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Project information

Accessible art workshops for families

Families with a deaf child or parent and lower income families with pre-school children aged 2-5 struggle to access affordable, inclusive arts activities. Illustration promotes literacy, communication and confidence building and is uniquely placed to inspire these groups.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: House of Illustration

House of Illustration logo
  • Need


    Many deaf children and their families struggle to access the arts and particularly to attend workshops together if they have different primary communication needs. There are limited provisions for BSL users at weekends and during school holidays. Families with young children can be socially isolated when economically deprived, so by providing free, accessible, fun and engaging activities we aim to fulfil a real local need for both children and parents.


    We will deliver a programme of eight weekend family workshops delivered by deaf artists in both BSL and spoken English. We will work with our local school Frank Barnes School for deaf children on content design and promotion of our offer to families. We will deliver 14 activity sessions for 2-5s and their families on weekday mornings during term time. To reach more families we will use ‘in-reach’ at local community centres, libraries and children centres.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To work with deaf artists to extend our arts activities for families in BSL and spoken English


    » Commission deaf artists to run 8 workshops in BSL and spoken English, enabling families with different means of communication to enjoy art together
    » Partner with local school for deaf children Frank Barnes and the National Deaf Children’s Society to reach more families
    » Run gallery tours as part of workshop sessions in BSL and spoken English
    » Share learnings from the programme with gallery education professionals via blogs, articles and talks

    What success will look like

    Success will be delivering 8 creative, inspiring sessions to new audiences which are enjoyed by deaf children, parents and artist facilitators and which can inform our future work

    Aim 2

    To expand our illustration-focused arts activity for 2-5 year olds and their parents/carers


    » Build in-reach partnerships with local community centres, libraries and children’s centres to run four workshops offsite for low-income families
    » Run 10 creative illustration workshop and storytelling activities on weekdays at House of Illustration
    » Train arts educators and promote best practice in pre-school learning and outreach through a facilitator-shadowing programme
    » Share learnings from the programme with gallery education professionals via blogs, articles and talks

    What success will look like

    Success will be delivering 14 creative inspiring sessions to new audiences which are enjoyed by children, parents and artist facilitators and building new community partnerships.

  • Impact


    This project will enable us to promote creative family learning and social interaction for families who are significantly disadvantaged in accessing the arts and creative opportunities. Success will be to further develop two new artistic programming strands that actively remove barriers to access and to build new audiences and community partnerships. This work will enable us to develop the skills of our staff and freelance team and to share best practice across the sector.


    Free activities always risk low numbers turning up on the day. We have developed good marketing methodologies, harnessing new technology and apps and are building partnerships to reach audiences. Developing a regular offer will ensure a more consistent turnout.
    Working at external partner locations for in-reach work involves factors beyond our control - eg timings and rooms may be changed last minute. Facilitators will be flexible and prepared to meet the changing needs of the audience.


    Funders of this project will receive an updated report on the project giving an evaluation of both the inreach work offsite and all workshops at HOI. This will include feedback, outcomes, photographs and information on how this work will inform future programming.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,460 Workshops Artist facilitators' delivery fees
      £800 Workshop planning Artist facilitators' planning time
      £1,500 Workshops BSL interpreters and workshop materials
      £1,200 Research /project management Paid additional hours for part-time roles at HOI
      £1,480 Gallery entry Gallery entry for all participants
      £1,000 Training Workshop facilitator shadowing programme
      £750 Marketing Design and print of marketing materials, digital marketing/advertising
      £1,810 Staff/overheads Head of education, admin and marketing assistant, volunteer expenses, running costs
  • Background


    House of Illustration is a gallery and education space centrally located at the heart of the King's Cross regeneration area. It is in the borough of Camden and on the border with Islington - two boroughs with wards with very high indexes of deprivation. Our nearest school is Frank Barnes School for the Deaf with whom we are building a close relationship. Four in-reach sessions will be held at local community venues.


    Key beneficiaries will be families with deaf members who are not often catered for in terms of having both BSL and spoken English used to facilitate arts activities. Our programme means they will be able to communicate and enjoy arts together as a family. Other beneficiaries will be parents and 2-5 year olds who use local services as a life line, and do not have the income to travel frequently in London or pay for arts activities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As a visual communication tool, illustration is both a powerful way to reach hearing impaired children, and an engaging and accessible introduction to the arts for pre-school children. We are the UK’s only public illustration gallery and learning space and we have developed a strong reputation for our illustration-focused learning work . All of our projects are delivered by professional illustrators with specialist experience in meeting the needs of deaf families and pre-school children.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Emily Jost

    Emily is our Head of Education and she has been responsible for building the reputation of our education and outreach work over the past seven years.

    Grace Attlee

    Grace is HOI's Schools and Families Producer and has developed several successful strands for families, toddlers and deaf and disabled children.

    Christopher Sacre

    Christopher is an artist/workshop leader who specialises in providing fully accessible and fun creative activities to deaf people and their families.

    Neysela Da Silva-Reed

    Neysela is a gallery educator and early years specialist with over 12 years experience in the museum sector.