Barton Wall Project 2022
TASO jointly funded the Barton Wall Project with local councillors, Thames Valley Police, Youth Ambition and community groups. This followed the building by the estate community of an eight-foot square wall in a prominent position on the green to be decorated ‘in an eye catching way’. Our contribution was to fund street-art workshops led by a professional artist for children from 6-11 and 12-16 in interactive sessions in September 2022 (the Barton Bash), working on designing street art, and gaining the essential graffiti skills of taping and spray painting. The aim of the project was to build self-esteem of the participants, to encourage self-development and to increase the feeling of community for the whole estate. There were also sessions open to everyone, including parents and carers of participants and members of the police, which greatly increased the opportunities for community interaction on the currently troubled estate, and proving very popular with everybody. On the strength of the success of this project, the organisers are applying to the Arts Council for further grants.
Cutteslowe Community Centre 2022
TASO funded a holiday programme of professionally led workshops focusing on arts and crafts for 17 children over the age of 7, which formed part of a community summer programme for 339 children from over 200 families. There had been little youth activity on the Cutteslowe estate during Covid, and anxiety about the rise of consequent anti-social behaviour. The projects gave children opportunities to learn new skills and socialise with their friends. Our part of the project produced some good screenprinting, modelling and other artwork. Unexpectedly Ukrainian children also joined the group, helping their integration into the community and helping them work through their trauma by making dens in the woods from found objects and clay modelling.
Pegasus Theatre 2022
TASO helped to fund the ‘Play in a Week’ project for 8-12 year old children with a wide range of difficulties, including mental and physical health problems, learning needs and anger management issues. They were helped to devise a play about solving difficulties on a desert island, which, at the end of a week in the summer, they performed for family and friends. They gained producing, directing and performance skills, and behavioural challenges were helped by the professional team and the whole group. Participants learned strategies to build their social skills and confidence and to diminish their social anxieties, whilst enjoying the experience so much that they hoped to continue working with Pegasus in the future.
Horspath Primary School
TASO funded a whole school project, including all the children from the Nursery to Year 6, led by Francesca Shakespeare as part of the Magic Lantern ‘Feeling Safe’ scheme, working with each class for a whole day. The theme of the project is based on the school motto ‘Let your light shine’ and aimed to build confidence and positive mental health by creating something beautiful in a safe place. The children’s artwork will become a long lasting part of the school, culminating in a number of permanent artworks both in the school building and in the playground. The children had, to quote the school feedback, ‘an amazing time’.
SS Philip & James Primary School
TASO funded the involvement of six children aged 9-10 years old from this school for art therapy at ‘At the Bus’ – a quirky converted, colourful vehicle away from their school, which provides exciting, imaginative art therapy for children who are finding it difficult to navigate relationships both at home and at school and who have challenging home circumstances. The interruption of school attendance during the pandemic meant many children were withdrawn, suffered bereavement, trauma and loss, and some had newly arrived in this country. Children identified by the school were provided with a safe, comfortable environment with carefully planned sessions for ten weeks and have made good progress and are fully involved in a range of activities to create calm and wellbeing, with encouraging results. There is significant progress in their willingness to attend school and are newly enthusiastic about changing schools at 11, and the school intends to repeat the exercise next year.
Fabula Arts with Wytham Woods
TASO funded, in partnership with Oxford University, a week of exploration of the environment of Wytham Woods, using interactive theatre trails led by actors and creative workshops using drama, art, writing and music. The aim was to encourage the arts, raise awareness of environmental issues and the beauty of nature and learn about the history of the wood and its role as a centre of climate change research. Taking part were five Oxford schools (including one special school and home-educated children) each day for a week in June. Parents and families were invited to join the children (aged 8-11) during the following weekend to share and learn from the children’s experiences.
Gosford Hill School
TASO supported the school to re-establish opportunities for ceramics by funding the purchase of a kiln to replace outdated and unsafe equipment. The project was seriously disrupted by Covid, but gained momentum in 2022. Pottery was included in the curriculum for Year 9 students, aiming to encourage the personal, imaginative design capability of each student. This has built confidence in their own creativity, first by looking at artist Kate Malone’s use of natural forms, then thinking about coral reefs with their features, colours and textures.
Wolvercote Young People’s Club
The Wolvercote Young People’s Club Arts Café re-opened after a difficult time during the pandemic. TASO funded four sessions with the young people, upcycling old, used furniture in the club, learning new skills like decoupage and mosaic work, and making something old and tired into something beautiful and useful. This work enhanced discussions about our ‘throw away’ society and the value of recycling.
Restore – “The Power of Paint”
TASO provided materials for an adult mental health project run by Restore. The project involved ten participants who benefitted from art therapy to aid their recovery from mental health problems, helped them express themselves through painting and enhanced their wellbeing and confidence. Many members had not painted for years due to their declining mental health, but were excited to remember and build on old skills. Their paintings were both abstract, expressing their feelings, and representational, featuring flowers, birds and wildlife, and are displayed by the Beehive Recovery group, to the pleasure of the artists.
Headway provides support for adults with brain injuries caused by a sudden, traumatic life change. Using art as therapy and rehabilitation improves co-ordination and fine motor skills but also relieves stress, anxiety and depression, symptoms of brain injury. The project took place during the national Action for Brain Injury Week and included local media coverage. TASO funded the art tutor, who worked with 45 adults, using art in a variety of media, encouraging the participants to interpret and portray their own personal experience and the impact trauma has had on their lives and that of their families, friends and the interruption to their work and careers. The project was in collaboration with Sunningwell School of Art, and culminated in a display of painting and ceramics at the Headway Rehabilitation Centre in May 2022.
Daybreak Dementia Day Clubs
Daybreak runs several dementia friendly clubs which help people with dementia to continue to live at home and be supported by meeting together in a stimulating environment. TASO funded music sessions at the Limes club. Music is a core tool used in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, using specialist musicians. It greatly reduces depression and boosts the confidence of individuals to increase social engagement. The programme was constantly interrupted and curtailed by covid difficulties, but clearly revived happy memories and gave great pleasure to participants, who sang and danced and clearly had moments of joy.
Previous Community Arts Projects supported by TASO
For full details of previous projects click here: Community Arts Projects Archive
We keep a photographic record of each project for our website and publicity purposes, taking care to ensure that we abide by regulations and host requirements concerning distribution of photographs of young and/or vulnerable people. Below are photos with more details of some of the projects
For more information about Community Arts Projects nationally, visit The Arts Society
For information about TASO Community Arts Projects activity, contact the Community Arts Representative via email@example.com