It was with great pride recently that I went along to Caerphilly Arts Development’s project feedback session at Blackwood Miners’ Institute, to celebrate the great work and of the children involved with Artspark! It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since it all started, but to see the journey all these young children have been on, maturing as individuals as much as they have as creatives, has been an exceptional privilege.
With their aim being to identify young people showing an interest, talent or potential in visual arts, dance, drama or film and digital media, Artspark offered participants the chance to attend workshops with professional artists and organisations so that they could further develop their skills in their chosen specialism, at a pace and a direction set by the children themselves. Taught by professional artists, the knowledge, references and experience they are able to pass on to the children in the groups expands on the childrens’ passions, tailoring their learning to their interests and responses from each session.
Whilst the groups have occasionally worked collaboratively together on projects from different specialisms, this event was an opportunity for all the family and friends of the children to come together and meet others involved with Artspark. A lot of the material has been made available online at the Artspark website for them to see – http://www.art-spark.org.uk/ – this was the first occasion where photographs taken documenting these sessions were exhibited back to the families of the Artsparks, showing the full scope of the sessions from the 2 year project. It was again a real joy to work with project leader Kate Verity on producing the printed booklets and installation for this exhibition of outcomes to the group. Photographs documenting the event can be seen below:
The reality is that any schemes like this can only swell the passion of an individual encouraged and supported enough to engage with them. Supported by the Arts Council of Wales for 2 years, the project is currently looking for more funding and sponsorship to continue for the stage of the project – not only giving an opportunity for a new intake of gifted and talented children to develop their skills through targeted learning – but also to continue to develop and engage with the existing Artsparks! Moving from a termly event to special one-of-projects during school holidays. This can include signposting to other programmes opportunities to take participate with in their local area, as much as to national groups like Criw Celf and Arts Award.
Projects like these need our support as much as our involvement – if we don’t use them, we WILL loose them.
If you would like to find out more about the project, or how to nominate a young artist to take part, please contact project leader – Kate Verity (Caerphilly Arts Development Officer) on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01495 224425 ext 231.
To finish this post, I leave you with just some of the feedback gathered from the Artsparks! as part of this session – I think you’ll agree, positive, meaningful and inspirational – long may this project continue into the future.
Thanks for reading – Kate x