Can you help support arts activities in schools?

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Donations are being sought from businesses and residents across Somerset to support arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people.

The County Council is backing local arts charity Somerset Partnership Arts Education Agency (SPAEDA) to unlock match funding from the Arts Council. The aim is to provide enriching, creative activities in schools for children who might not otherwise have access to them, from storytelling and drama to wood carving and mural painting,

Match funding of £50k needs be achieved locally in order to access a matching £50k from the Catalyst Evolve Programme. Every pound raised generates a pound from the Arts Council.

The closing date for the funding is 31 August 2019 – any funding not claimed by then will go back to the Government and our communities will lose out!

Spaeda was selected from 500 applicants to join the programme. The hope is that a total of £100k will be available to fund activities for children across Somerset.

Schools have already raised £25,000 – now the call is going out to people across Somerset to help another £25,000 to access the remaining match funding.

Faye Purbrick, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education said:

“Art and creativity activities at the heart of education can support the well-being and mental health of pupils and staff and provide space for rich learning experiences. They can also have a positive effect on performance in other areas such as science, maths and literacy.

“Activities like this are just the sort of things that were identified as priorities by the children and young people who helped us produce Somerset’s Children, Young People and Families Plan 2019-2022.

“The match funding isn’t available to councils, but schools have already done a great fund-raising job and we can support Spaeda to secure money that will benefit schools across Somerset and ensure there is a level playing field for all Somerset’s children.  We’d urge anyone who can help to donate what they can.”

Alice Crane, Artistic Director SPAEDA said: “We believe that every young person deserves the chance to create, imagine and be inspired by arts and culture. “Today, with your help, we can give schools and communities the resources they need to develop resilient, imaginative and courageous children and young people’

Spaeda works in partnership with schools in the county and artists to deliver creative projects for pupils and support for staff to develop their own artistic activities for pupils.

The deadline to receive donations is 31 August – visit here to donate.