Monthly Archives: November 2015

Artsmark & Arts Award Briefing

FREE EVENT 8 December, 2015 1 – 5pm

The Great Bow Wharf, Langport, Somerset, TA10 9PN

Want to apply for Artsmark and celebrate your school’s commitment to the arts? SPAEDA and RIO invite you to a briefing to find out all about Arts Award and Artsmark, and how these can benefit your school. The session will be open to music and arts teachers, subject coordinators, governor and senior management representatives. The Briefing Day is FREE for Somerset schools and is a great way to find out about Artsmark, the Arts Award and local arts education opportunities.

To book or find out more from Spaeda, contact

About Artsmark

The new Artsmark launched Autumn 2015.  Over the past year RIO has been working closely with ACE and other Bridge organisations to pilot the new Artsmark programme with 100 schools across the country.

This briefing will outline the changes and provide an opportunity to ask questions, share your thoughts on how to support the new scheme.

We believe that every child deserves to experience the arts and the refreshed scheme is designed to help achieve this. Its benefits include:

  • Validation for schools that recognise and champion the arts in every classroom
  • A national network to help build each school’s expertise, with unique access to resources
  • Support and challenge from arts specialists
  • A streamlined application process built around a Statement of Commitment to the arts that connects to the broader curriculum
  • A flexible approach that fits each school’s own strategies, curriculum and planning cycles
  • CPD opportunities for staff.

Arts Award

Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications that support anyone up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form – from fashion to film making and pottery to poetry.  Through Arts Award young people gain a nationally recognised qualification enabling them to progress into further education and employment.  Arts Award can be based around any arts or media activity, and young people can complete it in a wide variety of settings – like youth clubs, arts centres, schools, colleges, theatres or community groups.

Arts Award is…

  • a great way for children and young people to be inspired by and enjoy the arts
  • offered at five levels, four qualifications and an introductory award
  • a framework for learning new skills and sharing them
  • an opportunity to develop creativity and leadership skills
  • a link between young people and creative arts professionals

This briefing is free to attend thanks to the generous support of Sound Foundation Somerset, the Music Education Hub. Find out more about the hub here



Autumn Big Draw School Workshops

Artist Lizzie Induni led three drawing workshops for local schools. The children learnt how to use charcoal, draw with graphite and origami paper folding. These All the workshops focused on how people live around and use the river.


Each student participated with our interactive exhibition, where they were allowed to use charcoal to draw on the walls of the Great Bow Wharf. Every child leant about and then drew Jethro Brice’s Flatner boat, a boat traditionally used on the flooded Somerset moors. Lizzie got the students to work on a collaborative drawing of the river and the environment.

These sessions tied in with Jethro and Seila Fernandez’s Some:when exhibition which was also held at the Great Bow Wharf for Somerset Art weeks. Their project revolved around the creation of a Somerset flatner, a traditional local boat used on the levels. This exhibition showcased the boat itself along with artwork made by children and young people, and documentation of a celebratory journey on the River Parrett in summer of 2015.


There was also an exhibition of photography from Gideon Mendel in the Kitchen at the Wharf. Gideon’s exhibition “Drowning World” focuses on the Somerset and Thames Valley floods of winter 2013-14; the images show landscapes vanishing under water and portraits of local residents.

gideon mendel Taking a photo gideon mendel

The Campaign for Drawing’s annual festival The Big Draw, takes place each year in over 20 countries around the world, with 1000+ events taking place over October. This year’s Big Draw theme is “Every Drawing Tells a Story”.


Somerset Art Weeks is an annual countywide celebration of the variety and quality of contemporary visual art that can be found in Somerset. Each year SAW produces education resources to encourage schools to view Somerset Art Weeks as a provider of fantastic opportunities right on their doorstep.


Young Disabled Musicians Open Up Music Needs You!

The South West Open Youth Orchestra – a pioneering new regional ensemble providing a unique progression route for young disabled musicians.

OpenUp Music are searching for young disabled musicians to join the pioneering South West Open Youth Orchestra. This is a radical new regional orchestra, led by young disabled musicians who want to progress to the next level.


  • Any instrument considered, including music technology
  • The potential to play music with passion and perseverance
  • You don’t need grade exams or to have played in an orchestra before
  • For young disabled people age 11 – 25 (non-disabled young musicians to be auditioned later to make this an inclusive ensemble)

What will it involve?

  • Regular rehearsals in different locations around the South West, Autumn 2015 onwards
  • The opportunity to co-design your own bespoke musical instrument to take home and practice on
  • A residential rehearsal at Star College Cheltenham early April 2016
  • High profile public performances from April 2016 onwards

They urgently need more young disabled musicians to be signposted to them to get the numbers up to at least 12 young people. The next audition takes place at Plymouth Music Zone on 28th November and they can also travel to see other young people who may wish to audition in other parts of the region.

“ANY young disabled musician in SW UK should seriously go for this. It is AWESOME” – Charles Hazlewood, British Paraorchestra.

If you’re interested, know someone else who might be, or even know someone who might know someone else who might be, please email Open Up Music for more info!