Over the past 3 years, as Course Leader at Andover Music Academy I have led in the organisation of a Pro-Equality Festival which has involved the participation of local and national community groups and charitable organizations; all of whom have enhanced the vocational, academic, social and professional development of the students involved.
This year, for the first time, Respect-Fest was held at both Andover College and Sparsholt College.
The Sparsholt event, 11 March 2014, focussed on the Gambian Child charity, Ichthyosis Support Group and broadly on Disability Awareness. Local musicians performed a wide range of uplifting, life-affirming music with social or political themes and, in terms of community outreach, disabled ex-military personnel participated in informally informing and educating those who attended.
The Andover RESPECT-FEST event, 26 March 2014, was preceded by school liaison with local Secondary schools and a Battle of the Bands event earlier in March 2014. The winners of this competition heat performed alongside a broad range of local musicians. In addition, a range of diverse charity groups were invited to speak at the event, making this our most accessible and welcoming festival to date.
There were lots of local bands taking part in the battle of the bands including; Tonight We Fall, The Revenant, Follow the Water, Tanners Lane; alongside some local charities including the MS Society, Naomi House, Hemihelp and Enham.
Here are highlights from both events – ENJOY!
TANNERS LANE – RESPECT-FEST 2014 WINNERS!
David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years.
He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education and is currently Course Leader for Music Performance and Equality & Diversity Coordinator at Andover College..
He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates.
He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity.
David is currently promoting a youtube campaign“Give ‘em Hope” and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity.
He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and The Harvey Milk Foundation.
His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer.