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Lynsey Cullen, Education Coordinator, Warwick Arts Centre

Creative Learning at Coventry Transport Museum

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The Creative Learning Team has been out and about again! This time we took part in an Artists’ Marketplace at the Coventry Transport Museum. Coventry Music Education Hub together with Coventry Artsmark invited local arts organisations to share what’s on offer in the local area with teachers and students. We shared the marketplace with AC Academy Choirs, Mercurial Dance, Belgrade Theatre, Talking Birds, Autin Dance Theatre, Coventry City Council – Coventry Cultural Strategy, Media Mania and Arts Connect & Artsmark. There was a lovely creative buzz in the air with lots of primary schools from the local area who are involved in the Artsmark Award along with the Coventry Youth Jazz Orchestra and Coventry Youth Dance groups all really highlighting just how talented Coventry youngsters are!

The school children were all signing up to form a Junior Arts Council and were awarded badges by the Deputy Lord Mayor – they’ll be making lots of decisions about arts opportunities and letting their friends know how to join in. They are the future of the arts in Coventry and beyond and it was wonderful to see them start their journey – having chatted with each of the students, we can confidently tell you that the arts sector is in very good hands!

We had a few teachers sign up to our Teacher’s Membership to receive regular email updates about the opportunities available at Warwick Arts Centre and everyone was interested to hear about the upcoming Explore & Make sessions that are happening in the Mead Gallery next term. We also updated everyone on the progress of our schools projects. Teachers and students alike were thrilled to hear that the Arts Active Network children are hosting a multi-arts festival for children, by children called The SPLAT Festival on Saturday July 15th in Jephson Gardens and that the work created by the Play Code Share students will be on display at DigiFest on June 16th & 17th at Warwick Arts Centre.

Family Day was a hot topic! Nearly every person who had visited the arts centre with their school (teachers and students) had also been to one of our family days and the consensus was that they are ‘brilliant’, ‘a date we put in the diary’, ‘memorable’, ‘lots of fun’, ‘action packed’, ‘busy and exciting’ and ‘a fabulous day with so much to do’ and they can’t wait until the next Family Day on June 4th. They commented on how it’s great to have a day that offers free activities alongside quality shows and how they enjoyed being able to explore the arts centre in a way that they feel wouldn’t normally be appropriate without lots of other people doing the same.

At Warwick Arts Centre, we’re always keen to hear what the local community would like to see us offer so I popped a ‘tell us your ideas’ sheet on the table. We received some great suggestions, including: wooden aeroplane making, painting and art classes, puppetry workshops, puppet making, mask making, sculpture making club, pottery classes, more CPD on how the arts can be used in schools, dance lessons, musicals club and dinosaur exploration! If you have any thoughts on what you would like the Creative Learning team to offer, just let us know!

It was a really interesting and fun morning, bursting with talented and engaging young people. It’s always nice to talk to children who are excited by the arts and can tell us why they enjoy dance or drama or art and this was no exception – we’re all very excited to see what the Junior Arts Council get up to over the next year.

Now, if they could just help us excavate some dinosaurs on campus for the new dinosaur exploration project, that would be wonderful!

Or perhaps the university’s Science Faculty will have some reanimation ideas, à la Jurassic Park…you never know!

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