Royal Opera House Bridge is investing a total of £200,000 to support arts and cultural organisations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent. The Learning Offer Development Fund is for visual arts, performing arts, heritage and museum sectors as well as libraries, local authority cultural services, theatres and music education hubs to develop their work with children and young people.
We work to connect children and young people with great art and culture. We know that teaching, especially creative subjects, during the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging, with schools having to adapt and embrace new approaches and technology. Home learning activities that incorporate authentic learning experiences, student-centred approaches and choice, were found to be effective during lockdown. The arts offer ideal vehicles for such ways of working. We hope that our investment gives more children and young people remote and live access to arts and cultural practitioners to enhance the curriculum, provide vocational learning and offer challenging, enjoyable learning opportunities.
The fund means that cultural organisations can rethink their learning programmes at a time of huge change. Since the pandemic hit, they’ve needed to come up with new and innovative ways to develop creative and cultural work for, by and with children and young people. The fund will allow organisations to develop new plans, create infrastructure for new digital work, think again about how they engage audiences, carry out research and pilot new ideas to diversify their offer and reach.
We’ve already invested £115,000 in 26 organisations as part of the Learning Offer Development Fund, and the latest round of funding will see £85,000 invested in 16 more.
Following the success of the art and sound installation Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories, Evewright Arts Foundation in Thurrock will use their grant to develop resources for schools to share Black British stories, including the experiences of the Windrush generation.
Royal Opera House Bridge also commissioned us to create a diverse educational offer alongside the show and if possible we’d love to work with the St John Fisher to pilot some educational theatre workshops on students and staff please. This would be free of charge and the grant enables us to develop an educational resource pack to co-exist with our 2022 touring show, testing at least two of the education workshop sessions with students and teachers. This finalised pack will be offered to schools in 2023 during a future tour of the show.
The impact is to unite, inspire, engage and explore effective ways to deliver black heritage training and workshops to young people. We will work alongside arts practitioners to establish new ways of working, take new risks, and reframe sector practices. Our educational pack will examine key black heritage themes rooted within identity, racism, success, culture, performance and artistic training. Creative masterclasses will offer diverse alternative industry perspectives and pathways. Audiences are universal.
If you’re happy to proceed then we would send you our workshop selection with the aim of delivering one practical industry professional workshop to students and a in person CPD session to teachers in September/October which will delve into the themes of Black Theatre and our HOMEWARD concepts. All of our work is underpinned by an inhouse educational consultant who will embed curriculum themes into our educational offering. We are also working with an industry evaluator so the process will monitored via qualitative and quantitative processes. Students will also be invited to watch the performance at GlassBox Theatre on the 18th October 2022 to correlate with the workshop sessions: https://lyriciarts.com/events/homeward-soulfood-tour3/
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and hopefully we can continue working together to provide your students with inhouse partnership work.
HOMEWARD is an academy designed to give Black heritage artists the space to create and develop their practice through a programme of industry mentorship, training and profiling.
Work will be explored through live and digital platforms, with participants provided access to explore themes relating to personal identity, lived experience and culture, and to further their artistic careers.
HOMEWARD was launched in 2022 as a Creative Estuary Co-commission. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England.
Creative Estuary Co-commissions support a wide range of cultural projects with new commissions for Estuary-based producers and artists, from activity for emerging cultural activists to large scale commissions with a diverse mix of partners. The Co-commissions will raise widespread awareness of existing creative talent across the region and support creative practitioners and organisations to make and present new work.