BCA are heading up a dream team of volunteers to construct and deliver 1500 packs of art materials to children in Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton, in collaboration with Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Libraries and the University of Bedfordshire.
Funded by Arts Council England and facilitated by The Royal Opera House Bridge, these ‘Let’s Create’ packs contain a range of fun and creative items for families who may not have art resources at home during the pandemic, plus an activity sheet from Arts Council England devised by art teacher Andria Zafirakou (Global Teacher of the Year 2018).
The Bedford and Central Bedfordshire packs also include activity worksheets created by local artist educators Katie Allen and Amanda Silk, commissioned by The Culture Challenge.
“We could not let this generous offer from Arts Council England and The Royal Opera House Bridge pass us by,” states Kayte Judge, Cultural Education Producer at BCA. “With many children at home for extended periods we know that art resources will help families provide positive activities as we move into the summer, so we had to make this happen here and we are pleased to have had the partnerships in place to have let us do so”.
With COVID-19 causing many organisations to operate on reduced workforce and most venues being closed, the packing operation has become a community affair. Father Paul Messam offered the use of Elstow Abbey as a packing venue and a team of 16 volunteers have come forward to help. With three pallet loads of materials, this is no small task!
Alongside the ‘Let’s Create’ packs, the volunteer team will be making up a second wave of art packs for BCA’s ‘Take Part Queens Park’ project – these packs are developed by artists Andy Holden, Mira Calix and Caroline Wendling, and are being distributed to schools in Queens Park. With these packs included, the total number of local families supplied with art resources and activities will be over 1800. Find out more about Take Part here: https://bedfordcreativearts.org.uk/projects/take-part-queens-park/