England footballer Raheem Sterling launches art project with National Portrait Gallery

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The England and Chelsea footballer Raheem Sterling has decided to sign with someone else; the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London. The Jamaican-born winger has launched a new creative youth engagement programme, entitled Making of Me, in partnership with the NPG via his Raheem Sterling Foundation. The foundation website states that it “champions further education, employment opportunities and social mobility for young people”.

The Making of Me initiative gives “30 young people from London the chance to learn a variety of skills and the knowledge needed to progress into future creative careers”, an NPG statement says. Programme participants will attend 12 workshops and masterclasses, exploring themes of self-identity, representation, place and community. Participants will then produce photographic and portraiture pieces inspired by works from the NPG collection; the works will be shown at the gallery when it reopens next spring following a three-year closure and £35.5m revamp (Inspiring People project).

“Initially delivered in Raheem’s home borough of Brent, our new partnership will offer opportunities for young people to learn new skills by working in collaboration with artists and makers,” says Liz Smith, the director of learning and engagement at the National Portrait Gallery, in a statement.

The NPG statement adds: “Following the Making of Me project, the Raheem Sterling Foundation and National Portrait Gallery will consider further collaborations nationally and internationally in the future.”

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