If you pop into Independent Arts on Newport High Street on Saturday 19 November, you might notice that something’s different: there will be the usual warm welcome and free creative workshops, but instead of the regular staff and volunteers, these will be offered by students of the Isle of Wight Education Federation (IWEF), who will be taking over for the day.
The event, which takes place between 10am and 3pm, comes at the end of the year-long Creative Biosphere project, where five cultural organisations have worked with five schools and five artists-in-residence, to explore through creativity what it means to live in the IW Biosphere.
The students have worked closely with Independent Arts throughout the year, and for one day only, will now be working for the charity, as managers, creative practitioners, meeters and greeters and fundraisers.
Student Lily B is looking forward to being a fundraiser for the day, she says: “I think the day in Independent Arts is about trying to make sure that Independent Arts has an active part in the community, especially for younger generations, such as teenagers, who have not yet discovered this wonderful charity in the heart of the Island and the town centre. It’s also about raising awareness for issues that most people on the island have heard about, but may not fully understand, such as sustainability.”
Lily T, year 11, will be one of the charity’s managers on Takeover Day: “I think that the student takeover will help me gain more leadership skills and confidence talking to people I don’t know. I hope that people can learn more about the biosphere and use this to get outside more and enjoy the nature’s beauty.”
Rich Wiseman, head of creative faculty at IWEF says: “We are incredibly impressed with the way in which students across our entire Federation have responded to the year-long Creative Biosphere project. Students have been exposed to a vast amount of opportunities, ranging from workshops led by our artist in residence, Trudie Wilson, trips to local museums and coastline, to the creation of work for various exhibitions and public shows.”
He adds: “I am thrilled to see that the latest development in this project will be a student takeover of our local arts for wellbeing charity, Independent Arts. We are sure that this will be an excellent and invaluable experience that will allow our students to develop their skills in a variety of different ways.”
The Takeover Day at Independent Arts is just one of four taking place as part of the Creative Biosphere project. Ventnor Exchange is being taken over by students of the Island Free School on Thursday 17 November, Brading Roman Villa is being taken over by The Bay on Friday 18 November and the New Carnival Company is being taken over by students from Ryde Academy on Saturday 19 November.
The Isle of Wight received UNESCO Biosphere in 2019, which means that the Island has committed to policies and actions that further UNESCO’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Takeover Day will focus on SDGs 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).
The Creative Biosphere project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Beauty (IWAONB), and by the two High Street Heritage Action Zones (Newport and Ryde) and Ventnor Exchange’s #IWILL project. The project will culminate in an exhibition of work by all the partners at Quay Arts, starting Saturday 10 December.
Everyone is invited to join in the free Takeover Day activities at Independent Arts, which are all free of charge, on Saturday 19 November, 10am-3pm, at 48 High Street, Newport.
CONNECT WITH US
Subscribe for opportunities, exhibitions and events from Independent Arts