Creative Biosphere

Sat 27 Nov 2021 @ 14:30

Independent Arts and artist Trudie Wilson are excited to be working with Isle of Wight Education Federation's Carisbrooke College and The Island VI Form in Newport as part of the year-long Creative Biosphere project.

Trudie has been in place as Artist in Residence since 1st November and has already inspired some fabulous printmaking, drawing and cardboard sculptures from the year 7, 8, 9, Sixth Form and Foundation students she has been working with.

Creative Biosphere artwork

Above: Trudie is using her own art practice to inspire the students

The Creative Biosphere is taking place across the Island and brings together five cultural organisations, five schools and colleges and five artists through the Isle of Wight's Cultural Education Partnership. It aims to inspire creativity in young people through the Island's UNESCO Biosphere status and foster an appreciation of the local environment and heritage; at the same time, strengthening partnerships and increasing awareness of the island's Biosphere designation.

Richard Grogan, IWAONB (Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) lead officer, explains the concept of the Isle of Wight Biosphere like this:

"It's a place where we want to live, work and play, but we want to turn the ecological frown upside down."

The Creative Biosphere prroject has the potential to create lots of connections and collaborations and we have already begun to think about how other Independent Arts groups, such as DanceMakers, could get involved over the coming year.

So far, Trudie has been working within the Art department at IWEF's Carisbrooke College and The Island VI Form, but the plan is to include other curriculum areas, including Graphic Design, English, Geography and Science. At the end of the project, the students will get to "take over" Independent Arts for a weekend!

The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through ACE (Arts Council England) and IWAONB (Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and by the two High Street Heritage Action Zones (Newport and Ryde) and Ventnor Exchange's #IWILL project.


Creative Biosphere funder logos


Freshwater group dancing back to wellbeing

Fri 5 Nov 2021 @ 12:13

DanceMakers – Independent Arts

Press Release 5 November 2021

In the wake of Covid-19 restrictions, people in West Wight are being given the opportunity to have fun and dance their way back to improved mental and physical wellbeing, with the reopening of Independent Arts’ DanceMakers group in Freshwater this month.

Brenda Rowe is one of the pre-lockdown participants who is delighted that the gentle, creative dance sessions are back:

“DanceMakers is good because it keeps you supple. When you’re older, that’s important… We’re not going to make it to Sadlers Wells, but we have a lot of fun.”

Another returning participant, Cherry Collins, says she missed the friendship and the fun while DanceMakers was closed:

“Michelle is such a nice teacher. I love the company and the gentle exercise.”

Practitioner Michelle Hainsworth explains why dancing is more important now than ever:

“I have been reading research which shows how lockdown has seriously affected the confidence of older people and has had a real impact on mental and physical health, to the extent that people might have become wobbly even getting out of a chair. Physical ability has definitely declined. It’s so important that people get active again.”

Michelle hopes that more people will join the group for gentle, creative dance, specifically designed to improve balance, co-ordination, muscle strength, memory and confidence. It takes place at Freshwater Parish Hall on Thursday mornings from 10.30am to 12pm.

DanceMakers Freshwater is one of a number of singing and dance programmes run by Island-based charity, Independent Arts, at various locations around the Island, including a popular SingAbout session at Freshwater Memorial Hall on Mondays 10.15am – 12.15pm. Please call 01983 822437 for more information or to book your place on one of these sessions.


DanceMakers returns to Freshwater

Wed 20 Oct 2021 @ 9:30

DanceMakers (photo by Julian Winslow)

It’s time for the people of West Wight to dust off their dancing shoes: DanceMakers will be returning to Freshwater Parish Hall, on Thursdays from 10.30am to 12 noon, starting 4 November 2021. DanceMakers combines chair exercises with a creative task, and it’s a great way to exercise the body and mind and make new friends. It can help to improve balance, coordination, muscle strength, memory and confidence.

First six sessions are free for new participants, £5 for returning dancers. Please ring 01983 822437 to book your place.

"It's a friendship group really; I have lots of friends here. And Michelle is very innovative; really clever. The exercises are such fun and we have to use our imagination. It's just fun!"
Diane, age 88, DanceMakers

Independent Arts' DanceMakers sessions are also running in Newport and Sandown.

Read more


Wight Proms 2021 Prize Draw Winners

Tue 24 Aug 2021 @ 10:32

Thank you to everyone who entered Independent Arts' free Prize Draw during The Wight Proms. We had a great time and hope you did, too!

We are pleased to announce that the Prize Draw winners are:

1st prize

Wight Hamper, sponsored by The Garlic Farm and The Social Good Network – won by KP from Binstead

2nd prize

Wight Proms Tickets for 2022, kindly donated by Amick Productions – won by GB from Cowes

3rd prize

Smoking Lobster meal voucher £50, kindly donated by Smoking Lobster restaurant in Ventnor – won by SS from Ryde


Our thanks also go to Rouse Ltd for sponsoring Independent Arts' printed materials for the event.


