Arts Council England Grant awarded to Isle of Wight Creative Biosphere Project

Date Created: 8th Sep 2021

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The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Island Collection and Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership have been awarded an Arts Council England Grant of £100,000 for their ‘Creative Biosphere’ Project.

This one-year project brings together the objectives of the Cultural Education Partnership and the Isle of Wight UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by connecting arts, heritage and environmental organisations with secondary schools to remove the barriers that currently prevent children and young people from participating in creative activities. Currently, children and young people on the Isle of Wight have limited access to cultural facilities and experiences due to geographical isolation and the cost of travel to the mainland, leading to endemic low aspirations and lack of social mobility.

The project will involve schools, which include communities of Ryde, Ventnor, West Wight and Newport, by embedding five creative practitioners in each to act as ‘bridges’ to help to break down ‘language barriers’ that exist between the different sectors, so that schools and creative partners can better meet students’ needs.

The role of the cultural organisations is to provide support and knowledge to commissioned artists and work with schools to develop a deeper understanding of how to connect with their children and young people for future projects

Arts Council England said:

‘The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has presented a very strong idea with very clearly expressed aims and clearly demonstrating how these aims will fulfil our Let’s Create strategy and wider aims of Arts Council England’

Richard Grogan, Lead Officer of the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty said:

‘We are grateful to Arts Council England for this grant which we will bring the arts and environment sectors together for the benefit of children and young people and lead to greater appreciation of the Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve’

Chris Slann, Chair of Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership said:

‘This is a fantastic project that will significantly strengthen the Island’s Cultural Education Partnership. We look forward to working with the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, creative partners, schools and local artists to ensure that our UNESCO Biosphere designation is better understood and creatively interpreted in both learning and community settings’

Through our role as Arts Council England’s South East Bridge Organisation, Artswork support a number of Cultural Education Partnerships across the South East, including the Isle of Wight. Cultural Education Partnerships are able to be responsive to local needs, with high-level support from senior leaders and decision-makers in their area. Together, we can encourage sector leaders to create new, joined-up ways of working and sharing resources. More information can be found here.

Image cr: The New Carnival Company

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Cultural Education Partnerships Isle of Wight South East Bridge

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