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Cool it Art is for kids with no access to creative learning. We've helped 70 families and need your support to run our classes in 2016!
Cool it Art is for kids with no access to creative learning. We've helped 70 families and need your support to run our classes in 2016!
Cool it Art is for kids with no access to creative learning. We've helped 70 families and need your support to run our classes in 2016!
143 backers pledged £14,548 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Cool it Art - Free Art Classes for Kids

£14,548

143

We reached our goal with your help! 

We could do even more if we reach our stretch goals - take a look what your pledges could fund!

Creativity - should this be a luxury?

Creativity is our economy's most valuable resource. Cool it Art's purpose is to harness this for every child, every family, no matter how challenging the circumstances 

"You can't just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them" - Ken Robinson

About Cool it Art

We are a learning platform with a community arts outreach programme. We need your support to continue our free art classes in 2015/16. Join our crowdfunding campaign and we will give creative power to our poorest communities. You'll find some fun rewards to take home with you too!

Why Us? 

At Cool it Art we know what creativity can overcome: nothing is wasted and no one is overlooked! We bring art into the home with readily to hand materials - such as household junk - so creativity is accessible to all.

We have worked with over 600 children across a variety of projects - from the weekly art classes to pop up art schools, murals to bird boxes; we even created an award winning float out of recycled carrier bags for the Lord Mayor's Show in 2013. With your support we will provide 1 year's worth of free workshops and reach even more families!

Our Campaign:

What we'll do -

  • Provide 39 after school sessions and 9 holiday sessions; 48 in total in which children can explore their creativity - 
  • Each session will cover a new theme around a different element of Art, skills or materials based, and social and environmental issues
  • Work with Art students from City & Guilds of London Art School to provide work experience in Art facilitation to develop their own professional practice.
  • Engage Lambeth residents as volunteers to broaden their skills for work or simply help them give back to their community.
  • Mainly work with low income families, Lambeth has the 6th highest number of children in poverty in London according to Child Poverty Action Group - which is why we feel it's extremely important to provide this service to benefit the children and their parents.
  • Promote community cohesion - Vauxhall is a very culturally diverse area with many families from Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali, Afro Caribbean and Portuguese heritage. For many of the parents English isn't their first language and they often rely on the children to translate for them as they tend to socialise with native speakers of their languages - by having a mixed group of nationalities this helps the parents form friendships to feel less isolated.
  • Document every session to feature on our Facebook page much like an online gallery to showcase the children's work

What we'll achieve:

  • The social impact of the project will be to help people develop a fulfilling creative outlet and meet other people who share those interests.
  • The educational outcome is teaching families systematically, through their children’s projects, that the environment is valuable.
  • By using recycled materials as the focus we are reducing the impact of waste.
  • We will create a learning legacy by showing parents how to make low cost projects they can implement at home.
  • The sessions also promote happiness and well-being through play and exploration in a safe and nurturing environment where children can express themselves.

Why we need your support?

Whilst the classes have been running for over 2 years, the project is one of continuous learning; with your support we can continue not just with the classes but also with developing the programme. We need to secure funding to:

  • Continue to support and engage the 70 families we work with regularly
  • Further develop the work we have started with community engagement 
  • Continue to enrich the lives of children we already work with through the sessions
  • Engage with more children within Lambeth to offer them this opportunity to explore creativity in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Develop more FREE teaching packs for our website which can be used at home or in schools to promote creativity and offer inspiration

A report on "Educational relationships outside of school" by the Joseph Rowntree foundation references the importance of out of school clubs and that many lower income families weren't attending them because of cost and other factors - this project is inclusive to ensure no one is penalised due to lower incomes.

Finance - how much it will cost and where will the money go?

We need to raise £12,865 to support a 48 week project, comprising a shared 645 hours of artists & volunteers working on the sessions, research & development and admin and evaluation that will benefit up to 35 children per session plus their families. 

  • Set up costs - £1,375
  • Artists (facilitation of the sessions) - £5,775 
  • Volunteers (3 volunteers per session to reimburse their transport and lunch)- £1,575
  • Research & Development (creating new sessions and the teaching packs)- £2640
  • Art Materials to be match funded by GreatArt - £300 
  • Admin & Evaluation (statistics about attendance based on neighbourhoods as well as looking at feedback from the children, parents, volunteers & Artists) - £1200

 How your help will make a difference

  • Support inner city underprivileged kids to have access to free activities to engage in the Arts
  • Create a legacy of learning through the Arts
  • Improve community cohesion

 The story so far:

Cool it Art has been running for 2 years - in that time we have engaged with over 600 children through a variety of projects by offering free art activities accessible to all to take part in.  

However there is still much left for us to do, the classes form the core of our activities; we run other stand alone projects alongside to compliment them. 

By funding us we can continue to make a positive change to children and their families lives. You can find out more about our work on the website - here is what the parents and children have to say about the project:

"Asked F what he liked about art club he said "It's just fun mummy. Because I get to do lots of different arty things with my friends and even when I think I'm just making a mess they help me to make something good!!" as a parent on a low income with limited possibilities for me having such a rich art resource available to my child is fantastic. it is an after school opportunity for us to create something together with very knowledgable artists alongside us showing us the way to create something I wouldn't even have thought to attempt. There have been things that we have made from over a year ago that my son refuses to part with. The only problem is our home is starting to look like an art gallery! Thank you for this wonderfully creative time you have given us to share once a week"

“Before bringing my kids to the art club, they had nothing much to do on Tuesdays after school. Now they have much to look forward to; they find it fun, exciting; a way of expressing themselves through art and they get to play with many other children. I think it is a brilliant idea and very useful to the community as a whole. Thank you for the opportunity!”

