Centre of Excellence Newsletters and Bulletins

This page shows our latest information about the Art and Culture in Communities Project and previous newsletters.  We can provide large print, PDF and audio versions on request -contact COESI by telephone: 01287 204204 or email info@coesi.org.uk giving us your details.

Art and Culture in the Community - April 2017 

Following our Art for all the Senses research carried out in 2015/2016, COESI successfully applied for a Big Lottery grant to run a programme of social activities focused on enabling people with visual impairments to re-discover and access culture in and around their communities. The project started in November 2016, and now, 6 months on, the social activity sessions which incorporate a Sensory Book Club using the Living Paintings charity resources and discussions about art and culture are very popular with the groups we have engaged with.

We have delivered sessions in all 5 of the regional Tees Valley and Cleveland boroughs – Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool and we are now busy booking venues for the next 6 months. In Darlington at the Social Club for the Blind and Visually Impaired - know locally as DSCBVI - the sessions have extended to become a new lunch club.

In Stockton, the sessions have led to the development of separate Art and Craft Workshops commissioned from local artists - for people with visual impairments using drawing and painting with different mediums and techniques, ceramics work and collage, and for a group of Asian ladies a series of workshops on knitting and crochet. 

The Art Workshops are being extended to groups of blind and visually impaired people in Hartlepool and Darlington.

......

Archived content - previous Consultation and Research project :


COESI Art for All the Senses: Newsletter 3

Update March 2016

We are now coming to the end of our Art for All the Senses Consultation and Research Project, which was funded by the Big Lottery Awards for All programme. We are taking the time to analyse and evaluate our findings, and to reflect on the experiences and lessons learned.

One of the most positive elements has been the opportunity to meet and consult with so many local individuals, organisations, artists, and support groups, who all showed incredible enthusiasm and interest for the project. We have seen our local network build with many of these new connections and hope to have the chance to work with you again in the future.

The consultation phase in particular has presented us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate to people with visual impairment that creating great artwork is possible, even with limited vision. The sessions themselves also created social opportunities for people and gave them the chance to share experiences and to have their voices and opinions heard.

The project team have learned many valuable lessons throughout the project. These have included the more practical side of things such as how to actually run an art workshop with visually impaired people, and the more emotional elements such as the enthusiasm and overwhelming interest for the project idea and the opportunities it presented.

Through this consultation Artist practitioners in gallery surroundings raised their awareness of the improvements that need to be made in their own space to make it more accessible to people with sensory impairments. Perhaps more importantly, the sessions also gave pause for thought as to how artwork can be adapted to be more inclusive to all and how technology can be used as well.

At the end of the project we have a more thorough understanding of what is actually available within the Tees Valley for people with sensory impairments. Our research has helped us to build an evidence portfolio of the region, its support services, galleries and museums, including vital statistics that could help with future projects and funding applications.

As the Consultation and Research Project reaches its end, we are sorry to inform you that we have been unsuccessful with our Reaching Communities Big Lottery funding bid which we hoped would enable us to develop the project and to provide further workshops and awareness training. However we are not downhearted and will reshape our proposals and look for funding through different routes.

We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you for your support and interest in the Art for All the Senses project.

If you would like to keep up to date with our news and future events you can follow us on our COESI website and social media pages – links below.

Website: http://www.coesi.org.uk/Home.aspx

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCOESI

For more information please email us at info@coesi.org.uk or telephone our Northern Office on 01287 204204.

Pam Bennett                          Claire Jennings

Chair of COESI Charity           AAS Project Worker


COESI Art for All the Senses: Newsletter 2

Update November 2015

Once again we would like to begin again by saying thank you to all of you who we have met so far during this research and consultation phase for the COESI Art for All the Senses Project. Your enthusiasm and interest in the project is very encouraging and we hope to be successful in our funding bid to make sure it happens.

Since our last newsletter (August 15) we have continued our consultation, meeting with the following people and groups:

  • Redcar and Cleveland Activity and Wellbeing Management teams at North Skelton Day Centre

  • A second round of meetings with artists at Saltburn Artists Studio

  • The Volunteer Coordinator at Leonard Cheshire in Marske

  • Alistair Hudson, director of MIMA

We have further plans to meet with CCAD, and also make contact with groups in Hartlepool and Darlington to extend our reach across all boroughs of the Tees Valley.

At each consultation we are receiving a very positive response to the project and are delighted by how many people want to be involved as participants, practitioners, and project team members.

The current project team have been very busy with training – we are now official Dementia Friends and aim to utilise the information from the sessions to ensure the workshops and annual exhibitions are dementia friendly, as well as being fully accessible to all. Pam has also attended several sensory art exhibitions – this has been an exercise in fascination and frustration at how inaccessible they were to people with sensory loss.

We are making excellent progress with the application form for the main funding request to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund and hope to complete this by the end of the year.

We are carrying out a self-evaluation of the research and consultation phase, including reflecting on the lessons learned and things we might have done differently. This is a vital exercise and will inform future project planning and decision making.

In the meantime you can follow us on our COESI website and social media pages to keep up to date with all our news and events.

Website: http://www.coesi.org.uk/Home.aspx

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCOESI

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/COESI-Centre-of-Excellence-for-Sensory-Impairment/258066584247376?ref=hl

If you would like any more information please email us at info@coesi.org.uk or telephone our Northern Office on 01287 204204.

Pam Bennett                          Claire Jennings

Chair of COESI Charity           AAS Project Worker

COESI  Art for All the Senses: Newsletter 1

Update September 2015

We would like to begin by saying a big thank you to all of you who we have met so far during this research and consultation phase for the COESI Art for All the Senses Project.

The positive response to the proposed project, from both potential participants and artists has been overwhelming, and we are encouraged that the Big Lottery will be able to see the benefits to funding the full project at the next stage. We will do all we can to make it happen.

To date (end August 2015) and during this essential phase we have consulted with the following people and groups:

  • Edward Kunonga: Director of Public Health in Middlesbrough

  • Alistair Hudson: Director of MIMA, Teesside University

  • Macular Degeneration Group: Focus on Vision

  • Tees Valley Sensory Network Group

  • Mark and Nel Hickson: Directors of Palace Arts, Redcar

  • Saltburn Artists Studio artists

  • Teesside Society for the Blind

  • Cleveland College of Art and Design

We are still arranging appointments with Teesside University, and with two learning disability services: North Skelton Day Centre and Leonard Cheshire, Marske House, Redcar.

At each consultation, we are receiving the same reactions: the group response is  always a unanimous ‘yes’ when asked if they like the project, and there is always a large show of hands of those who wish to be involved.

One of the most positive elements has been presenting examples of art work to the groups of people who are visually impaired and demonstrating the type of work that they could produce as part of the project.

We are about to start completing the application form for the main funding request to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund and will send a further update as we get to the end of the consultation process. In the meantime you can follow us on our website and social media pages to keep up to date with all our news and events.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCOESI

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/COESI-Centre-of-Excellence-for-Sensory-Impairment/258066584247376?ref=hl

If you would like any more information please email us at info@coesi.org.uk or telephone our Northern Office on 01287 204204.

Pam Bennett                          Claire Jennings

Chair of COESI Charity           AAS Project Worker