What an amazing event 'The Fair Before Christmas' was at The Park Barn Centre in Guildford yesterday! I was completely blown away by how busy it was and the scale of the event. There were donkey rides, a mini ice skating ring, jewellery and crafts stands, a band playing and of course a very busy art session taking place! The afternoons art session was led by our Community Artists, Sarah and Kim (top right) who supported 90 children, families, older adults, grandma's, grandads, grandchildren and even babies to create colourful sparkly baubles for the tree. Anyone who is familiar with Park Barn in Guildford will be aware that it is mostly council houses and flats, and thus home to many disadvantaged and deprived people and families who aren't able to access this type of service. A common response that we had from families was suprise at the fact that the art session was free! And so they jumped at the opportunity to get their children involved.
As a social enterprise one of our social aims is to make art accessible to all and by all we mean ALL. Not only for those that can afford the sessions but for those who can't and where the need is just as great. This is why we hope to set up a charitable arm where our national community can deliver art sessions to disadvantaged communities for free, to ensure that everyone can benefit from and experience art, craft and sculpture and explore their creativity.
As the arts are pushed more and more to the sidelines in terms of importance and arts council funding diminishes, I feel stronger than ever about our role in its revival. This is why Creative Minds exists, this is our purpose and this is my purpose.