This month marks the beginning of the delivery phase of the Bow Arts Sarah Bonnell Consortium; over the course of 2015, I’ll be working with a group of six schools based in and around Stratford on an artist-led programme aimed at embedding arts across the consortium.
Up till now, I’ve established the bare bones of the programme in consultation with the schools, neatly contained on a couple of sides of A4: there’ll be professional development for teaching staff; each school will have their own individual, artist-led project; there’s an Arts Award accredited strand; and opportunities to showcase and share the projects with the wider community.
Based on partnership working, knowledge exchange and collective planning are crucial elements of our consortium model. So last week, I brought together co-ordinators from each school to get to know each other. We began the exciting process of breathing life in to the plan and lifting it off the page. We kicked off with a resource mapping exercise to get a sense of what kinds of skills, knowledge, experience and interests we already have, and can share, as a group.
Judging from the upshot of this activity, I think it’s going to be a good year. Amongst many other things, I can reveal that in our midst we have:
- a DIY enthusiast
- at least four art degrees
- a network of over 100 amazing artist educators
- a cycling aficionado (well, two including me!)
- access to Newham Primary and Secondary Art networks and an established presence at their annual art exhibition
- a professionally trained musician
- a number of kilns
- connections with the Globe, the Barbican and the University of East London
- Year 8 students who are able to deliver ceramics workshops to younger learners
- access to 400 artist studios across London
- 50 year old grafitti scratched into school walls
- 10 African drums
- a passion for extraordinary things…
Let the sharing commence!
Lydia Ashman, Education Project Manager