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Visual arts in the South East connecting with children and young people

  • Date: 22 February 2013
  • Area: South East
Children and young people posing with artist

Lost & Found members with artist Aaron Head, CVAN, RADAR, 2013. Credit: Tim Loake

A new initiative to support the visual arts sector in engaging with the younger generation has announced a programme of consultative events to take place in February and March in the region.

The programme, RADAR, is supported by Artswork, the Arts Council South East 'bridge' organisation, and is organised by Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN). It combines research and activity to develop the artistic and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the region.

Arts Council England support a network of 10 'bridge' organisations through our National portfolio to connect children and young people, schools and communities with the art and culture sector.

On Tuesday 26 February the second in a series of three events will take place at Arts Council England National portfolio organisation Turner Contemporary in Margate. The discussion will explore how the visual arts sector can work more closely with the wide range of agencies and establishments servicing children and young people, from schools to youth groups, higher and further education. In the changing education landscape the aim is to think more flexibly about how the visual arts can connect with these services. The event running from 12.30 to 16.30 includes a tour of Turner Contemporary with Karen Eslea, Head of Learning at the gallery.

A third event, examining how the visual arts sector can better understand quality in its offer for children and young people, will be held at Lighthouse in Brighton on Monday 25 March.

Each event is free to attend and, while there are limited places, a broad range of contributors are welcomed, cross-department including education, local government and children and young people sectors.

The potential for engaging children and young people in arts and culture is reflected in figures from 2012 where Arts Council England funded organisations put on 11,893 school performances and 357,797 learning sessions for children and young people. This echoes the importance of meaningful, engaged capacity building that RADAR seeks to attain.

By taking a holistic view of the regional offer currently available for children and young people, looking at participation, programming and marketing, RADAR aims to identify the capacity needs of the sector in order to facilitate knowledge building and to enhance collaborative working between the education and cultural sectors.

The voice of young people is core to the consultative process and the programme looks to more deeply embed Artsmark and Arts Award in the region to contribute to the strategic development of the visual arts sector. The first event which took place at Milton Keynes Gallery on 7 February focused on listening to young people and was attended by young people from Lost & Found, MK Gallery's youth forum.

Amanda King Project Manager CVAN South East says: 'The RADAR project is a great opportunity for CVAN South East, by brokering partnerships across the region we are able to support and enhance the excellent work of the region's visual arts organisations, with and for children and young people.'

Stephanie Allen, Visual Arts Relationship Manager, for the South East, Arts Council Engalnd says: 'The RADAR project highlights the collective strength of CVAN South East, who together have shown they can achieve greater impact and increased reach by sharing their networks and extensive knowledge of working with children with children and young people between each other and with the broader sector. With a focus on listening to what young people want, improving education networks and increasing the quality of the work made and shown the project should result in fantastic new experiences for children and young people across the region.'

Places for the events can be booked online:
Turner Contemporary: Book via Eventbrite
Lighthouse: Book via Eventbrite

For more information: