Metal presents a new in-school creative learning project for young people and their teachers, shaped by artists and practitioners living and working in South Essex, celebrating creativity in all forms!
The programme includes creative professional development for local teachers and artists, supporting them to discover new art forms, share skills and build new connections within the creative and education ecosystems of Southend and surrounding areas.
Art Makes Children Powerful (AMCP) is supported by Southend Education Trust, Royal Opera House Bridge and Southend’s Cultural Education Partnership, with an exciting connection to ‘99 by 19’ – a list of 99 activities and experiences to complete in Southend by the age of 19.
With special thanks to Bob And Roberta Smith for lending our project this title, inspired by their original artwork made in 2013.
Taking place in June 2022, the project involves:
- 11x Southend schools (selected via application, with teachers identifying their students who are most in need of a supportive participatory project)
- 11x South Essex artists (paired with schools, directly in response to consultations with teachers and pupils regarding interests and need)
- 11x visits to local cultural organisations or centres (which students will visit, experiencing the creativity and heritage on their doorstep).
With Art Makes Children Powerful, we hope to support:
- Pupils to discover new art forms, ways to wellbeing and creative careers on their doorstep
- Teachers to find creative classroom inspiration and build relationships with local artists. Artists learn how best to work with schools/young people within their growing practice
- All involved to develop new and ongoing connections across Southend’s creative and educational networks
“This project will enable children to feel confident in expressing themselves, whilst supporting pupils’ wellbeing, igniting their creativity, [supporting their] cultural capital and promoting diversity through exposure to a wide range of art and artists.” -Participating teacher
We received applications from primary schools across the city keen to take part in this project and work with a local artist/practitioner. The application process invited schools to indicate which of their pupils were most in need, and how a creative project could support their learning and wellbeing. Metal also asked key questions regarding staff involvement in creative learning, to find out how best this project can impact teaching staff and future year groups.
Having selected 11 participating schools, we arranged a series of schools visits to gain a better insight into student and staff interests, needs, school grounds and unique school values. From here, our team were able to ‘match-make’ 11 local artists who could each bring new creative methods, art forms and inspiration to the schools.
Who was involved?
- Multidisciplinary artist Philippa Stewart & Darlinghurst Academy
- Photographer Anna Lukala & Edwards Hall Primary
- Printmaker Louise Altman & Greenways Primary
- Kinetika silk painters & Heycroft Primary
- Multidisciplinary artists Wyrd Flora & Kingsdown School
- Photographer Laurence Harding & Porters Grange
- Musicians T.I.M.E. & Princes Avenue
- Illustrator Claire Harrup & Sacred Heart
- Community builders Brazilarte & Temple Sutton
- Actor Anne Odeke & St Christopher School
- Multidisciplinary artist Emma Edmondson & Thorpedene Primary
Over 1330 pupils and their teachers were able to enjoy hands-on experiences exploring a huge range of creative practices, including alternative self-portraits, immersive theatre, brick-making, textiles, sustainable process with waste materials, songwriting and musical production, printmaking, guerilla gardening and much more along the way.
“We always want to show the children that you can be destined for more than the life you already know” – Participating teacher
Together the students, teaching staff and artists worked from classrooms, creative corners and outdoor spaces during a month-long partnership, taking the shape of creative workshops and assemblies. The programme dedicated time and space to the development of creative ideas, with a final outcome to celebrate the pupils’ processes and outcomes with classmates, families and potentially the wider community. In total, over 4500 Southend pupils discovered new inspiration, artworks and creative exercises shared by local artists and their teachers, shining a light on the rich and vibrant talent this creative city has to offer.
“Everyone has their talent!” – Participating teacher