The Learning Team at Maidstone Museum has received substantial funding from Artswork, a bridge organisation of the Arts Council, to deliver an exciting art-based health and wellbeing project with 15 local schools.
The ‘Green Spaces, Natural Faces’ project will see pupils, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, spend a day in the museum investigating different art forms and looking at emotions, faces and expressions linked to emotional wellbeing. They will then create their own piece of art with a focus on expressions of ‘self’.
In the second part of the project, pupils will spend a day in their nearest green space or park working with Outdoor Studios (OS), a specialist Arts company. OS has developed 4 activity workshops that schools will each do one of, based on their health and wellbeing requirements. Workshops include exploring perceptions of self, interacting with the environment, body language, emotions and drawing outdoors, taking in different perspectives.
Laura Thomas of OS said: “We’re delighted to be working with Maidstone Museum on this exciting project. Our workshops help connect people to natural and urban environments across a range of arts disciplines, encouraging exploration of different tools and techniques through practical, hands-on experience. They’re great fun and really help engage children with nature, which is particularly valuable to those with limited access to the natural environment.”
Golding Homes are also supporting the project with a generous donation towards the activities, as well as £500 to enable each school to apply for Artsmark registration. Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England and provides a clear framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture and creativity across the curriculum.
Caroline McBride Head of Community Development for Golding Homes said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to partner in this exciting project which gives children the opportunity to explore health and wellbeing through art. The project will also leave a lasting legacy in each school as a result of teachers being trained to deliver the “Arts Award” Programme in future years.”
Roz Meredith, Learning and Events Officer at Maidstone Museum added: “We’re thrilled to have received funding for this project, which will enable us to reach out to many more children, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in this kind of activity.”
There is no cost to the schools involved since these will be met by the project, including coach transport, art materials, refreshments and supply cover for those teachers busy making art with their class out in the environment.