Stour Valley Arts is one of 12 Lead Arts Organisations for INSPIRE ‘Leading through Culture’ Project, part of the Kent Schools Olympic Legacy Programme, funded by Kent County Council, Artswork and Royal Opera House Bridge. This ambitious programme involving 130 schools and a key group of arts and cultural organisations from Kent enables young people to connect with and create arts and culture.

Since the autumn of 2013 Stour Valley Arts has been working with hundreds of young people involved in the INSPIRE through Culture programme – specifically the Ashford hub of Inspire. This project has proved invaluable in building new relationships between the learning team at SVA and local schools – particularly a two-way understanding – the schools are more aware of the offer at Stour Valley Arts and the Learning team know more about the individual schools’ needs. Working with our artist educators, who were fantastic, including Tracey Falcon, who supported SVA’s input with great leadership, many teachers and children from across Ashford experienced a very memorable and valuable journey, which will help to sustain the partnerships between the schools and SVA.

How it worked

Stage One – young arts leaders were identified by the schools and SVA participating in an interactive workshop to look at developing their school’s INSPIRE through Culture project.

Stage Two: both the young arts leaders and teachers took part in an off-site ‘Big Arts Day’ to develop their understanding of leadership and share an exciting, inspiring arts experience with other young arts leaders from the Ashford district.

Ashford’s ‘Big Arts Day’ back in March saw ninety pupils from local schools coming together to take part in artist-led workshops and experiment with new techniques and materials.  Stour Valley Arts learning team and artist educators led activity sessions using music, print, sculpture and photography processes, in a full day of fun and inspiring activities. The groups were mixed so that children from different schools and ages took part together.

About Inspire

INSPIRE is a Kent Schools’ Education Olympics Legacy Programme to ensure we maintain the momentum of the London 2012 Games, and the clear benefits that this brings to education.

INSPIRE is being delivered in two phases – phase 1 led up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and phase 2 will lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games (September 2014 to July 2016).

Stour Valley Arts was chosen by KCC to be part of Inspire in recognition of the quality of its learning and public programme.

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