Art at Work

We provided students with the opportunity to gain real understanding of how to become a creative professional through a range of first hand experiences

In partnership with the Aldridge Foundation and Lighthouse, we delivered Art at Work a two-year arts learning programme for students at the Brighton & Portslade Aldridge Community Academies.

Established in March 2013, Art at Work provided students at the two academies with the opportunity to gain real understanding of how to become a creative professional through a range of first hand experiences.

We’ve now concluded the two-year ACE funded programme of Art at Work and a second phase is now in development. Here are some notable achievements that we will build on into the future:

In October 2014 as part of Brighton Photo Biennial, students presented photographs on large light-boxes in Brighton city centre’s Jubilee Square and, supported by artists, delivered Family Photo Fest a community festival that included an array of hands on workshops including pinhole photography, fantasy portraits, and a giant community selfie.

In February 2015 Careering Around the City gave 250 students the opportunity to find out about arts organisations across Brighton & Hove, using a specially created mapping app by SCRAMBOO. The app functioned as a game, giving participants questions to answer, people to meet and tasks to complete, with students working in teams, scoring points as they found organisations from across the creative industries in a treasure trail type experience.

Later in February 2015, artist Sophie Giblin, Studio Resident at Lighthouse, brought her Fast Art to Brighton Aldridge Community Academy. Fast Art is a creative innovation and entrepreneurship workshop that gives teams the opportunity to create, make, deliver and sell a concept to the public in just three hours. Teachers and students worked with Sophie, and then went on to create and deliver their own Fast Art workshops at Brighton Youth Arts Festival BFest in May 2015.

The creative industries account for around £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports* and Brighton is home to some of the UK’s best artists, photographers, creative technologists, game designers and digital developers.

Art at Work brought some of these incredible professionals into the Academies, set up mentoring and shadowing schemes, and visits to museums, galleries and archives, as well as opportunities for students to visit professionals in their workplace. The project equipped students with the skills and expertise necessary to create their own citywide programme of exhibitions and community events, and enabled them to showcase what they learnt during the two-year project.

The programme, funded by Arts Council England and delivered with the support of Brighton & Hove City Council, aimed to support, inspire and train teachers and youth and community leaders, promote networking and establish stronger links with the city’s cultural offer.

Art at Work created stronger links between the city’s arts and creative industries, young people, and the communities of Portslade and Falmer, with a focus on training in the creative use of technology inside and outside the classroom, creative and digital careers awareness, and contemporary film, photography and digital media practice.

Culture Shift were engaged by the project partners to evaluate the programme, they worked with the group from the start to refine and clarify the project outcomes and develop appropriate tools to measure the impact of the programme.

About the project partners

The Aldridge Foundation sponsors four entrepreneurial academies, which include Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA), and Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA). BACA opened in September 2010 in the existing Falmer High School building. In 2011, students moved into the new Academy building with its modern sports, entrepreneurship and IT facilities. BACA builds on the progress made at Falmer High School to create an Academy offering the highest standards of education. PACA is a Co-Educational, 11-18 Academy in Portslade, Brighton. It replaced Portslade Community College (PCC) and opened in September 2011, currently on two sites.

In the near future there will be significant development on the Chalky road site with a building and refurbishment programme that will see £12.7million invested in the facilities. Academies are free, government-funded schools that provide a fresh approach to learning in state-of-the-art buildings to raise standards of achievement among all students whatever their abilities. Each Academy is individual and develops to reflect local needs. An Academy has a sponsor who provides vision, leadership and expertise to enrich the experience of all the students. The sponsor invests money in an endowment fund to provide financial support for additional activities at the Academy.

Lighthouse is a leading arts agency in South East England supporting, commissioning and showcasing new work by digital artists and filmmakers. As well as being a vibrant venue for events in Brighton, Lighthouse supports artists and filmmakers by offering opportunities for development through commissions and mentoring programmes. Lighthouse advocates for moving image, media arts and the new forms of practice made possible by digital technologies. It has an ongoing exhibitions programme and also runs regular events for digital and moving image artists and filmmakers.

* DCMS, 27 February 2013: Our creative industries are a real success story. They are worth more than £36 billion a year; they generate £70,000 every minute for the UK economy; and they employ 1.5 million people in the UK. According to industry figures, the creative industries account for around £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports. With the right support, they have the potential to bring even more benefits to our culture and economy