Young Arts Projects

On 19 April, a Jazz saxaphone ensemble made up of students from Lipson Co-operative Academy made an early start for London.  The group, led by their inspirational music teacher Peter Twyman, is made up of 11 students and one playing music teacher.

They were performing at Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain at 2 Temple Place.  In partnership with The Arts Society this festival marks 100 years of jazz in the UK by exploring the impact that jazz had on Britons from 1918. The exhibition ran for 3 months and brought together all aspects of the arts relating to jazz, the instruments and the all-important jazz sound.

 The Arts Society South Devon was delighted to sponsor this opportunity for the Jazz Group to demonstrate their skills and talents.  As part of the Festival, they played at The Arts Society‘s national Marsh awards ceremony. Our Chairman Pauline Stewart was fortunate enough to be present and witness their triumph!

The ensemble was invited to play at the ceremony after their talents had been recognised by the national chairman at our 40th celebrations at the Moorland Garden Hotel in 2017.

Through the Young Arts initiative and other activities, The Arts Society South Devon is helping to introduce and encourage enjoyment of all the arts to young people. The Arts Society is delighted that the Jazz Ensemble will also be playing at the Society’s 50th Anniversary celebrations at Dartington Hall on 18 and 19 July this year.

The Arts Society South Devon supported a project for the design and creation of mosaics by the children of Knowle Primary School. West Park Estate celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017 - the mosaics were part of this celebration. The objective was to raise the children's aspirations and interest by involving them in the planning and execution of the mosaics. These hang inside and outside the school as well as in the wider community. In conjunction with Devon Guild of Craftsmen the Society commissioned the artist Michelle McQuinn Farrand to work with the children on both the design and creation. 

“ We really enjoyed taking part in this project and we feel very lucky that we were able to create these great pieces of art work”.  So said a member of the School Council at Knowle Primary School in West Park Plymouth.

Years 1 – 5 produced 200 designs ideas which the artist used to design 7 panels.  One hundred students, aged 5 to 11 years put the mosaics together over a number of weeks.  Completed mosaics are hanging at the school entrance with the remainder displayed in the community for all to see.

The Society has made a contribution of £500 to The Barbican Theatre to support their bursary programme.

The theatre runs a variety of workshops for all ages – from one and a half years to 25 years.  These workshops promote not only an introduction to the arts but encourage imagination, self confidence and social skills.  Although workshops are structured, they will adapt to the needs and talents of the children involved.  ‘Taster’ sessions are carried out in Plymouth schools but some children are not able to attend the workshops as there is a fee ranging from £45 to £260 per semester (5 months ). 

The theatre will provide details of to whom the bursaries are issued (i.e. age details, reasons for bursaries, groups attended) and can even provide case studies at the end.

The theatre is supported by The Arts Council and Plymouth City Council .


The Arts Society South Devon  has provided  £500 to City College, Plymouth to fund the purchase of painting & drawing materials and a sewing machine.

Last year we funded pottery equipment for the Learning Disabilities department, in particular autistic children. This year the department has a further intake of eight new ASD students giving rise to problems in resourcing their lessons.  They have very limited resources and because of this with some students unable to share their materials it can result in angry outbursts, refusing to engage and even some self- harming.  The students would truly benefit from having some individual packs of painting and drawing materials to set out just for them. This way it would enable them to do their work in a quieter environment. It would also encourage them to be careful and proud of their equipment, fostering good work skills as well as Artistic ones.

They are going to be doing canvas work again this year as well as hand built pottery. They are also hoping to get a massive wall hanging created by the students as a community art project reflecting equality and diversity in the college.  For this they needed a sewing machine and some fabrics and fabric paints.  This is one way to get the students working as one without being together in the same room.

Sue Evans the lecturer says “I was very lucky and honoured to have received money from you last year. It made a huge difference and the equipment purchased will be used for years to come”.


The Society has been pleased to make a donation of £500 to support BBRoots.

BBRoots is an arts action group working in Barne Barton exploring the history & culture of the old red brick estate. It is running a Young People’s training programme so they can produce and commission their own art projects.

 We have enabled them to purchase a Mac mini-computer for the young ambassadors and youth group to use at the Tamar View Community Centre. This directly feeds into a new Arts Council England funded project working with these young people, training them as creative producers to fundraise, project manage and deliver contemporary art projects in their community.

 The computer will be used in the first instance to produce an interacting, working digital map on their own web site.  This enables them to upload personal history portraits of the community – telling stories they have videoed or recorded and illustrations they have made that relate to various sites. They have started by mapping the shortcuts and pathways around their community, working with local cartographer and researcher Shaun Lewin. 

The computer comes with software which will enable them to make video art, digital photography projects, design work, digital illustrations and create animations and other computer aided design and artwork. They hope to print copies of the map and display at points of interest and possibly distribute to Barne Barton residents. 

This equipment will be available to young people in Barne Barton and their creative art projects after the life of this project. Presently the Tamar View Community Centre is running a digital photography Project for young people.

 The Society is also exploring the possibility of working with Music Accord Plymouth to set up a music group for the young people of Barne Barton.