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Falmouth Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and Manchester Art Gallery to host inaugural Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards
Thu 18 Dec 2014
The Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, NAWE, and engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, are delighted to announce that the inaugural Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards (MRLA) will be hosted by Falmouth Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery

Earlier this year applications were invited for the first round of the Awards, funded by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust. The programme was developed to enable galleries, art museums and visual arts venues to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with schools. Funding from the Awards will allow each of the three venues to employ a creative writer to work with a local school on a creative writing or literacy project, taking inspiration from the venue’s collections, displays or building. The Awards are run in partnership by engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and the National Association for Writers in Education (NAWE). 

The workshops will lead to the development of new resources for each venue that uses creative writing to encourage engagement with each venue, which will be widely shared within the arts and education sectors to encourage the greater use of galleries/art museums/visual arts venues by schools for creative writing and literacy work.

Veronica Reinhardt, Trustee of the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust
said: “We are delighted with the response we had from so many museums that applied for the Awards. Falmouth Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and Manchester Art Gallery demonstrated not only inventive ideas but clearly showed how they would use the opportunity to develop programmes that could be sustained beyond the period of the residency. We are really looking forward to sharing their outcomes.”

Deputy Director of NAWE, Anne Caldwell
said: “Creative writing is a fantastic medium to engage young people in working in a gallery setting. The three writers leading these projects are highly experienced in their fields and will bring flair and creativity to these innovative projects.”

Director of engage Jane Sillis said:
“engage is delighted to be delivering the inaugural Max Reinhardt Literacy Award with NAWE, supported by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust. Falmouth Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and Manchester Art Gallery have developed exciting ideas with the schools and creative writers they are partnered with. These will result in unique resources which we hope will inspire other visual arts venues to develop creative writing and literacy work.”

Falmouth Art Gallery

The award winning Falmouth Art Gallery is family friendly and free. It has an outstanding collection of art that ranges from Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and British Impressionist paintings to contemporary prints, photography and automata. The collection is showcased through a vibrant and innovative exhibition programme designed to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The gallery offers free workshops and events for babies and toddlers, families, all community groups, schools and higher education organisations.  

Falmouth Art Gallery will work with writer Mac Dunlop and automata maker Fi Henshall to deliver a creative writing and art project for students aged 14-15 from Penryn College.  Between January and March 2015 the students will take part in a series of workshops during which they will use Mac’s short stories and the gallery’s automata collection as stimuli for their own creative writing and automata. The project will result in a final publication made in collaboration with Penryn Press, a publishing house run by students from Falmouth University. This will allow students to develop their skills in editing, design, layout and print production. 

Henrietta Boex, Director of Falmouth Art Gallery
said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be one of only three organisations to be selected for the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award. It is a fantastic opportunity to work with 14-15 year olds, who are an under-represented audience in museums generally, and build new creative relationships with them. We are also delighted to be working with writer Mac Dunlop and artist Fi Henshall who have wonderfully innovative ideas for the project.”  

Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard is a unique house with an internationally renowned modern art collection, and a gallery exhibiting modern and contemporary art. The former home of Jim and Helen Ede, the artistic programme of temporary exhibitions draws on the work of artists as well as themes that are reflected in the permanent collection, and also offers an exciting programme of contemporary art that reflects Jim's own support for pioneering artists of his time. Supporting this is an established learning programme that aims to extend the understanding and enjoyment of the collection and exhibitions at Kettle's Yard. The gallery works in collaboration with groups of all ages to offer a range of high quality events and activities based on-site, online and in the local community.

Between January and February of next year Kettle’s Yard will work with pupils from the Grove Primary in north Cambridge. Through sessions with writer Clare Collinson at their school and at the gallery pupils will discover how artist and writer Ian Hamilton Finlay was inspired by Kettle’s Yard in his own work. The sessions will lead to the creation of a new resource to encourage children to explore the house, collections and surroundings as creative writers, which will be available to download from the gallery’s website and be distributed in the house itself. Part of the unique character of Kettle's Yard house is that it does not have labels or written interpretation, which can prove both a challenge and a wonderful opportunity for visiting families and school groups. Creating a resource that can be handed to the gallery’s youngest visitors will provide them with a unique, creative and accessible way to engage with the house. 

Karen Thomas, Community Officer at Kettle’s Yard
said: “Kettle’s Yard is delighted to receive this wonderful news as it enables us to work closely with our partners at the Grove Primary school to make the most of the unique opportunity that the exhibition of poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay brings. The school and Kettle’s Yard are excited to be working with esteemed writer Claire Collinson and to develop a resource which will inspire others to explore the collection in new and creative ways.”

Manchester Art Gallery

Welcoming over half a million visitors every year Manchester Art Gallery combines works from its historic collections with the best international contemporary art to bring fresh perspectives to familiar images, create visual dialogues and encourage conversation and debate. The gallery houses many of the city’s most important fine and decorative art works, with a collection that spans over six centuries up to the present day. Visitors can also enjoy a range of
family-friendly facilities, a year-round events programme, tours, talks and workshops for adult learners, as well as programmes for schools and colleges and community groups.

Between January and February of 2015 the gallery will work with two groups of year 9 students from Tarporley High School. Sessions will take place both at the school and the gallery, and together with writer Mike Garry they will look at work by Adolphe Valette with students to demonstrate various approaches of how to read paintings, and explore ways of bringing creative writing to life. This will lead to the development of an engaging toolkit that will inspire teachers to use the gallery as a resource for their teaching, a space where students can unpick visual images and create strong written outcomes. The resource will be produced in an electronic format, allowing it to be widely shared and used in presentations and on school whiteboards.

Maria Balshawe, Director of Manchester Art Gallery
said: “Manchester Art Gallery does not work in isolation; it understands the power of partnership working and what it brings to the sector and its audiences. Gaining this grant and hosting the MRLA offers us wonderful opportunity to work with MRLA, NAWE and engage, allowing us to develop our expertise, knowledge and skills and inspire secondary English teachers to leave their classrooms and enter the visually inspiring world of galleries.”

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