From the beginning, one of the most important things about Brixton Art Prize has been our celebration of the local art community, encouraging creatives to pursue artistic pursuits of any kind. In order to do so, the Prize is dedicated to helping Brixton arts communities in any way they desire; whether that be financial support, advertising, teaching, providing supplies, or just encouragement and celebration. On this page are the details about the three brilliant groups we will be working with to keep using art as a way to improve life and make it accessible to everyone.
Our first community arts group that we will be supporting is Kids Kreate. Kids Kreate is a free art club for children and their families in Brixton and Lambeth. The club was founded by Jackie Keane with an ethos that ‘Art must always be Free for Kids’ and a goal to bring creativity to children in as many ways as possible.
Many children no longer receive any form of art education in their school curriculum. Kids Kreate is creative, fun space outside of school for the children who attend. Art makes a positive difference to their challenging young lives. Having the freedom to create brings happiness, a sense of peace and achievement, with a big boost from enjoying being part of the art club they attend together every week. The children know that they form the art club, all suggestions are followed with their project ideas.
Kids Kreate runs on donations and the sessions are supported by skilled and talented volunteers who show how to create, make and construct. The aim of is to make sure every child goes home with art they are proud of.
Kids Kreate care about those who look after the children too. The core ideology of Kids Kreate is ‘No Stress Ever’ as they understand the pressure and difficulty that comes with being responsible for kids. Once registered, the parents and guardians have 2 hours for themselves as time to relax whilst the kids – well, kreate!
Inclusion and acceptance is key. We spoke to the founder of the club, Jackie Keane, about this way of thinking who says ‘Every child is an artist. We want them to continue being creative throughout their lives, remembering their experiences with us, to always be inquisitive and explore, knowing that they can create with things around them – and that paper, pen and paint are powerful.’
Our second group is Art4Space, formed in 1999 by three artists and teachers – Julie Norburn, Elinor Seath and Danielle Lees-Smith, responding to the need for art in the community. They are an award winning, not-for-profit community interest company who aim to use art and creativity as a catalyst for change. Their mission is to deliver high quality creative workshops, projects and training to community groups and to put high quality artwork into the public realm – which they have been doing so.
Their website boasts a clear and inclusive plan to bring art to those who are disadvantaged, their aims including ‘promoting community art activities within schools and community settings’ and ‘providing a community arts centre for local people offering a range of creative activities’.
In 2009, Art4Space did indeed open a centre, enabling them to run in-hour workshops – since then, 300 bespoke classes, parties and events have been hosted both at the studios and at outside events and festivals.
The project has been extremely successful and has made an excellent impact on the community. Art4Space has received 39 awards, developed 116 community projects and provided 26 apprenticeships/paid internships – to name but a few of the things the group has achieved.
Check out our interview on our blog page with Julie (Jewels) Norburn to learn more about Art4Space while we chatted with her about the history and ethos of the group.
Our third community arts group is Inclusion Arts, set up by Jason Gibilaro. Inclusion Arts describes itself as a committee that implements intergenerational art projects, ensuring community engagement. Their projects are workshop led with creative activities, often in collaboration with professionals to raise awareness about Health and Wellbeing.
The group has a focus on health and wellbeing. Their first official project was Creativity in Wellbeing, in 2015/16. A collaboration was done with a key stakeholder in Loughborough Junction in Lambeth, recognised as having some of the most deprived areas in London. It was a challenge to encourage lifestyle changes in an area of severe deprivation.
Poverty can be linked to a variety of health issues, and participants in the project were encouraged to think about this creatively. Designs from the creative workshops were produced onto printed recipe cards, with the recipes drawn up by a qualified nutritionist. The work done at these workshops clearly has an impact on the world outside of the creative zone!
All abilities are encouraged to take part in their workshops, from children to adults. In addition, the projects all aim to represent the cultural diversity of an area and to be intergenerational.
The participants are encouraged to empower themselves through the workshop program, and the physical creations that come from the workshops act as ‘a testament to their input’, as their website states. Some visual outputs from the workshops have included permanent art installations, posters and health promotional material, healthy eating recipe cards and a variety of leaflets.