy. 

Together with Thomas Annang (Master Drummer, based now in Belfast but from the same village and school in Ghana), Adie also runs the performance group Akrowa UK. 
In 2019/20, Adie was an associate on the DEBS graduate programme at Dancebase, Scotland’s National Centre for Dance.

Ailis Paterson

The Project:
This project will provide creative drama activity for children aged 4 and 5, who attend a Midlothian primary school nursery and begin Primary 1 in August 2021. The children’s own ideas will be at the heart of the sessions, offering opportunities to talk about feelings, worries and how to manage them.

Ailis is a Creative Drama and Youth Theatre practitioner, with a passion for making theatre and building stories with children and young people.
Most of her work is within Edinburgh city primary schools and in community venues as a freelance Drama Associate with The Drama Studio.

Ailis also works at Capital Theatres in Edinburgh and is currently on secondment to their Learning and Participation department. Of course, in the last year most work has been online which has offered challenges and opportunities to engage children in a different way. Ailis firmly believes in the benefits of working collaboratively with children and young people as active participants and the power of engaging through drama and stories in order to improve confidence, strengthen team-working abilities, develop communication skills and nurture imagination and creativity.

Annie Lord

photo credit: Craig Somerville

The Project:

Cyanotypes and Sketchbooks:

Workshops to teach young people how to make cyanotypes; an early form of camera-less photography. They will also learn how to turn their prints into artist’s sketchbooks. This will provide a great opportunity for young people to experiment with new techniques, learn about the history of photography and enjoy the scientific aspects of this creative process.

Plant Dyeing and Sewing Skills:

Workshops to teach the basics of hand sewing and embroidery and help develop awareness of eco friendly approaches to fashion including using plants to dye our fabric and making use of donated scrap fabric.

Annie is an interdisciplinary artist with a strong emphasis on participatory art. Her work encompasses storytelling, drawing and community-based practice.
In 2019 she was awarded a ‘LandMark’ residency from Art Walk Porty to create artwork about historic orchards in Portobello; in 2020 she created ‘The Neighbouring Orchard’. Over 100 apple trees are being grown in individual’s front and shared gardens throughout Portobello, Craigmillar and Musselburgh.

In 2020/21 Annie collaborated with artist Morvern Odling on a public art commission for Forth Rivers Trust. Working with the community Annie and Morvern developed a brass rubbing trail for the River Almond.

Hannah Edie

The Project:

The sign language project will be a singing group for young children (aged 4-8) to improve their language skills, aided by Signalong.
The children will build their subject knowledge and a repertoire of songs with the collaborator and freelance songwriter, giving the children a chance to share their experiences, views and opinions.
Parents and carers will be invited to a sharing performance where the group will perform their original song, along with a selection of songs from their repertoire.

Hannah is a Primary Teacher and Freelance Youth Arts Practitioner based in Edinburgh. She graduated from Queen Margaret University in 2016 with a BA in Drama and Performance, then from the University of Strathclyde in 2018 with a PGDE in Primary Education.
She worked as an arts practitioner with The Drama Studio and facilitated various arts projects in Edinburgh before her PGDE.

She has taught predominantly in areas of mass deprivation and in Early Years, where she discovered the benefits of Signalong. She learned that combining music and sign can make language more accessible for young children. After training in Signalong and BSL, she integrated sign into her daily practice through song and has never looked back.

Laura Baigerie

Photo Pending

Laura is an experienced youth worker and will be working alongside the Amazing Brains Committee to deliver sculptural felting courses to young people in Midlothian. 
She has worked with young people in various settings and locations, delivering all sorts of projects and activities, including arts, crafts, and fibre-related projects.

Abby Clelland (supporting Laura) is a Fashion graduate from Edinburgh College of Art currently volunteering for the Bill Russell Woodburn Youth Project.
Abby loves helping out each week at Art Club and sharing techniques and skills she learned during her time at university and during her own practice. She looks forward to working with Made in Midlothian this year alongside Laura to deliver an exciting art course allowing young people within the community to learn and experiment with Sculptural Felting.

