Art for Change

A six day programme of workshops and activities exploring creative tools for social change, commissioned by The Prince's Trust

So far two cohorts of young people have taken part in Art for Change, discovering present and past creative campaigns and developing their own skills. 

Illustrations created by Megan to highlight the issue of ocean plastic.

This programme was developed for young people aged 18 – 25 with an interest in art and creativity, to empower them to use their skills to create positive change. It focussed on how art can help us see the world different and imagine the positive future we want to build, and how we can change how we craft and create to minimise our environmental impact. 

 

A pre-programme taster session helped applicants get to know Green Squirrel and decide whether the programme was right for them. We then sent participants an incredible kit, packed with sustainable crafting materials and specific items needed for the week’s practical activities.  This included a large sketchbook for them to fill with notes, ideas, and artwork. 

 

Each day of the programme revolved around a theme – such as stories, wellbeing, and courage, and every day participants were provided with a downloadable ‘Exploration Pack’, full of resources, inspiration, and prompts to them get stuck into the day’s theme. 

Loving the programme so much, thank you for creating this space, it has benefitted me so much already.

The programme was a mixture of warm up and confidence building activities, taught workshops, discussion time, and time for independent work. Activities included…

 

  • Rewilding Your Craft: How to choose sustainable materials
  • Community Voice Film and Photography
  • Natural Dyeing and Community Activism
  • Guided creative walk and creating objects of comfort
  • Guest speaker Ella Daish of the End Period Plastic Campaign
  • Guest speaker from Youth Voices for Nature 
  • As well as a range of mini practical activities such as pom pom making, t-shirt yarn and paper folding. 
A thaumatrope - a simple optical toy - illustrated by Lilly
A workshop on natural dyeing and botanical inks

Each day, time was set aside for the young people to – if they wished – share something with the rest of the group or get feedback on an idea.

 

We also built in some time to prepare for the final day of the programme, where everyone would present and share what they had been working on or an idea for what they wanted to do next. We were keen that presentation day should feel empowering, and a celebration of their effort, so making time to agree how everyone would like to present in a way that felt comfortable for them was really worthwhile. 

Art 4 Change was character building as well as interactive and creative. The staff were always encouraging us to have a voice and take part, as well as allowing us to take our time and consider our role in the group.

We were proud to receive positive feedback from participants, and follow their progress as some of them have gone on to lead their own activities. We’ve also been able to create an opportunity for an Art for Change participant to create illustrations for The Something Club.  

 

However, this was also a highly positive experience for us at Green Squirrel. The standard of work produced by participants was extremely high, and we were constantly impressed with the depth of their engagement with issues such as climate change and gender equality – it was also valuable to spend time with them and better understand how the pandemic has affected their age group. 

I never would have imagined how much I would enjoy and benefit from the course. The experience has left me with so much more confidence and excitement for the future.

Megan

Art for Change participant

Becca worked tirelessly on the project and delivered a brilliant course which inspired young people to get creative and have the confidence to take a stand.  I can’t wait to work with the team again on even more projects in the future.

Jo Watkins

Operations Manager, The Prince's Trust

If you would like to talk to us about creating a programme for your audience, please get in touch using the form below. 

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