2020-2022 grant-giving: Youth theatre; Antarctic whale research; professional violin purchase; and women’s education in Peru’s Sacred Valley

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With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the plans of so many, the trust has received fewer applications during the pandemic and this is reflected in the number of grants awarded during 2020, 2021 and 2022. Nonetheless, 10 grants were awarded during this time to 6 individuals and 4 charitable organisations, totalling over £10,000, with a snapshot below of some of the worthy recipients.

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Taylor Azizeh’s research on southern right whales with the British Antarctic Survey

KSMT contributed towards Taylor’s travel and living costs to support an internship with the British Antarctic Survey, based in Cambridge for almost a year. Here, Taylor completed important research into the southern right whale, helping to build greater understanding of the large-scale population dynamics of this critically endangered species. A summary of her work with Dr Jennifer Jackson of BAS was presented to the International Whaling Commission in April 2021 and is due to be published in a journal. Taylor is now completing graduate studies in California at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, writing a thesis on emperor penguins.

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Tara Theatre’s Our Streets production dealing with the harassment of young women

KSMT supported Tara Theatre in Earlsfield, London with its new young people initiative – Our Streets. It’s the only theatre in the UK that gives a voice uniquely to South Asian artists and community members, and the project looked at the personal experiences and points of view on street harassment that affects most women in their lives and challenge established behaviours, culminating in a high-quality, multi-disciplinary professional show.

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Latin America Foundation for the Future’s (LAFF) Sacred Valley Project in Peru

Once again we’ve supported LAFF for a project in the Sacred Valley in Peru, a place where Kirsten spent several months teaching in 2005. The latest project supported 51 young women, aged 12 to 18 through a personal development programme to support entry to the workplace or and quality education access in the Sacred Valley. LAFF’s work focusses on the most vulnerable young people in Peru get the opportunities and support they need to thrive, and break through the cycle of poverty through access to quality education, safe homes, and personal development support.

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Amy Le-Mar’s fundraising to purchase a professional violin

Amy from Orkney is a talented violinist living and working in London as a musician and teacher, having graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The trust provided a grant to contribute to the costs to purchase a new professional standard violin, enabling Amy to continue her postgraduate studies in London and progress into a professional career.

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Niamh Bloomer’s symphony orchestra trip to Marseille and Madrid

Niamh is studying music at Glasgow University and was given the opportunity to go to Marseille in April 2022 to participate in CIVIS Symphonic Orchestra Academy: a week of total immersion into Gustav Mahler’s first symphony with 90 other student musicians ending with a live-streamed concert from the National Theatre La Criée. Following successful concerts in Marseille, Niamh is now planning her attendance at the 2023 concert series in Madrid. The trust supported with accommodation fees to help Niamh join the truly international experience of music-making with different music directors.

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Jerusalem Centre for Performing Arts (JCPA) dance lessons for girls

The trust provided a contribution to the expand the work of The Jerusalem Center for Performing Arts, which provides heavily subsidised or free dance lessons to young people from age 4, who are mainly from disadvantaged, large Orthodox Jewish families. With the pandemic now better controlled, the JCPA will train up more young dance tutors as volunteer mentors. The classes are very popular, attracting up to 270 girls per session.

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Bush Theatre’s Young People and Education

The Bush Theatre in Uxbridge, London runs a comprehensive Young People and Education Programme, delivering high-quality theatre-based skills development projects, to foster key life and literacy skills. Alongside a stellar programme of events, the theatre is on a mission to improve access to the arts for young people from areas of socio-economic deprivation in Hammersmith & Fulham. The grant supports the delivery of the theatre’s 2022-23 programme..

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Heather Fortune’s conservation project in Mexico

Heather, who is a Biology undergraduate at St Andrews University, spent four weeks during summer 2021 conducting habitat surveys in the Calakmul Biopshere Reserve in Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Culture and Nature. She described her experience as “one of the most fascinating and eye-opening of my life”.