The Project:
This sculptural felting project will teach young people basic needle-felting techniques. Children and young people will learn basic needle felting techniques. 
They will experience a research and design process, followed by the creation and completion of two and four finished pieces.
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a public display of their artwork. They will also have the chance to complete a Hi5 or Dynamic Youth Award.

Lea Taylor and Mary Turner Thomson

Words are Lea’s business, whether it’s Storytelling, Writing, Podcasting or Coaching. An internationally acclaimed storyteller with a solid background in Community Learning and a proven track record in delivering all manner of projects, from coaching SMP’s to running creative writing or storytelling projects with schoolchildren.
Successful author of Midlothian Folk Tales, Animals Beasties and Monsters of Scotland and The House Beside the Cherry Tree. During lockdown, she took up podcasting. Her most recent series of Podcasts being Made in Midlothian’s Tell me More. 

Lea lives in Midlothian with her husband, son, two dogs and a chicken.

Lea is available for author talks for book groups.

Mary Turner Thomson is an author, speaker, trainer, writing coach, publishing consultant and motivated person.  She has faced adversity and come out smiling, having discovered the ability to change misfortune into opportunity.
Always positive, Mary walks her talk and uses the concept of Personal Responsibility to help herself and other people, to a better idea of themselves and therefore to a better life.
Mary started her career in television and corporate video production but retrained into Marketing in 1989. She worked for a marketing consultancy from 1990-93 before setting up her own marketing business which she sold in 1996.  In 1997, Mary joined the Scottish Enterprise Network helping business start, develop and grow. It is here that she started running training courses and gained her experience in using motivational techniques. 
In 2004 she once again went self-employed as a consultant and trainer, and in 2006 wrote her first book ’The OTHER Mrs Jordan’ – which was snapped up by the first publisher she approached (Mainstream Publishing in Edinburgh). ‘The BIGAMIST’ is the updated paperback version and includes additional victims & children who had been found since the first book.  
Mary has since written another book called ‘TRADING PLACES’. This is the inspirational true story of Natalie Hutchison – winner of the Barclays Bank ‘Trading Places’ award 2006 – about the struggles of a chronically abused woman, who took control of her life by starting a hugely successful business.
Her new book ‘The Psychopath’ came out on 1st March 2021 – available now in the UK here and in the USA here
Mary has faced personal trauma on a grand scale, but rather than be destroyed by the experience, she has let it make her stronger and wiser, with the ability to help others overcome similar emotional and psychological abuse – through her writing, and in person.

“When my first book was published in 2007 and I held it in my hands, I was not prepared for the astounding effect it had on my self-esteem.  I wanted to understand the feeling and so I looked into it a little further.  What I realised is both simple and extraordinary.
People have always revered stories from the earliest days of humanity.  Our brains are hardwired to stop and pay attention when someone starts to tell a story because it’s in our DNA. Going right back to the days of the cavemen, our ancestors listened and learned how to deal with predators, how to farm, about new inventions, how to survive, thrive, grow and evolve. Put simply – those that did not listen, did not survive. Stories are what bind and unite our humanity and sharing them has allowed us to evolve together worldwide.  

Since the earliest days of books that passion for stories and sharing them has grown. We all revere books, we admire authors and rarely will throw a book away (even when it is damaged). Think about it, when was the last time you chucked a book in the bin?  We share books, we pass them on when we no longer want them.  We admire authors and treasure their work.  
When I became an author I thought, ‘I want my children to feel like this’.  Then I realised that I was thinking far too small.  I want ALL children to feel like this.  So I started up WhiteWater Publishing Ltd to do just that. “

Learn more about Mary

The Project:

The project will provide a safe space for young people to talk about, process  and document their experiences. They will find/renew friendships, and – by creating individual stories,  illustrations, a podcast and publishing their own book – will create something positive, borne out of a difficult time in lockdown.

At the end of the project participants will be given 2 copies of the book, and free copies will be offered to schools/ libraries throughout Midlothian. The remaining books can be sold through the Made-In-Midlothian Marketplace. 

 Throughout every part of the project the young people will be consulted. Including providing assistance in setting  up an ongoing online writing club if that is what the students & the school want.