A talented pianist has taken over as president of the youth arts charity Create Paisley.
Dr Toni James will serve for five years as the head of the group that strives to transform young people through the creative arts.
The 31-year-old aims to try to deepen the impact of the organization, which is launching new programs in Johnstone and Linwood with local groups.
Toni, born and raised in Paisley, says the next steps are crucial as, hopefully, the region is emerging from the shadow of the pandemic.
She said: “The scale and quality of the work the organization has provided and the impact it has had on the youth of Renfrewshire is testament to its remarkable growth in just a few short years. “This is due to an exceptional team led by Alan Clark and a dedicated board of directors.
“People may think that an organization like Create aims to make young people creative artists.
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“It would be amazing if the next John Byrne, or Paolo Nutini, or Caroline Gormley, or David Tennant, would turn around and say, I made my debut at Create Paisley.
“However, that is not our primary focus. Create Paisley is all about youth work, and the creative arts are a tool we use to help young people develop their voices, increase their confidence and resilience, and to feel part of a community.
The new president got her big shot as a seventeen-year-old keyboard finalist for the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year.
Toni toured the United States and spent five years as a music teacher in the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University.
She later joined the faculty of the Music Department at the University of Liverpool, where she heads the Academic Standards of the School of the Arts and delivers the Classical Performance and Pedagogy programs.
This helped shape her passion for leadership in the arts and culture, led her to develop new festivals and educational programs, motivated by the desire to educate new audiences and work towards a future where the benefits of artistic experiences and quality education are accessible to all. .
Next month, she will take on a new role as Head of Development and Operations for the charity Music in Action, where she will lead programming for the Jersey Chamber Orchestra and the Liberation International Music Festival, as well as outreach programs at education and community initiatives from Music in Action.
She begins her presidency of Create with a call for people to contribute to charity.
Toni added, “I urge people to consider supporting the incredible work of Create Paisley. The contribution will support the organization as it strives to deepen its impact by reaching the most vulnerable young people in our community, developing new innovative art projects for young people and continuing to expand its offering throughout Renfrewshire. , including new programs in Johnstone and Linwood in collaboration with community partners.
Create began in 2009 to provide equal access to safe spaces and artistic activities for the 12-21 age group.
Today he works with a small team of five staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting over 1,300 young people across Renfrewshire
Donations can be made by visiting https://www.createpaisley.org.uk/donate/
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