The Inspired by British Arts Show 9 – Arts Connect Partner School Programme

British Art Show 9 exhibiting in Wolverhampton January to April 2022 has created a fantastic opportunity for Arts Connect and the University of Wolverhampton to collaborate with teachers, young people and local artists to create dynamic contemporary arts programmes in schools across the West Midlands. Through the inspired by BAS9 learning programme we are engaging with young people, inspiring teachers and building upon an already vibrant arts community.

As part of the inspired by BAS9 learning programme 20 secondary schools, colleges and SEND schools from the West Midlands have been selected to be part of the inspired by British Art Show 9 Arts Connect Partner School programme. Teachers and students from inspired by BAS9 Arts Connect Partner schools are collaborating with local contemporary artists to create unique creative programmes inspired by BAS9.

Jody Williams who is Head of Creative Arts at Moreton School commented Moreton Art Department feel privileged to be a part of the BAS9 Partner School programme. It will give our young artists the opportunity to engage with contemporary art practitioners, developing the pupils own practice, inspiring them to challenge and push themselves further. It is a great opportunity and we know it will mean the world to Moreton pupils to be involved.”

The inspired by BAS9 Arts Connect Partner schools have already started their creative activities with artists, including 4 Wolverhampton schools and colleges who have been working with Flexus Dance Collective to create unique contemporary performance pieces which were showcased in the summer at Arena Theatre Wolverhampton.

Mrs Gavin-Walker lecturer for performing arts at City of Wolverhampton College said about the experience ‘it was an incredible opportunity for my students, and they loved every part of it. The whole project was beautiful.’

Through the inspired by BAS9 Partner School programme we have partnered with 11 local contemporary artists who all bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the programmes that they are developing with young people and teachers.

Mark Riley an artist and creative practitioner who is working with 5 SEND schools chose to be part of the inspired by BAS9 Arts Connect Partner School programme as it “is a great opportunity to work with young people from complex backgrounds to engage with the best of contemporary art. I want them to be inspired by the themes of exhibition and enable them to have the agency to show what life is like for them and what they want for the future.”

As part of the inspired by BAS9 Arts Connect Partner School programme students from the University of Wolverhampton University and local emerging artists are working with artists, teachers and young people to co-create contemporary art projects and grow their experience in the field of arts education.

Natalie Haslam who has been working with Flexus Dance Collective shared her experiences “One of the best things about the project was seeing the progression of the young people involved – both creatively and individually. I particularly loved when, at the end of one of the sessions, the young people shared what they had learnt and were proud of, in both ‘dance terms’ and personally.

The artwork created by young people as part of the inspired by BAS9 Arts Connect Partner School programme will be publicly showcased throughout the duration of British Art Show 9. The inspired by BAS9 Learning Programme will continue to evolve and grow as we partner with more teachers, young people and arts professionals. ‘We want teachers and young people to be able to take advantage of such a prestigious cultural event happening in Wolverhampton and use it to inspire future projects, innovations and collaborations’ Becky Thompson BAS 9 Learning Programme Manager.

If you would like to find out more about the inspired by British Art Show 9 Learning Programme or see how you can get involved contact Becky.

Image credit Matthew Cawrey