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The Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards
Tue 11 Nov 2014
The Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, NAWE and engage (National Association for Gallery Education) are now working together on the inaugural Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards for creative writing and literacy work with schools, galleries, art museums and visual arts venues.
Galleries, art museums and visual arts venues in England submitted proposals to host the Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards 2014-15, which granted three venues an Award of £3,500 to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with schools. The galleries chosen are Falmouth Art Gallery, Kettle's Yard in Cambridge and Manchester City Art Gallery. 

The Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards (MRLA) is a new initiative that will run as a pilot in 2014-15. Galleries, art museums and visual arts venues across England were invited to submit a proposal to host an Award, to support a creative writer to work with a school and a gallery/art museum/visual art venue. Three Awards of £3,500 each have just been made to the selected venues for an activity, which will take place in Spring 2015.

The aims of the Awards are:
  • For a creative writer to work with a school and a gallery/art museum/visual arts venue on a creative writing or literacy project, exploring the venues collections, displays or building
  • For resources to be developed by the writer and NAWE with the school, gallery/art museum/visual arts venue on using creative writing to explore the venues collections, displays or building
  • For these resources to be shared with the arts and education sectors in order to encourage the greater use of galleries/art museums/visual arts venues by schools for creative writing and literacy work
Programme Description

Applications were invited from galleries, art museums and visual arts venues with experience in working with creative writers and schools, and those with little experience and for whom this would be a good opportunity to develop work in this area. Over thirty excellent applications were received. 

The Awards are being used towards costs relating to a creative writer working with a school and venue, and creating resource materials for the school to work with the venue on a creative writing or literacy activity e.g. the fee to the creative writer for five days work (inclusive of planning, working with participants and evaluation), the writer’s travel costs, the schools travel and staff cover costs, workshop materials or equipment, developing digital or paper resources, documentation of the activity, the costs of the gallery/art museum/visual arts venue undertaking the activity. 

NAWE has been supporting the selected galleries/art museums/arts venues and schools to recruit creative writers. A training day took place at The Photographers’ Gallery in the week of 3 November, which was attended by teachers from each of the participating schools, a member of staff from the three galleries and the creative writers they are working with.

In November and December the venues, schools and writers will plan their programme of activity, which will take place in the Spring 2015 term. Activity will include the creative writer and school visiting the gallery/art museum/arts venue at least once, and the creation of resource materials devised with the school and the venue showing approaches to using the gallery/art museum/visual arts venue with the school for creative writing or literacy work.

NAWE and the MRLA Coordinator will support schools and venue staff to plan activities. The MRLA Coordinator will support and monitor the delivery of the activity. There will be a sharing event for the creative writers, teachers and venue staff involved in the Award in April 2015 in London, to reflect on the Awards. NAWE, with the creative writers, will collate resources produced during the activity into a single digital resource, which will be disseminated to the arts and education sector through engage and NAWE’s networks.  

Evaluation

The Award will be evaluated by a consultant, who will devise a methodology with the support of NAWE and engage, and attended the training day to introduce the evaluation approach and methodology to the teachers, creative writers, gallery/art museum staff/visual arts venue. The evaluator will visit each activity, and support the school, venue staff and creative writer to collect evaluation data. 

Findings from the evaluation will be used to plan future Awards. A public facing sharing event on what has been learnt though the Award and the potential for galleries and art museums to work with creative writers and schools is planned for Autumn 2015.

Important dates
  • Late-September 2014: Shortlisted venues selected     
  • October: Creative writers appointed supported by NAWE
  • Wb. 3 Nov 2014: Induction session at The Photographers’ Gallery, London
  • November & December: Venues, schools and creative writers plan activities
  • January-March 2015: Delivery of activities
  • April 2015: Sharing event
  • May-July 2015: Resource material collated and material for dissemination prepared
  • September 2015: Evaluation report delivered
  • October 2015: Sharing event engage and NAWE
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Contact Information:
Organisation:
NAWE and engage
Contact Name:
Rose Heelas
Contact Email:
rose.heelas@engage.org

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