As we’re sure most Creative Boom readers will know, creativity is a hugely powerful tool. However, it’s a tool that not everyone has good access too – particularly in young people, in more deprived parts of the country.
New arts and education charity The Sixteen Trust aims to help change that, working to "provide opportunities and raise aspirations" for 11-16-year-olds in deprived parts of the UK through "driving real-world opportunities through the charity’s significant network of arts professionals." It believes "the arts have the unique capability to touch all aspects of daily life and provide young people with opportunities through practical, creative or even scientific pathways."
The organisation adds: "Education through the arts has the potential to reach into and inform a wide variety of subjects, providing cross-pollination and transferable skills, giving students experiences and hands-on knowledge that could prove invaluable in initiating a variety of interests and, eventually, career paths. It will give long-term support, tied into the school curriculum and in partnership with schools and educators."
The organisation's launch is heralded with two major exhibitions in London and Margate. The London show, taking place at 10 Hanover, runs from 2 – 8 September 2019; and will feature works by more than 20 Turner Prize nominees including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst that will be sold to fund the Sixteen Trust’s mentoring and workshops programme.
This exhibition will be followed by a larger exhibition of former Turner Prize nominees and winners in the Sunshine Café, Margate, sited near Turner Contemporary and running from 13 September – 18 October 2019. The show, entitled We Must Cultivate Our Garden, marks the reopening of the venue since it closed in 2011 and aims to offer a space representing the “former glory” of the Thanet area in Kent.
“To young people growing up in real financial hardship, and experiencing generational unemployment, the benefits of the arts can seem distant and alien,” says Sixteen Trust founder and curator Lee Cavaliere. “The Sixteen Trust has been founded to practically reach out to these otherwise ostracised children, to vitalise their talents and ideas and help them to realise their potential, and most of all, to help them understand the real value that they have, to their community and our broader culture.”
The organisation will partner with various local schools in Kent and will offer to mentor in person and online as well as other resources throughout and beyond young people’s secondary school education.
The mentors range from Helen Lovett-Johnson, costume designer for the recent Royal Ballet production of Cinderella; to Mikei Hall, head technician at Tate Britain alongside a raft of other set designers, videographers, art technicians, curators, fashion designers and dance choreographers.