Open School East leaves Pettman Building for new base in Margate

The Hawley Square building Photo Copyright Steve Daniels licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

Open School East has moved out of the Pettman Building in Cliftonville to a new base in Hawley Square, Margate.

The alternative art venue is now settling into grade II listed, Art Deco adult education centre which is the former home of Thanet School of Arts and Crafts.

The council-owned property was purpose-built for the Thanet School of Arts and Crafts, which operated from 1931-1974.

Open School East delivers a free art education programme for those less likely to have access to traditional provision. Founded in 2013 in East London, it has established an ‘alternative art school’ model with a focus on inclusion and co-production. It moved to Cliftonville in 2017.

The school will deliver a newly developed Young Associates Programme from this September. The scheme will be over 10 months and is an accredited, arts and design programme for isle residents aged 16-18 who have experienced academic difficulty and/or disenfranchisement from mainstream education. The Young Associates Programme will launch in September 2019.

There will also be a 12 month associates programme for people of all ages, the Despacito Art School, weekly art class for youngsters aged 7-12 living in Cliftonville and a public programme of talks, seminars, skills-based workshops, excursions and participatory projects.

Open School East will also have space on the ground floor of art studio CRATE, in Bilton Square to use as a shared studio and making space for Associate Artists.

Michael Hill, KCC Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: ‘We welcomed Open School East to Margate two years ago. We have supported their work as cultural innovators reaching people furthest from the arts.

“We are pleased to be working with Open School East on their next journey with the move to Margate’s Adult Education centre, offering an opportunity to pilot the co-location of cultural activity into the heart of our services.’

Anna Colin, Director and co-founder of Open School East, added: ‘It’s with great pride and excitement that we relocate to this landmark building in Margate. Originally erected as an art school, we are looking forward to expanding the artistic function and spirit of the building, as well as to collaborating with Kent Adult Education on a number of ventures.’

Open School East receives funding from Arts Council England, Kent County Council, Big Lottery Fund and individual donors. The Associates Programme is funded by Sarah and Gerard Griffin, and the Young Associates Programme is funded by Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust and Freelands Foundation.

Read here: Margate’s adult education centre has received Grade II listing

1 Comment

  1. A sad situation when a desperately needed school for the deaf is forced to close , whilst yet another “art” / “culture” project seems to be welcomed and financed with open arms .

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