Wight Proms 2021

Tue 17 Aug 2021 @ 13:36

The Wight Proms

Independent Arts are pleased to once again be supported by The Wight Proms in 2021 as the associated charity of the event.

The four-day festival celebrating comedy, opera, musical theatre, and of course the ‘Last Wight of the Proms’ on 19-22 August takes place at Northwood House, Cowes, and features acts such as Angelos Epithemiou, Britain's Got Talent's Lucy Kay and the Wight Proms Concert Orchestra.

When purchasing tickets, festival goers will be able to add an optional donation to Independent Arts.

Proms Prize Draw

In addition to this, the charitiy's staff and volunteers will be on site throughout the weekend giving customers the chance to win great prizes in a free prize draw and providing information about Independent Arts work changing lives through arts on the Isle of Wight.

The prize draw, available only to Wight Proms ticket holders, will offer the chance to win a ‘Wight Hamper’ containing £150 worth of Isle of Wight produce, including many Garlic Farm goods, Mermaid Gin, Tomato Stall and local cheeses. As well as this great prize, you can also win a voucher for local restaurant, Smoking Lobster, or, kindly donated by Wight Proms, two free tickets to Wight Proms 2022!

Independent Arts CEO, Lisa Gagliani MBE, said,

"Wight Proms is a wonderful outdoor celebration of the arts on the Island and we are thrilled to be chosen to be the associated charity again. Our participants have relished every contact we’ve made through the pandemic, whether it was a friendly telephone call, a Zoom SingAbout or a chat about their mental health. Now that we are resuming our work using the arts in care homes, in the community and in our creative hub, we look forward to making new friends of The Wight Proms festival-goers.”

Independent Arts is an arts for wellbeing charity working with Isle of Wight residents to reduce isolation and change lives through arts.

Ralph Ridler
Community Fundraiser

Independent Arts Wight Proms Prize draw 2021

To be drawn at The Wight Proms on 22 August 2021

Terms & Conditions:

1. Our prize draw and competitions are organised by Independent Arts, 48-49 High Street, Newport, IOW, PO30 1SE registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under number 297474.

How to enter

2. Entries received after the stated closing date 22/8/2021 will not be accepted.
3. Our prize draw and competitions are free to enter, and no purchase is necessary.
4. Independent Arts will not accept responsibility for entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any postal failure, equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind.
5. By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
6. Independent Arts reserves the right to refuse entry or refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of these terms and conditions.


7. Unless otherwise stated, our prize draws and competitions are open to all except employees of the Independent Arts and Wight Proms, their families, agents or any third party directly associated with administration of the prize draw.
8. Entrants must be over 18 years of age, because the prize includes alcohol.
9. Only one entry per person is permitted.
10. In entering, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and eligible to claim any prize you may win. Independent Arts may require you to provide proof that you are eligible to enter the prize draw or competition.
11. Independent Arts reserves all rights to disqualify you if your conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the prize draw or competition.

The Draw

12. A winner will be chosen by random draw performed by the Chair of Trustees within one month of the prize draw or competition ending.
13. The winner will receive details of the prize.
14. The winner will be notified by email or telephone (using details provided at entry) within 7 days of being chosen and must provide a postal address to claim their prize. If a winner does not respond to the Independent Arts within 14 days of being notified, then the winner’s prize will be forfeited, and the Independent Arts will be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above.
15. The prize will be sent to the winner within 14 days of responding to Independent Arts.
16. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered. Independent Arts reserves the right to replace the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond the Independent Art’s control makes it necessary to do so.
17. The decision of the Independent Arts regarding any aspect of the prize draw or competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
18. The winner’s name and county can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to Independent Arts, 48-49 High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1SE or an email to [email protected] within 60 of days after the date of the closing date of the prize draw or competition.
19. Independent Arts reserves the right to hold void, cancel, suspend, or amend the promotion where it becomes necessary to do so.

Limitation of liability

20. Insofar as is permitted by law, Independent Arts, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize except where it is caused by the negligence of the Independent Arts, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.
Data protection and publicity
21. Independent Arts is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and will only use your personal information in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and Independent Arts Privacy Policy which is available on our website: (see below)
22. By entering, you agree that any personal information provided by you with your entry may be held and used by the Independent Arts or its agents and suppliers to administer the competition.
Governing law
23. All our prize draws and competitions will be governed by English law and entrants to the prize draw submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
24. Independent Arts reserves the right to update these Terms and Conditions from time to time and any updated version will be effective as soon as it is published on the website.

Visit the Wight Proms website


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