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It has been the inspiration of NADFAS National Chairman Gri Harrison to instigate a fl agship annual event for young people and last October saw the launch of this exciting initiative. Working in partnership with Mark Miller, Shaun Curtis and the Youth Programmes team at Tate, we devised a day's symposium aimed at 15 to 18 year olds. The time would be spent looking at different forms of conservation, thinking about the issues involved, and exchanging views on the hotly debated topic Why Save Anything?.Planning for the event not only involved several fascinating trips 'backstage' at Tate Britain, but also included meeting many of the extremely interesting and helpful members of staff. The list of speakers and artists was agreed and the publicity launched. NADFAS Review proved to be an ideal medium and several NADFAS contacts came on the day. The Tate's website and their schools network provided the rest and we ended up with 169 participants, travelling from as far afi eld as Darlington and Scotland.But how to make this a day that would be attractive and inspirational to this quite challenging age group? Well, start with food! Coffee and croissants Above: Students consider the issue of art conservation and destruction Out with the old?'Why Save Anything?' was the theme at the fi rst Young Arts Symposium, held at Tate Britain. Young people from across the country came, saw and discussed during a thought-provoking day with a host of experts. Caroline Lorimer talks us through the day 48 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 www.nadfas.org.ukYOUTH PROGRAMME

stylishly presented on arrival soon broke the ice and the warm welcome from Penelope Curtis, the Director of Tate Britain, set the tone for the day. Helen Little and Zoe Whitely, Curators at Tate and the V&A respectively, followed with stimulating and provocative introductions, while Richard Woods outlined his reasons for the destruction of his art on its completion. Natalie Zagorska-Thomas drew on her experience in textile conservation and Barry Venning, a well-known NADFAS-accredited lecturer, rounded off the session.Fired up with the enthusiasm - and the sometimes controversial views - of the speakers, we all dispersed in our groups to see how these approaches applied in reality. On offer were sessions in the conservation departments on painting, framing, textiles, photography, paper and media and an intriguing session on art handling. In each case, the groups were small enough to be able to talk to the experts, handle the textiles, plan the removal of large artefacts, discover the techniques of gilding and how the secrets of paintings are revealed. The geography of the Tate proved challenging as we wove our way up back staircases, through the stunningly beautiful galleries and back to where we started. More food to recharge the fl agging spirits and a buzz of conversation that could be heard several galleries away, then off to a different workshop for each group. The day concluded with a question and answer debate skilfully chaired by Mansour Mansour, a member of the Tate Collective, the group of young people who contribute to the planning of the Youth Programmes and Tate in general."Where do we draw the line at what or what not to save? And why?" came a question to the panel. "Does conservation dilute or limit the progression of contemporary art?" came another. "If you had to conserve only one object, what would it be?" The questions came from all fronts with the panel exchanging lively responses.Finally the time came to end. Gri Harrison thanked us all for coming, thanked Tate for their huge contribution and also thanked the valiant NADFAS volunteers who had given such invaluable help on the day.Exit comments from the exhausted young people were: Thought provoking, fascinating, made me think more philosophically about the reasons behind conservation, great to be able to touch the objects. It was a brilliant idea, which I really hope will be repeated.Planning has already started for next year, so keep a look out for the dates and encourage your young friends to come to what will be another unique and thought provoking experience behind the scenes at Tate. ?Top left: NADFAS members including Chairman of Young Arts Denise Topolski (second from left)Top right: The day was engrossing for all those involvedBelow: Student groups talk to the art experts Images: © Richard Eaton/Tate Britain; Judith Quiney/NADFAS Housewww.nadfas.org.uk NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 49 YOUTH PROGRAMME