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Impressions Gallery

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Impressions Gallery makes a Start on transforming children’s lives

Fri, 2nd Aug, 2013

Impressions Gallery is just one of only eight arts venues in the UK to be selected by HRH The Prince of Wales’ charity, The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts (Children & the Arts), to participate in its 2013/14 Start programme.

Start, now in its 7th year, gives those arts venues judged to have exciting and imaginative projects and clear determination and passion to deliver work to new audiences, the vital funding and specialist support to run long-term, high-quality arts projects with children from their local schools. The Start programme is designed to reach children from social and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who have very little experience of high quality arts activities and who would benefit most from early intervention in order to unlock their potential.

HRH The Prince of Wales has a fundamental belief that everyone at an early age should have the opportunity to be inspired by the arts. In the seven years that Start has been running Children & the Arts has helped create such opportunities for more than 104,000 children. The success of Start is due to the long-term partnership it forges between local arts venues and schools that lasts far beyond the lifespan of each individual project.

Start gives schools the means and motivation to take their children to see inspirational performances and exhibitions and teachers are provided with the training and resources they need to use the arts comfortably in the classroom. Equally Start gives children a new environment – which is neither the classroom nor the home - in which they can find new experiences and new ways to express their ideas, imaginations and personalities. It helps children to develop vital skills such as confidence and self esteem, communication, self expression and analysis which can actively improve their academic attainment across the curriculum. 

Through Start, each child will experience two professional performances or exhibitions over a year and have the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes to meet artists, directors, actors, choreographers, technicians and dancers. Start also provides the chance for children to take part in creative workshops in the venue and in the classroom with highly trained arts practitioners, developing their own art works, performances or dance pieces that are performed or exhibited at a high profile finale event at the venue in front of family, friends and peers.

Anne McNeill, Director of Impressions Gallery said of being selected: “We are delighted to be able to work with The Samuel Lister Academy, Grange Technology College, and Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College to provide a transformational art experience for children and young people in Bradford. Through Start over 200 pupils will take part in visits to the gallery, related learning in school and creative workshops with a professional artist. Pupils’ achievements will be celebrated in an exhibition at the gallery, where their school, family and local community will be able to see their artwork displayed. Start will enhance our existing high quality education programme and highlights our commitment to developing deeper and more meaningful relationships with schools in Bradford.”

Jeremy Newton, CEO of The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Impressions Gallery, and hope that this will be the start of a great opportunity for local children. The Start programme has helped us reach out to and engage thousands of disadvantaged children across the UK with the arts, who have previously been denied access to them. We know that engagement with the arts from a young age can help children develop vital skills needed to not only improve their academic achievements across a number of subjects but also give them the confidence to strive for a better future for themselves. We look forward to supporting Impressions Gallery and all our new arts venues on what will be some extremely innovative and inspiring arts experiences”.

Click here to read more about The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts Start programme.

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