Supporter Spotlight: Cadw a home for artists
BY: Guest Writer
23 Oct 2019
Arts Award Supporter is a free scheme for arts organisations to reach young people, teachers and Arts Award advisers. We looked at the importance of Supporters in our blog last year because we believe it is helpful for our Arts Award Supporter community to hear about how other organisations have developed their offer. With this in mind, we hear from Arts Award Supporter Cadw’s Lifelong Learning Manager, Tim Hill, on how their organisation supports the scheme.
Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, helping to care for the historic environment for the benefit of people today and in the future. Through the centuries our sites have inspired many artists, poets and writers including J.M.W. Turner, Richard Wilson, Kyffin Williams and William Wordsworth. Their very creation, involving artists and craftspeople from many different practices. We are proud to say that Cadw sites provide spaces for artists to explore, enjoy, create and perform with individual sites offering a range of creative spaces and experiences.
Our Supporter offer
Our journey to becoming an Arts Award Supporter started a few years back from a conversation between the Arts Award team at Trinity College London, the then Welsh Government Fusion manager, and the Cadw Lifelong Learning Team. This conversation led to various people involved in heritage and culture in Wales receiving Arts Award adviser training in order to offer Arts Award at their organisations.This in turn, with the development of the new curriculum for Wales, offered fertile ground for Cadw’s learning team to revisit and develop our arts offer and register to become an Arts Award Supporter.
A chance meet with a representative from digital arts company Pyka, who have worked with Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre, led to a creative discussion and a partnership approach to the development of a creative app. This has provided an exciting art offer that can be used right across Cadw’s sites, be they staffed, unstaffed, large or small. Tested with various user groups, including Cadw custodians, Pyka lens enables you to explore your surroundings and capture the multimedia ingredients required to create your own interactive digital ‘Moments’, supporting digital competency and creative learning in wonderful heritage spaces. It was during the development of the app that Cadw learning team linked Pyka with the Arts Award team to ensure the app would support the Discover and Explore levels of the award. Our Education and Community Access offers open the doors to getting creative at a heritage site, for schools, home educated young people, scouts, guides and youth groups.
Today, as a proud Arts Award Supporter, Cadw sites offer places across Wales to enjoy creative experiences and make your own interpretations through artistic expression. Visitors can be inspired by the work of architects, masons, carvers, painters, stained glass makers and storytellers. Or come and create poetry, paint and draw, take photos, or make digital story-worlds and more. Our Artist in Residence project gives a taster of what is possible, and demonstrates how heritage and art fit together so well.
We are the first large heritage organisation in Wales to be recognised as an Arts Award Supporter and whilst we are still in the early stages, it has proven to be a simple way to identify how we can support young people to creatively connect with, be inspired by and learn from our historic environments. We hope to see an ever-growing partnership between Cadw, Arts Award, trained Arts Award advisers, practitioners and budding young artists.