Throughout the summer holidays of 2021, Birnam Arts hosted a pilot project of a series of child-centred arts workshops. The project brought together six local professional tutors and two arts graduates, along with 16 kids (P1 to P7) over the course of the programme.
Together they explored different mediums using artist-quality tools and materials.
As one parent commented, ‘Just want to take this time to say what an amazing set of art workshops so far you have in place for the kids. My two have been attending from the first week and every week they are excited for what they can try out next. Kate had been great with them and understands the needs of different children which puts “us parents” at ease. Thank you again and see you next week!"
Parents of Evie (5) were keen for their daughter to engage with the arts more as well as maintain some routine throughout the holidays. Evie has incredibly high anxiety and they hoped she would gain some confidence by attending. Evie was initially extremely upset at the beginning of and during workshops. After getting to know the tutors and wider BA team, Evie’s confidence grew with each session.
By the final workshop, Evie was seen going up to another wee girl who was clearly upset, saying, “It’s ok Mila, we can colour in together”. Evie would have stayed on in the final sessions longer and hopes to join us for the next holiday block.
It wasn't only the kids who found the time valuable – by including two graduates in the planning and implementation, Birnam Arts was able to provide real community arts experience.
Another key feature of the pilot project was to trial a 'Sliding Scale' payment option to ensure families from low-income households could also access the workshops. Parents were able to choose what they paid based on their circumstances – they were asked for their honesty, and not asked for any proof or ID. This enabled families to take part where they otherwise would not have been able to afford sending both kids. The majority of people paid in full, whilst others opted for the middle and lower priced tickets. One parent paid extra. BA are continuing to trial this approach with another model of workshop and hopes to continue this into the future.
These workshops were fully wheelchair accessible and catered to meet the needs of individuals as well as the group.
Importantly, as we continue to trial different models of classes, workshops, and payment options, we keep our community at the heart of our planning.