What we've been up to this month:

Great art takes courage to produce. To create something truly distinctive, we need to have the self-confidence to take risks and share our innermost feelings with those around us.

During March we collaborated with The Design Museum, an ultra-modern monument to the importance and relevance of creativity and design. In celebration of the life-changing power of creativity, we welcomed more than 200 guests to our Special Private View of the museum, recently opened in its stunning new venue. We gave guests the chance to explore a world-class museum and its cutting-edge exhibitions in an intimate way after the doors closed to the general public, enabling us to raise more than £32,800.

This remarkable total will allow us to reach out and build pride and self-confidence in the lives of people across the UK like eight-year-old Sophie. Alongside fifteen classmates from Hallfield Primary School, she wowed our Design Museum guests with their world premiere performance of Sonic Design, the new piece they had written under the guidance of our professional musician in response to the museum.

Sophie sang a solo in the performance: “I got to sing for my first ever audience in my whole life, and my mum was there. I was so shocked when I saw all the people: this is the biggest place I’ve ever seen and the biggest audience I’ve ever seen. I was nervous at first, but then I sang a bit more and felt more confident. At the end the audience kept on cheering for us and I felt really proud of myself.”

Sophie’s mum, Claire, told us what a meaningful experience this was for Sophie: “Sophie has two siblings, an older brother and an older sister, who both have autism. She doesn’t get half the things they get, like special trips out. So she gets a bit left out sometimes and having this opportunity to do something special just for her is something that she deserves. Her confidence has grown with it untold.

“I didn’t even know she was doing a solo until today! Although she’s quite loud sometimes, inside she’s quite shy so I didn’t think she’d have the courage to do it. She surprised me. She absolutely loves music so to have the opportunity to sing in front of so many people is amazing. I’m so proud of her.” 

Also this month

  • In our last update, we told you about our creative:connection project in Harrow. We gave young people with and without disabilities the opportunity to storyboard, direct and act in their own horror film. You won’t be disappointed by the hilarious horror comedy they created!

  • We explored a full spectrum of colours and textures in our interactive visual arts workshops with school pupils with and without disabilities in Ealing. They broke down barriers to communicate and collaborate, creating these beautiful wall hangings. Aren’t they amazing!
  • Our dance project bringing together adults with learning disabilities and primary schoolchildren drew to an exciting close this March. After eight weeks spent choreographing a dance piece, they performed for a captivated audience of friends, family and VIP guest Simon Hughes. This special project broke down barriers, enabling the participants to build relationships, social skills, confidence and self-esteem
  • We celebrated World Book Day with pupils with and without disabilities in Southwark, creating animations inspired by their favourite books
  • “It’s Still a Man’s World: Gender Inequality in the Arts.” During March, our Chief Executive Nicky Goulder got together with the emerging female artists who took part in our Nurturing Talent programme last year. They shared their thoughts on gender inequality in the artistic industries for this article in the Huffington Post
  • Nicky also shared her expertise on developing successful corporate partnerships in an article for Third Sector magazine.

To find out about more of our projects with disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults visit our blog.