Leah Sanderson

I am an artist, songwriter, freelance community arts practitioner and vocal coach from Nottinghamshire. My focus within the arts is music. I am passionate about the part it plays in most
peoples lives, no matter how small.

I was born in Nottingham, my family have always lived in the surrounding towns and villages. It has been a place where I have practiced my craft as a performer and songwriter and where I have met collaborators that I work with to this day. I work freelance as a one on one vocal coach and as community arts practitioner in the Nottinghamshire area. My own lived experience of working with young people in the arts and working as an artist in the music industry will bring a unique insight to my project.

The main study of my project is to explore and research the impact that individual artists, community arts organisations and groups, have on their local communities and how they achieve an impact through their methods and practices.

I want to meet with individuals and groups that create opportunity for young people, socially excluded groups and marginalised people. But with a main emphasis being, that the arts and creativity is for everyone. I want to better understand how through the arts we can better connect communities, create community, helping individuals to reach their creative potential whilst supporting wellbeing.

I hope to explore the climatic, social, cultural and geographic expanses of the US, visiting the varied communities that live in its vastness. Meeting with individuals and groups in the US that are working towards the goal of impacting their communities in a positive way. I hope to gain new knowledge, be inspired and take home new confidence in my work.

The US has a great musical history, it’s a country of many musical styles and states that are defined by specific genres of music. I will visit the big music cities, but I have also found many amazing community projects in states not so famous for music. I will start in the east from New York making my way through central USA to Seattle. I intend to travel to and having meetings in; New York, NY; Washington DC; Chicago, Illinois; Nashville Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Austin, Texas; LA California; Seattle, Washington; Wyoming and Minnesota. I have professional contacts in some of these states and organisations researched that I hope to meet with.

I am very happy to represent Nottingham in the USA as a Roosevelt scholar, being in new surroundings, meeting new people and having the opportunity to travel independently setting my own individual route across the US. I believe the opportunity will give me a new sense of clarity in my own ideas and the confidence to take these ideas to the next level. I am very excited for this new adventure!