Independent Arts

Three years funding secured for Creative Hub in Newport


Independent Arts, the creative health charity for the Isle of Wight have been awarded three years grant funding from Reaching Communities. The grant will secure the future of the Creative Hub at 48/49 High Street, Newport, where more than 100 vulnerable residents of all ages enjoy a wide range of arts-based activities six days a week. Independent Arts pioneered the use of arts-based activities to support all kinds of health problems more than 35 years ago. Nowadays, especially since the Covid pandemic, the benefits of such activities in helping people to connect and express themselves is widely understood by health professionals and artists alike. Chief Executive Lisa Gagliani MBE said, “This funding couldn’t have come at a more crucial time when more people than ever need access to a safe place to talk, to craft or make music with each other and make connections. Loneliness is a huge problem across the Island for so many, across all ages, so we’re delighted to be able to stay open, including Saturdays from March.” The grant can only be spent on activities at the Creative Hub, leaving the charity stillwith lots of fundraising to do for all the SingAbout sessions around the island, the schools-based sessions that help children to learn skills for life and to provide lots of sessions to help residents with advanced dementia in residential care homes. For the Creative Hub, the grant will fund an Operations Manager, a Programme Support Officer and several of the sessions that are offered throughout the week, led by local artist practitioners who are paid on agreed freelance rates. These sessions include Creative Café on Mondays, Make and Create on Tuesdays, Wellbeing Café on Thursday and Chess Craft on Saturdays. Since being awarded the grant, the charity has recruited the team to continue the support to the local community: Hub Operations Manager - Ralph Ridler has been appointed to this role with immediate effect. Ralph joined Independent Arts in 2020 as Community Fundraiser, where he has secured the support of several businesses, wrote local successful grant applications, ran matched funding campaigns and delivered on events such as Wight Proms, Ventnor Fringe and Cowes Fringe. Programme Support Officer - Ali Atkinson joined in June last year as a Hub Coordinator. She now steps up her role to three days a week – to ensure that the impact the charity makes is properly recorded and shared. Also secured partially by the Reaching Communities grant together with another grant from SNG, is the part time role continuation position of Creative Project Assistant for Evie Clarke, who joined the charity in the autumn thanks to the Breakthrough scheme via Artswork. This means that Evie will be staying on with extra responsibility for the new Arts Lab project that will enable up to 15 young people to become arts for wellbeing champions. Due to Ralph's change in direction, appointed Matt Hitt has been appointed as Community Development Manager, who will be joining mid-March. Matt has a strong arts

Three years funding secured for Creative Hub in Newport2024-02-20T11:56:52+00:00

Barton Primary School and Newport Residential Care Home Excel in Poetry Together Campaign


Barton Primary School students, under the guidance of Independent Arts, enthusiastically participated in the Poetry Together campaign, producing work that has been recognised as one of the winning entries. Their exceptional contribution secured a prestigious £250 book voucher for the school. Poetry Together, championed by acclaimed author, broadcaster, and poetry enthusiast Giles Brandreth, along with the late Queen, has been a beacon for literary expression and intergenerational connections. Her Majesty, Queen Camilla, an avid supporter of literacy, emphasises the importance of literacy projects and activities for older individuals this year actively participated in a Poetry Together Tea Party, joining primary and secondary schools, care homes, and intergenerational clubs. During the event, she recited the opening lines from 'Matilda' by Hilaire Belloc alongside local children from Knightsbridge School. The campaign garnered over 400 entries, with 14 outstanding contributions receiving recognition, including Barton Primary School. For a complete list of winners, please visit Poetry Together Winners Page. As part of the campaign, children under 18 and those aged 70 and above were invited to write a poem based on a theme, at most 14 lines. Residents from Newport Residential Care Home drew inspiration from Rockey, the cat, and a beautiful blue bird. Barton School's poems were centred around themes of Happiness and Nature, with the children incorporating expressive gestures and actions into their performances. Lynne Rose, Manager at Newport Residential, expressed her delight on winning the National Poetry event, extending gratitude for the collaborative effort with Barton Primary School. Independent Arts Practitioner Glenn Koppany shared, "Fantastic news about the prize!! They were really interesting sessions to do, and we had some good discussions. One of the participants, who came every week, would write a few lines for each session, but at the end, he would always rub them out, and he would often cry when I asked him about what he wrote. But by the end, we had a really nice little poem. Well done to Kerry for the great video; please pass on my thanks." Independent Arts extends sincere thanks to the pupils and staff of Barton Primary School and the staff and residents of Newport Residential Care Home along with our Practitioner Glenn Koppany for their invaluable contributions to this poetic celebration. Special recognition goes to Nicola Ward and Kerry Tindall for their leadership and dedication in guiding this project on behalf of Independent Arts.

