Project information

Regular Free Art Classes for Children in Penzance

Regular and free art classes for the u5’s and 6-11 yr olds contribute to young people taking part in our community creatively and confidently, particularly those who otherwise don’t access the arts. A progressive opportunity for children to enjoy working with practising artists throughout the year.

April 2015 - December 2015

Charity information: Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange

Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange logo
  • Need


    Our trial workshops with young people from very deprived areas in Penzance show that while they are underrepresented in our audience, they enjoy and gain from the experience once past initial obstacles, participate more in the community and go on to form a sustained relationship with the gallery. There is a local gap in provision of family learning, and creative play, collaborative working with artists offers a stimulating alternative to curricular demands, but charges deter low income families


    We will work with groups who deal with our target participants to offer weekly, and crucially, free classes to children 6-11, and parents. They will work with artists in a stimulating and welcoming way using the resources and programme of the gallery. This is a long term commitment, understanding that engagement is a process of nurturing participants. They will gain confidence, engage with others, become socially active in Penzance, and gain creative skills not easily available elsewhere.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build a long term creative relationship with hard to reach young people in our community


    » We will work closely with organisations that already have a relationship with our target participants
    » We will use our existing contacts and resources, including a marketing campaign, to draw in as many participants as possible through multiple routes
    » We will adapt our offer to reflect the interests of our participants, who will shape the form of the classes
    » We will actively invite and welcome young people’s involvement in gallery activity

    That half of up to 20 weekly participants are not taking part in formal art education elsewhere, or have been referred from social engagement organisations.

    Aim 2

    To establish a permanent young parent and child social and creative group


    » We will work closely with existing partners to bring in hard to reach families
    » We will work with local authority and pre-school contacts to reach the broadest range of participants
    » The format and design of the young parents and child group will be led by participants

    Participant numbers grow week on week to 15 children each class, and retention rates of 6 weeks attendance are maintained.

    Aim 3

    To make possible creative progression, formal or informal, for both these groups


    » Create an inspiring challenging and free environment to experiment and play, and young people will take control of their own creative production.
    » We will create opportunities for creative development in-house (exhibitions, etc) and with partners, such as for instance, Penlee House Museum.
    » We can offer Arts Award accreditation to gold level
    » Collaboration : collaborative learning with artist educator offering an ’alternative and rewarding’ environment for creative development (Engage)

    Participants take advantage of at least 3 annual creative opportunities : Exhibit work or take part in activity not part of the class in the gallery, or outside.

    Aim 4

    For these classes to remain free in perpetuity.


    » We will build the costs of sustaining the classes into future fundraising plans
    » We will seek a local sponsor, thereby reinforcing community support
    » We will actively encourage the entrepreneurial activity of the young people and parents in self-fundraising - sales, crowdfunding, etc.

    In a July 2015, the classes are running, attended, and their funding assured for the next year.

    Aim 5

    To build teaching capacity into the cultural sector


    » We will consistently employ regional artist practitioners as tutors and pay them Arts Council England recommended rates
    » We will support the tutors with help from the gallery creative placement (paid cultural sector trainees, a role initiated during Big Give 2013)
    » We will share our learning with partners through networks such as Engage, Tate Plus.

    5 practising artists are engaged to collaborate with the participants in leading the classes. A creative placement trainee is assigned to the classes included in this project

  • Impact


    The project will address a local gap in provision with permanent free regular art for children as the first step on a relationship participants have with creativity throughout their lives. We anticipate 150 children each year will enjoy working with artists in a non-formal environment. We will be supporting the work of organisations like Trelya and WILD young parents. In the longer term, the participants will be able to progress to other creative opportunities within the gallery and elsewhere.


    We may find it hard to draw in participants who are already disengaged in the community. We think that partnerships we already have with organisations, and with possible participants through existing gallery social initiatives, have given us a foundation on which to build sustained relationships.
    We risk not finding the funding in subsequent years, but we are committed to considering regular art classes as core to the gallery, and will make all efforts to achieve permanent sustainability.


    We will prepare a report at the end of the project for the purposes of monitoring and learning. We will measure the success of the aims set out by gathering data: numbers, observation, and feedback. We will make the report available to Charity Champions, and offer a summary to our donors & pledgers.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,800 Artists' fee Leading 20 x classes for Children and Parents
      £1,800 Artists' Fee leading 20 x clases for 6-11 yr olds
      £400 Materials Materials for all classes
  • Background


    The project is centred on The Exchange Gallery, in Penzance in West Cornwall. The gallery, opened in 2007, is the sister gallery of Newlyn Art Gallery, established in 1885. The gallery offers year round contemporary visual art programming and a vigorous accompanying Learning and Participation programme. It has recently undertaken work with groups committed to dealing with social issues in the area, including the Three Villages Youth Project, Trelya, and WILD Young Parents’ group.


    Penzance and Newlyn include a clutch of areas defined in the 2010 Index of Multiple Deprivation as amongst the 20% most deprived in England, concentrated most arrestingly in Treneere, placed in the most deprived 3% of areas across all the social and economic indicators in England. Penzance also a popular tourist destination, and a cultural hub for he region. The project is intended to support the health of our community, by providing an opportunity for children to develop creatively.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange are a contemporary visual art Gallery supported as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England. We are committed to developing an ongoing conversation with our audience and adapt our work to their interests. We aim to broaden access to art and artists for our audience, particularly our immediate community, and develop partnerships. Our Learning programme, particularly recent social engagement, speaks for itself in supporting those aims.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Bettina Wenzel

    Events Officer, Learning and Participation. She will manage the project in the gallery, be responsible for recruitment.

    Cat Gibbard

    Coordinator, Learning and Participation. She will work with Bettina in steering the project and liaising with partners

Participants in trial regular art class

Participants in trial regular art class

[The tutor] has enabled the young people to ‘be themselves’ – they have developed their own style, and this is deeply represented in the art

Zoe Baxter