An arts and education charity that aims to guide youngsters in economically deprived areas into the creative industries has launched its mentoring programme.
The Sixteen Trust will bring arts professionals into schools and kicks off at Hartsdown Academy in Margate.
The project has been brought together with the support of private backers and artist patrons such as Tracey Emin and Jeremy Deller.
Some of the poorest wards in the UK are in Thanet, and the Sixteen Trust was set up to drive inspiration through the arts, and tackle extreme levels of deprivation and low social mobility by giving young people the opportunity to meet professionals and learn about practical opportunities within the arts.
The first mentors will begin a year-long engagement with the school, delivering projects and offering one-to-one and group mentoring sessions to inspire young people and guide them towards the arts. The pilot will drive an evaluation and expansion of the project, first into other schools in Thanet, and then spreading into other schools in Kent and East London.
Mentors include Margate-based architect, Sam Causer, theatre costume designer Helen Johnson, who has recently worked with English National Opera and on the international hit ‘The Inheritance”, Mikei Hall, senior art handler at Tate Britain, and set designer and prop stylist Nicola Bell. Art lawyers at Mischon de Reya are working together to formulate an art restitution project, giving insight into the daily life of one of the world’s top law firms.
The project was created by curator and art consultant Lee Cavaliere, who launched the charity last year with an exhibition in Margate’s Sunshine Café.
The show brought together 17 Turner Prize artists, including Margate local Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Jeremy Deller and Jane and Louise Wilson. Alongside these world-renowned artists were exhibited artworks by young people from Hartsdown Academy.
The exhibition attracted over 7,000 visitors and raised over £75,000 to kick start the project.
Hartsdown head teacher Matt Tate (pictured above) said: “We are once again thrilled to be working with the Sixteen Trust. Hartsdown Academy is proud to be able to offer students another fantastic and inspiring opportunity to work with established professionals within the creative arts community.”
A long-time advocate of opening the arts up to new audiences, Founder Lee Cavaliere (pictured above), who moved to Thanet just over three years ago, is also Director of VOMA, the world’s first online art museum.
He said: “The art world needs more than ever to hear from different voices. The Sixteen Trust was set up to enable young people to realise their creativity and take ownership over the cultural industries.
“The mentoring program is a step towards that and the students will benefit from these amazing people, their perspectives, advice and guidance. There are so many opportunities for young people, from all backgrounds, to contribute and we’re thrilled to join their journey.”
The mentoring programme aims to expand beyond Thanet and take its model out into the rest of the UK over the coming months and years.
The Sixteen Trust website is at www.thesixteen.org