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The Arts Society's Young Arts aims to inspire young people with a lasting enthusiasm for the arts, either through Young Arts groups (for 8-18 year olds which are affiliated to member societies) or a Young Arts project. Projects cover a wide range of activities and may benefit individuals through bursaries or prizes, or support children’s art in schools by funding visits to galleries and museums, purchasing special equipment or funding ‘Artists in Residence’.

Sutton Coldfield Young Arts

Here at The Arts Society Sutton Coldfield, we aim to encourage the appreciation and enjoyment of the arts by young people in our local area. Every year as part of our society’s Young Arts programme we provide exciting opportunities for children and young people to expand their horizons through their involvement in creative arts activities such as paper sculpture, painting, silk screen, poetry, felt-making and glass mosaics. A summary of the projects undertaken from 2007 todate are as follows -

In 2017, our sponsorship has enabled the Alley Kats drama group to go to Stratford to attend a RSC educational workshop. This was conducted by Lizzie Hopley, actress and author, and she was wonderful with all members of the group, and with remarkable understanding and guidance, she got each one to participate to the best of their ability in acting the story of The Tempest. It was quite amazing how she managed to make them blossom into performers.  We have rarely seen anything so impressive as her empathy with each one in the group. 

In 2016, our Young Arts Project has involved sponsoring a local drama group called Alley Kats who rehearse every Monday at Highbury Little Theatre. The actors are young disabled adults who sometimes perform in the local community, and who share a love of drama and a growing confidence as a result of the challenges and delights of performing in a group.  As a result of our Society's sponsorship, they have been able to buy a PA sound system and stand for their performances which.they are now able to extend to other clubs etc. which is proving very successful

In 2015, our project was again led by Sally Harper at Hollyfield Primary School, this time involving the children making images of the Kings and Queens of England relevant to that year’s history lessons.

In 2014, we again made a grant to Hollyfield Primary School, this time to support their Year 4 pupils in their Spitfire project which involved making a Spitfire and gas marks out of materials supplied by Sally Harper, Their involvement through use of their creative development and teamwork skills made wartime Britain more vivid and real to those involved. Part of this year’s grant enabled the School to purchase art materials for the benefit of the whole school.

In 2013, we made a grant to Hollyfield Primary School for their “Minibeasts” project which their Year 2 children were undertaking.

In 2012, we gave a grant to Arthur Terry School’s Arts Department to enable them to acquire picture frames so that their pupils could display their artwork in the School’s otherwise bland corridors.

In 2011 we sponsored a series of drum workshops at Hollyfield Primary School. Over eighty young pupils enjoyed the thrill of banging the drums under the leadership of African drumming expert, Sarah Westwood, the director of Moseley’s Drumvoice. ‘The overall aims of our Drumvoice workshops are to have fun and to experience the thrill of making music together in a group,’ Sarah Westwood said. ‘The drum circle is a very powerful method of building children’s confidence and self-esteem.’ The pupils enjoyed learning to play Drumvoice’s authentic instruments, including the distinctive Djembe drums, the big Djun bass drums, and an array of hand-held percussion such as the Caxixi Shaker that is filled with seeds. ‘What do you think is inside this Caxixi?’ Sarah asked one young pupil. ‘Sweets,’ he replied hopefully.

The project for 2010 entailed bussing all the year 6 pupils from a local primary school over to Walsall to the New Art Gallery for two workshops: ‘What is Sculpture?’ and Learning to Print’. Each of them took a cross curricular approach but both related to QCA schemes of work. Pupils looked, explored, developed their understanding, and created their own artworks. They also developed an awareness of the great cultural resource that is on their doorstep and looked forward to visiting the New Art Gallery again.

Here are a few of their comments: ** We had gallons of fun and excitement and when the end of the day came I was very extremely disappointed to leave. [Ahmed] ** I made a sculpture of a person’s head and shoulders. It was very messy and took a long time to make but it was worth it. When it dried out we were allowed paint it and to take them home. [Lorna] ** The statues what we made were wonderful, also they dried very well. Everybody enjoyed looking at these wonderful figures and said they were very well detailed. [Justin]

In 2009 a local artist, Sally Harper, ran a day workshop for Year 4 pupils. Its purpose was to use recycled materials to create work around the theme of animals in the rainforest. The emphasis throughout was on using the materials together with implements such as scissors, a soldering iron and a domestic steam iron in order to develop the young artists’ manipulative skills and help them understand how ‘your art can express what you think and feel’.

The previous year’s Young Arts project enabled young artists to create four collages to hang in the school entrance hall. They depicted, in vivid colours and striking detail, the wild life that an oak tree supports during each of nature’s four seasons.

Previous projects have included: 3D models of figures from LS Lowry’s industrial paintings, a large-scale silk wall hanging with an underwater theme that used a combination of silk screening and hand painting, and a young actors’ workshop.

In 2007, we participated in a West Midlands area co-operative venture that gave financial support to Swinfen Hall Young Offenders Institution near Lichfield. Eight young men designed and produced large mosaics on their chosen theme of ‘Freedom’. The completed work was exhibited in Lichfield Cathedral as part of Prison Week in November 2007.