Barton Primary School and Newport Residential Care Home Excel in Poetry Together Campaign2024-02-20T12:25:34+00:00

‘Infinite Skies’ a beautiful homage to brighten your day and lift your mood


Embark on a visual journey with the latest exhibition, a stunning multi-media collection crafted by participants during 2023 workshops at Independent Arts Creative Hub. Drawing inspiration from Constable's profound fascination with the ever-changing skies, this exhibition captures the diverse moods and poetry of the celestial canvas. Independent Arts is a small island-based creative health charity. From their Creative Hub on Newport High Street, the charity offers a wide range of projects aimed at supporting those with complex vulnerabilities to benefit from arts based activities and companionship through mutual creativity. During 2023, the charity helped to facilitate the visit of John Constable’s ‘The Cornfield’ (1826) original painting to Newport, where it was displayed for 6 days by The National Gallery at Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council’s building at 64 High Street. More than 2,500 residents saw the iconic painting during the week in May and Independent Arts were part of the official community engagement process that followed. The visit certainly inspired a lot of creativity and as a result Independent Arts have curated Infinite Skies to showcase the response and has drawn influences of other artists too, such as Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project (2003) exhibited at the Tate’s Turbine Hall. Art work and poetry is displayed showcasing creativity thriving from young and old alike on the Isle of Wight. Regular participants from Creative Café, Mindful Moments and Sandown Art Club have their artwork on display. Supported by professional artists Trudie Wilson, Lou Elliot and the charity’s talented in-house team Joanne Rigby, Kerry Tindall and Evie Clarke and volunteer artist Melissa Penn, the exhibition has been lovingly created from a mixture of mediums. ‘Infinite Skies’ will be on show until Friday 23rd February. Entry is free, and you're invited to experience the exhibition's magic at Independent Arts, The Creative Hub, 48 High Street, Newport, from Monday to Friday, 10:00 - 4:30 pm. Donations, whatever you can spare, helps the charity to do more to support vulnerable residents through arts based activities.

‘Infinite Skies’ a beautiful homage to brighten your day and lift your mood2024-01-19T11:10:20+00:00

Big Give Ageing Artfully


Independent Arts have been chosen to take part in the well known Big Give Christmas Challenge again this year. The online campaign which lasts just one week, starts at 12 noon on Giving Tuesday, 28th November and enables donations to the Island based small charity to be matched double – making twice the impact. This year, with funding for all charities very much squeezed, Independent Arts is asking supporters to consider giving to their Ageing Artfully campaign because it will mean that donations are doubled. Lisa Gagliani, chief executive says, “We understand that everyone has cut back on spending this year, everything has gone up. This is a way for supporters to say thank you, without it costing a lot, and it will mean that weekly services for older people here in our community who have come to rely on their weekly hit of SingAbout, Dance Makers or Creative Café, can continue.” The charity has secured £4,500 worth of funding already, from WightFibre and The Reed Foundation, but it will only be able to access these funds if the public unlocks them through giving during the campaign. The campaign runs for exactly seven days to 12 noon on 5th December, but the charity hopes that most supporters will give early from 12 noon on 28th November as once the money is matched, the donations won’t be doubled. Donate now .

