We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in receiving £135,000 from the government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in Stoke-on-Trent, as part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Levelling Up agenda.
This invaluable money will fund a Clay & Communities programme from 2023 – 2025 delivered in collaboration with Partners in Creative Learning (PiCL). Clay & Communities includes four areas of activity which will bring creative professional development and hand-making with clay to the people of Stoke-on-Trent. British Ceramics Biennial has a proven track record of working with local people to enhance their skills and enable them to access new opportunities resulting in increased wellbeing, and positive mental health outcomes. PiCL has thirteen years’ experience designing and delivering creative learning programmes in schools and communities, and this year they merged with Stoke and North Staffs Cultural Education partnership to become an Arts Council NPO.
The Clay & Communities programme will include
Clay School will see professional artists running practical clay workshops in nurseries and primary schools throughout Stoke-on-Trent. Clay School will also deliver training for teachers to build knowledge and confidence in working with clay in the classroom across all areas of the curriculum.
A heritage-led engagement programme will connect Stoke-on-Trent’s refugees and asylum seekers, communities of South Asian heritage, African heritage, Caribbean heritage, and Gypsy Roma Traveller heritage to the city’s historic and contemporary position as a leader in ceramics through local exploration and hands-on activities.
This funding will broaden the reach of PiCL’s artist-in-residence programme to engage more schools, with a focus on clay and the city’s ceramic heritage. As well as improving educational, social and wellbeing outcomes for young people, it will further enhance the professional expertise of the artists and teachers in schools.
Creative Careers will establish new ways of providing meaningful work experience for young people in the cultural sector. This programme will work with secondary schools in Stoke-on-Trent to open up opportunities for young people to understand the breadth of options available for working in the cultural sector and help establish links and networks to those that are already established in the sector. This will ultimately help to bring greater and much needed diversity to the cultural workforce.
All these activities will be delivered by the skilled teams and their associated artists at British Ceramics Biennial and Partners in Creative Learning.