September sees the beginning of our new partnership with University College Falmouth and their Widening Participation team. The value of KEAP’s strategic role in arts education in Cornwall has been recognised by UCF as intrinsic to the quality of the arts delivered in schools, and of course, to the continued progress of children and young people into education and careers in the arts and cultural sector.
Thanks to this partnership we will continue to maintain our overview of arts education, working with teachers, artists and arts organisations to develop training and programmes of work and use our Information Service to ensure that info on opportunities, activity and training is available to everyone, and that schools can access details of high quality practitioners of all art forms.
UCF are also keen to support and underwrite training for teachers which means that the fantastic conferences we have developed for Heads of Art, Dance and Drama and the Primary Art Conference will continue, and grow, taking advantage of the resources and partnerships offered by UCF and other organisations.
Having a world-class specialist arts university in Cornwall is excellent for our creative economy, but we also want to keep our graduates in Cornwall, and ensure that they have access to experiences which will help them move into the job sector and find careers here. An important part of many artists’ portfolio is community and education work, and through City of Lights, we have given many UCF students some experience working in schools. Through our new partnership we want to grow this, finding more opportunities for students and graduates to gain experience working with children, young people and communities.
Celebrating young people’s achievements in the arts by bringing together and showcasing work is another important part of the development of high quality art in schools. For the past 3 years UCF has hosted KEAP’s county secondary visual art exhibition, curating student’s work in a gallery context. We now expect to connect more with the high profile DesignEd schools competition, lending a visual art perspective.
Writing Squad Kernow is KEAP’s flagship programme for young writers, giving them experience of writing for the real world in many forms – journalism, poetry, playwriting, storytelling, responding to commissions and creating publications. Helping talented young people explore their art form in more depth can help them take that next step into Higher Education, and due to the success of WSK, we are creating the Art Squad with UCF, which will inspire and nurture young artists, working with professional artists. Taster sessions will run in October.
Our partnership will also look at gaps in arts education and this year investment will be made in Primary Dance, through the Pavilion Dance South West Co investment funding, and in KEAP’s new programme, The Story Republic.
Amanda Harris, KEAP’s Director said, ‘We are delighted to be working more closely with UCF and ensuring that young people in Cornwall have greater access to their amazing resources and ensuring that the arts in Cornish schools continue to thrive’
Hannah Partington from UCF said, ‘Falmouth is delighted and excited to be developing our partnership and working more formally with KEAP. This connection signals Falmouth’s real commitment to the development, support and celebration of arts education within this amazingly creative County. Changes in the primary and secondary curriculums, along with cuts in Arts Council grants will obviously have an impact on our core business. Therefore it’s in all our interests that we, the deliverers of formal arts education along with the hundreds of practitioners and enthusiasts who make an equally important contribution, have a collective voice to stand up for the arts and celebrate their immense contribution to society.’