Big Give Ageing Artfully2023-11-28T11:51:27+00:00

Isle of Wight’s Young Visionaries Unite Science and Art in Wavelength


Wavelength, a year-long project, has taken the Isle of Wight's young talents aged 7 to 13 on an exciting journey at the intersection of arts and science. This innovative initiative unfolded in six local schools, offering students a golden opportunity to partake in a series of funded workshops. These workshops ignited the sparks of curiosity, bridging the gap between science and artistic creativity. Guided by the fascinating world of science and the tireless dedication of Isle of Wight's scientists, Wavelength's exhibition showcased a spectrum of captivating experiences. From the mesmerizing art of Japanese marbling to the replication of cells in petri dishes, to the enchanting exploration of flight through a parliament of owls, this project is a testament to the boundless potential of young minds. Witness the captivating journey where science and art seamlessly merge, providing a platform for Isle of Wight's budding talents to shine. Don't miss the exciting developments from Wavelength, where innovation knows no boundaries. To find out more about Wavelength projects speak to Kerry [email protected] A short film showing project visits to the Wight Aviation Museum and and Museum of Island History A short film showing school children using UV torches to paint with light A fun Arts and Science Day at our hub, exploring magnetic energy A filmed tour of our first Wavelength public exhibition Second Wavelength public exhibition

Isle of Wight’s Young Visionaries Unite Science and Art in Wavelength2023-10-12T12:02:56+01:00

Could you join our governing board as a trustee?


Independent Arts is a registered charity and is now looking to recruit three new trustees from January 2024, as part of a planned succession programme following a recent skills review. We’d like to hear from you if you have professional experience in: - health and social care (especially mental health) - broad fundraising strategy - youth services (or are a young person aged 18-25 years) Independent Arts is committed to inclusivity and diversity, so if you may need some assistance to apply or to fulfil this role, please let us know. Due to the nature of the charity, trustees do need to live on the Isle of Wight. These are senior volunteer roles. The board meets four times a year at our Creative Hub (early evening) to review the performance and direction of the charity, which is led day to day by the chief executive and staff. Outside of the meetings, trustees are encouraged to support the charity at events, workshops and to read the papers provided to be able to support the team fully in delivering the mission. Prospective applicants are advised to read more from our Trustee page before they apply. To have an informal chat about what is expected of a trustee before applying, please email [email protected] who will arrange a convenient time.   To apply: Email a cover letter explaining your interest and suitability for the role including relevant specialist experience. Please include the names and contact details of two referees who can vouch for your expertise and character. Please also enclose a CV if possible. Application deadline: mid-day 9thNovember email to [email protected] with Trustee Application in the subject line.   Process: applicants are warmly encouraged to request a call with or visit to meet our chief executive before applying. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in person. Selected candidates will be invited to attend a trustee meeting to observe the discussion and to meet the other trustees socially. Following this, new trustees will be appointed in January.   Induction and start: a full induction programme will be arranged during January and February, to include visits to the charity’s activities and to meet the executive team. A calendar of meeting dates and other optional events will be provided.

Could you join our governing board as a trustee?2023-10-05T11:59:08+01:00

Young people unveil mural that celebrates the coast


If you have parked in the Little London carpark in Newport recently, you will have been treated to a wonderful vision of the Island’s coast, thanks to the latest mural by a group of young people working with artist Laura Hathaway and arts for wellbeing charity Independent Arts. The mural, which was officially ‘unveiled’ on 8th September, was funded by the Isle of Wight AONB Partnership to help raise awareness of the Island’s natural environment and extends a trail of black and white artworks created by the young people and Laura as part of the Artswork investment programme Supporting Young Minds. You can see other work at Newport Bus Station and Chain Lane. To get inspiration for the mural, the young people, Laura, filmmaker Bruce Webb, and the team from Independent Arts caught the number 12 bus to Compton Bay, which sits within the Island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and spent a day painting and drawing there, using a range of media, including pigments they made from clay, earth and vegetation. The young people described the visit as relaxing, peaceful and calm. This was very much what The Isle of Wight AONB’s Richard Grogan had in mind when he funded the programme. He explained: “In a time of heightened anxiety amongst young people about their future we hope the IWAONB can help them relax and take stock of their experiences and externalise those thoughts and feelings as inspiration for public art that may help others.”

Young people unveil mural that celebrates the coast2023-09-29T13:01:31+01:00

Our Creative Hub will be open for the Coronation


Independent Arts will be open this Saturday, 11am-6pm, for the King’s Coronation. It will be a fun place to be, as the talented young musicians from Platform One perform outside in St James' Square to celebrate the day.

Our Creative Hub will be open for the Coronation2023-05-03T12:26:31+01:00
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