Project information

Get The Message

Get the Message is a project working with young people and teachers from local Special Education Needs schools and artists. The project aims to challenge perceptions of disability as a limitation through collaborative activities which champion all forms of communication and self-expression.

September 2017 - July 2018

Charity information

Camden Arts Centre

Camden Arts Centre logo
  • Need


    Get The Message specifically focuses on the;
    • lack of accessibility for people of all ages with learning disabilities within visual arts organisations;
    • challenges organisations face when establishing or improving accessible programmes and approaches;
    • lack of support for them to take leadership roles in artist-led projects; and
    • lack of opportunities for learning disabled artists to develop careers in the arts.


    We are working with 30 young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in partnership with at least three local schools. Attendees are aged 11- 17. During the next academic year Get The Message will include practical workshops in our galleries and Drawing Studio and a summer exhibition showcasing the work made on the project. We are working with learning disabled young people in order to promote their overall flourishing, and widen their opportunities in education and beyond.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increased opportunities for creative expression, participating in and creating art


    » Practical artist-led workshops in our galleries and Drawing Studio in partnership with SEN schools
    » A summer exhibition showcasing the work made on the project

    At least 30 young people with learning disabilities from three schools have participated in Get The Message over the 2017/18 academic year - hopefully more!

    Aim 2

    Improved communications, confidence and independence


    » Encounters with contemporary art practice, both in the galleries and working with artists
    » Workshops comprise a range of activities which champion all forms of communication and self-expression

    The project evaluation shows that 75% of participants have each improved in at least one of these areas.

    Aim 3

    Improved practice in education and participation provision for people with learning disabilities


    » We will recruit an artist with learning disabilities to co-lead the project
    » Artists will be trained in delivering visual arts education and participation work with/for learning disabled people

    At least five artists have trained in delivering visual arts education and participation work with/for learning disabled people.

  • Impact


    Get The Message uses art education which is especially effective in developing non-cognitive skills in/for students with profound and multiple learning disabilities to help them; improve communication and learning attainment and work in a public venue in mixed groups, build confidence, social networks and independence, and support them during transition beyond secondary school. Effectively monitoring the outcomes set for this programme is one of our key priorities.


    Get The Message is a long-running project with a track record of over 12 years. Many of our original participants have grown up and moved on and we have progressed and developed our learning, and the project, accordingly. We are evolving the project to meet the needs of participants in partnership with local SEN schools - strong and well established relationships are the foundation of this project and its ongoing success.


    Donors can access regular updates about Get The Message activity both via our website and our Education blog. They will also be invited to key project events. Formal reporting, including the project evaluation, will be shared with donors at the end of the academic year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,485

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £17,692 Artist and Assistant fees To plan and deliver workshops
      £1,170 Technician fees Specialist transport for SEN students to and from the Centre
      £1,720 Materials For an academic year's worth of workshops
      £1,903 Marketing, Admin & Transport Promotion of end of year exhibition, general office costs and specialist transport

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    City Bridge Trust £12,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We are based in north London, and our programme has a national and international reach. We work primarily with SEN students and special schools in Camden and adjacent London boroughs of Brent, Barnet, Islington and Westminster.


    We are working with at least 30 young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in partnership with three local schools. We hope to work with more schools if funding permits. Our participants are aged 11- 17.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have grown in experience and expertise in running art projects for/with learning disabled students, and have grown up alongside the children and young people who first joined 12 years ago. It is a natural progression for us to support them as young adults in their further training and artistic endeavours; and to extend Get The Message to work with aspiring artists with learning disabilities. We are continually developing in response to key challenges we have identified with our partners.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gemma Wright

    Head of Education and former Education Organiser, Gemma has a close relationship with the project and our participants.

    Adam J B Walker

    Co-leads the project with Emma and a learning disabled artist

    Emma McGarry

    Co-leads the project with Adam and a learning disabled artist

    To Be Confirmed

    Recruitment is underway for a learning disabled artist to co-deliver the project with Adam and Emma

Well thought through and planned sessions, with appropriate expectations that allowed the students to engage on their own level and take on independent learning journeys. Our students were able to relate to the activities in their own way and experience them on their terms.

Teacher, The Village School