"My kids found it quite enjoyable and relaxing. A place to explore their artistic tendencies, a place where they don't feel judged regarding their talent. Amanda and the volunteers are very kind and patient with the kids. it is a wonderful place to be."

“I LOVE Cool it Art because I’ve always been bad at art but now I’m no longer bad all thanks to Amanda I have improved 100% in my art skills” Analyce, aged 8

What's next, Cool it Art coming to you!

Using what we have created in Lambeth we would like to roll out the programme across other boroughs in London with high rates of child poverty; then eventually across Britain - creating a successful model which can be replicated in other areas of the country. We would like to fund an Art bus to act as a mobile classroom to engage some of our poorer communities across the country and we would like to sponsor out of work parents to earn qualifications in Youth Engagement/Teaching through volunteering on our programme to help them get back into work. We have plans to publish a book of the teaching packs to help to continue to fund our sessions as well as promote creativity to those who buy it.

Below you can see the print designed by Amanda Callis as a reward for this campaign.

Who We Are:

Cool it Art was set up by Amanda Callis in 2013 to provide free Art activities for children in Lambeth. Amanda graduated from City & Guilds of London Art School and through her links to the School and its history in the locality she has collaborated with other alumni of the school, most recently Sarm Derbois, as Artists on the project - and she also involves current students in the project giving them invaluable work experience in the field of Art facilitation. We also work in partnership with the Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre - situated in the heart of Vauxhall - who provide us a free venue to accommodate the growing Art classes. We work closely with GreatArt who match fund our art materials for all of our projects.

"Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre is proud to work in partnership with Cool it Art - not only does the work they do benefit the children through creativity but also the parents benefit from coming together once a week, making new friends which helps reduce isolation in our community. Cool it Art has helped to put VGCC on the map with their outreach work - which has enabled us to engage children and parents with our other free activities."

"GreatArt has been happy to support Cool it Art from the very beginning because they work hard to support the importance of art in education, whilst combining it with a sense of community and friendship. Their events and classes give children a valuable chance to express themselves freely and develop their individual creativity and personalities."

Join Cool it Art

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep up with what we get up to! Have an idea? Get in touch - we love collaborations and new challenges! Have you made something from one of our teaching packs? Show us! We love to share in creativity!

Thank you for reading!

If you want to know more about the project please feel free to get in touch!

Cool it Art is proud to be featured on the RSA curated area on Kickstarter, which selects the best new ideas to help tackle social problems that its 27,000 Fellows are looking to deliver. I’m an RSA Fellow and have been selected to be a part of this. Click here to see more RSA-backed projects and find out more about the RSA

Risks and challenges

Like any project there are risks but we feel after working in this community for two years we are in a pretty good position to engage and develop the programme.

Potential Risks & Challenges and how we will address them:

Reaching those in need of the opportunity - Lambeth Living (Lambeth Council) will continue to support us in promoting the classes to engage with their residents as well as giving them the opportunity to volunteer to boost their skills sets. As we have been based in the area for two years we have good connections with the local schools and children's centres who can also refer families to the service we provide. Currently we have over 90 children registered to attend in Vauxhall so we are confident that attendance will continue to be at an optimum level.

Sessions being fun and engaging - Amanda has over 6 years worth of experience in Art facilitation with over 16 projects under the Cool it Art name and over 30 projects as facilitator in her own right building up her experience - she loves a challenge, having to be quick thinking and always having a plan B and even plan C!

Budget & Materials - This budget has been tried and tested over two years and has proven successful. Through session planning for a variety of projects we know how to source materials for the best outcome whilst maximising being the most cost effectiveness.

Safeguarding & Health and Safety - Working in Art facilitation with and for a variety of organisations has provided us with considerable experience in ensuring that risk assessments are done, the correct paperwork is in place in areas such as data protection, equal opportunities, expected behaviour from staff and volunteers and a child safeguarding policy. We also liaise with local organisations to ensure our structure is the best it can be.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    A thank you on our website and a group thank you video emailed to you made by the children.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    A thank you on our website, a group thank you video emailed to you made by the children and a mention on our twitter and Facebook page

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    Pledge £25 or more About $39

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a personalised thank you postcard designed and written by the children sent to you

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    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a set of 6 Christmas cards designed by the children in time to send for Christmas

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    Pledge £50 or more About $79

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - a personalised thank you photo in the session's album as well as the session's teaching pack featuring a dedication to you for making it possible.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $79

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a personalised Art work created by the children sent to you.

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    Pledge £75 or more About $118

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a limited edition print created by the children

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    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a £50 voucher to spend at our partner GreatArt plus an invite to the 3rd Birthday Party at the class in Vauxhall

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    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    All of the rewards for a £10 backer - plus a limited edition print created by founder and artists Amanda Callis

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Funding period

- (30 days)