Hi Davinia! Could you first introduce yourself for the reader?
My name is Davinia Jones-Turner and I am the Arts Award Co-ordinator here at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.
What happens at the organisation?
The Brewery Arts Centre is a thriving and dynamic arts organisation with over forty years experience in delivering an exciting and inspirational programme, including artistic events, festivals and creative learning courses.
Our venue is a beautiful, historic building full of charm and set against the backdrop of the picturesque market town of Kendal. We host five major festivals every year, including the internationally renowned Kendal Mountain Festival, and we have developed strong partnerships with key organisations such as Manchester’s renowned Band on the Wall. We are proud to be Cumbria Life Culture Awards ‘Venue of the Year’ 2017!
What do you offer to young people?
Brewery Youth Arts is our in-house participation and creative learning department with provision from early years to young adulthood. We aim to make all art experiences accessible, authentic and exciting in order to engage and inspire.
At the heart of what we do are the relationships we develop with our young people and their parents/carers, as well as our funders, artists, creative partners and with each other.
We offer a range of regular classes as well as workshops and events as part of our programme. We are proud of the diverse and inspiring shows and exhibitions that are tailored to young people.
Arts Award can be incorporated into any activity a young person chooses to take part in here at the Brewery, and is always tailored to them.
What activities are most popular for young people and why?
As we have a person-centred participatory approach in all classes, there are many activities that prove popular. Digital aspects to art such as photography and film are becoming a key part of our offer that combines with our regular and popular theatre, dance and visual arts classes.
Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?
We have started to have more intensive summer art camps with a range of theatre, dance and art activities. Our latest week-long art workshops resulted in all the members achieving an Arts Award to compliment the amazing experience the young people said they had.
Young people participate in these activities in a caring safe, inspiring and welcoming environment. They are given the best opportunities to develop new skills through working with talented, experienced tutors. The chance to create theatre, dance and visual arts with a group of like-minded young people is a fantastic way to build confidence, as well as motivation, teamwork and collaboration skills. The young people are also given a voice by creating their own work.
Have you seen any change in the industry over the last few years? Is it positive or negative?
Austerity has had a major impact on people accessing the arts. We have noticed less young people in our regular classes as well as a decline in general audience numbers across the art programme. In addition, funding has become extremely tight with the whole industry having to do more with less.
Do you run Arts Award or offer a Trinity College qualification? If so, what do you offer and how can young people get involved?
We offer the chance to complete the full range of Arts Awards – Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Anyone aged 5-25 can get involved in our arts award offer in a way that is tailored to them. This could be as part of a school group or community group, or as an individual attending one of our classes or events. Our website is the best place to browse what we offer – www.breweryarts.co.uk or you can contact me, the Arts Award Co-Ordinator on [email protected] .
Are you an Arts Award Supporter? If so, what do you offer to young people doing Arts Award?
We also offer support to organisations and schools who would like to support their own groups to complete the arts award and welcome any contact regarding the arts award or getting involved in the arts.
Is there anything you particularly want to promote to young people at the moment?
We are keen to hear from young people who may want to try our classes, workshops or complete an arts award, as well as schools and organisations who would like to take part in our events and the arts award.
Where can people find out more about the work you do?
The best place for any information is our website – www.breweryarts.co.uk.