The Agency

Creating young leaders of change through the agency

A team of young people from Southampton’s Northam and Golden Grove estates are taking part in The Agency – an innovative arts-based social change project that originated in Brazil.

It enables young people to turn their ideas into projects which they can deliver in their local area. Creative workshops equip young people with the skills and tools they need to lead this change. Individuals in the Southampton group are in the early stages of the 12-week programme.  But they already generating and exploring some exciting ideas, including:

  • using arts and performance poetry to enliven neglected community spaces
  • developing a multi-cultural festival to connect cultures and celebrate diversity
  • organising big clean-ups and recycling initiatives to tackle the climate emergency
  • providing positive opportunities for young people through sports and arts activities.

The group are embracing the challenge of being ‘agents of change’ in their communities. They are preparing to present their project ideas to a panel of business and cultural leaders in July. The panel will award £2,000 to three projects and a further 16 weeks of support to make them happen.

The Agency Member presenting their idea

The Agency Origins

Theatre-maker Marcus Faustini developed The Agency in the favelas of Brazil. What sets it apart from other social entrepreneurial programmes is that it recognises young people as experts in their communities. Its success led Contact Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre to bring it to the UK. The programme has been running in Manchester, London, Cardiff and Belfast since 2013. Now, in May 2021, Energise Me has launched it in Southampton.

The Agency is an exciting addition to Southampton’s cultural landscape, enabling young people to grow into confident, cultural leaders of the future.

The Agency Southampton

For more information about The Agency, or to enquire about the 2022 programme, please email Emma:

Through The Agency I realised I have talents I didn’t know I had before. I used to hate public speaking. Now I do it for fun.

Faidat, Manchester Agent

I'm so excited you are taking the first steps towards joining The Agency. Drop your details into the contact form below or call, text, What's App or email me to find out more.

Emma, Project Manager - The Agency

Register your interest in joining The Agency Southampton in April 2022

The Agency has been a massive stepping stone in my life. It has inspired and empowered me to make a change within my community.

Samuel, Manchester Agent

About The Agency

The Agency UK is a Battersea Arts Centre and Contact programme devised in partnership with People’s Palace Projects.

Current partners include: Kiln Theatre, Blackhorse Workshop, National Theatre Wales and Fablab, Belfast. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Agency is a programme originally conceived by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro where it is delivered by Agência de Redes para a Juventude. The UK pilot (2013-15) was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The Agency funder and partner logos

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