New Creative Hub in Newport High Street for Independent Arts

Hannah Griffiths, Lisa Gagliani & Ralph Ridler

 18th November 2020

Isle of Wight charity and IWCEP member, Independent Arts has announced a major new project that will allow people from across the Island to get involved with creative programmes.

The new Independent Arts Creative Hub will be located at the former Monsoon building in Newport. The building, situated at the corner of the High Street and St James’ Square is being refurbished November 2020 and will be open to the public as soon as regulations allow. 

The Creative Hub will feature exhibitions from Independent Arts community programmes across the Island, as well as opportunities to engage with arts for well being activities. Independent Arts are delighted to be launching this major new project, which it hopes, can contribute to the regeneration of the High Street.  To ensure the Creative Hub can reach its potential and be financially sustainable, Independent Arts has welcomed three new team members this month. Amy Normanton and Kerry Weston will share the day to day running of the Creative Hub and Ralph Ridler has started his role as Community Fundraiser.

Charity Chief Executive, Lisa Gagliani MBE said,

This is a major step forward for Independent Arts, in our strategy to improve health and well-being on the Isle of Wight through the arts. For too long, most of our activities have been hidden from public view, taking place in village halls and care homes. We look forward to welcoming you to the Creative Hub, where you will meet familiar and new faces of the Independent Arts team.

Independent Arts is the Isle of Wight charity focussed on using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life and to reduce social isolation. Supported by volunteers, fantastic practitioners and a small staff team in Newport, the charity engages with up to 1,700 people every month across the Island. 

Like many organisations, the charity has been affected by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. In response, the charity’s much-loved community services, including SingAbout and DanceMakers, have moved online during the pandemic reaching thousands of people who might otherwise have been isolated. 

The response to these plans from Independent Arts stakeholders, supporters and the public has been phenomenal. The charity is grateful for the support in this endeavour of The Tudor Trust, The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust and Arts Council England, as well as the Island Community who have raised £600 through a crowdfunding appeal. Donations can be made up 26th November to through this link or afterwards via the Independent Arts website at www.independentarts.org

Lisa Gagliani MBE
Chief Executive

IWCEP Teachers News: November 2020

Welcome to the Winter edition of the newsletter from the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership (IWCEP).
Another lockdown, but not for schools – we know that you are very much ‘Back to Business’ with added pressure to ensure that your schools are Covid Secure. We are also aware of the concern over the mental health of your pupils, staff and school community.

It’s our aim to help you find activities and events which will lighten the mood and help you connect with people through creativity in this time of uncertainty and change.


Isle of Wight Heritage Service

Explore the history of time with a new investigation from the Isle of Wight Heritage Service. The online activity pack shows you how to make your own water clock and sun dial, you can also explore some of the clocks in the Council’s collection. Explore the activities for families here.

Ryde Time Machine – Travel back in time and explore what Ryde looked like over 100 years ago. Can you recognise some of the buildings? Why is there a tank by the boating lake? Explore the photographs of Ryde photographer William Robert Hogg in this new online exhibition from the Isle of Wight Heritage Service. Visit the exhibition here.

Contact – Corina Westwood, corina.westwood@iow.gov.uk  01983 823433


IOW Music Hub has two fantastic new projects this half term to get involved with alongside our usual free CPD programme for teachers.

Learning Heroes Songwriting Project (KS2+ & SEND) write some lyrics for your very own version of this Growth Mindset song.  Sign up via http://www.iowmusichub.org/

10 Minute Sign & Sing (EYFS – KS3 & SEND) learn Makaton signs to your favourite pop songs, new content every Monday:

https://www.southamptonmusichub.org/songbank


We have some fabulous Christmas stocking filler craft and making workshops on our YouTube site suitable for families and schools. Great ideas for a home made Christmas. 

If your children enjoy a Christmas tale head to our YouTube storytelling playlist (available from the beginning of December) for recorded episodes of The Box of Delights by John Masefield: Kay Harker is on the train home for the Christmas holidays where he meets a mysterious Punch and Judy man who entrusts him with an important job. This leads him into a world of festive magic and wonder!


News from our local Bridge Organisation: ARTSWORK

Hello from Artswork, your South East Arts Council Bridge Organisation.  I hope your term is going well in spite of all the challenges – you are all doing a magnificent job!  Just wanted to update you on some great opportunities we have on offer for schools over the next few months.

The 2nd CPDL Session on our DfE programme  – Save the Date!

Open to all teachers, this free event on the theme of ‘Creative Approaches to Transitions’ will take place by Zoom on Wednesday 20th January from 3.00 – 5.00pm.  You will have an opportunity to hear from our Keynote speaker and schools about:

  • why Transitions matter? 
  • how arts, culture and creativity can support pupils through them?
  • successful models of practice at all key stages?
  • an opportunity to discuss and share ideas in break out room

We will be looking at Transition from early years to year 11.

This event will be live on our website in the next couple of weeks for booking through Eventbrite. There are only 40 places, so don’t delay!

Support Sessions for Artsmark Schools:

The following sessions are designed to help you with your Artsmark journey:

Statement of Commitment Interactive Support Session –  Weds 9th December on Zoom

Statement of Impact Interactive Support Session –  Tues 17th November and Weds 3rd February 2021

Evidencing Impact Support Session –  Mon 16th November and  Mon 8th March 2021 

Using the Planning Model to Support your Journey –  Tuesday 1st December

Further details and booking through Eventbrite for all opportunities on our website  at:  

We look forward to seeing you in a Zoom, very soon!  If you have any questions or anything you would like to discuss you can contact me at:    LorraineCheshire@artswork.org.uk

Best wishes,

Lorraine 

Education Development Manager Artswork for Hampshire; IOW Southampton and Portsmouth


Something for families…

A magical theatrical show,  families embark on a journey of discovery by following an enchanted route through the unseen rooms of Mottistone Manor to learn about the hidden forces at work within nature. Stories told of the tree roots, of majestic forests and landscapes and the creatures who serve them are designed to inspire each child to become a custodian of the land. You’ll come across captivating, clever and curious creatures ready to impart their tales in this promenade piece of festive theatre.

Tickets at www.forestfables.co.uk

Download the poster for your own newsletters here.


That’s all for now folks!

We wish you a very happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.


Lift the Lid takes a Leap…

On Saturday 29 February 2020, Quay Arts hosted a fun day of FREE workshops and performances. We were very grateful for all participants, workshop leaders, volunteers and artists/performers:

  • Lift the Lid artist, Ian Whitmore
  • Lift the Lid artist and storyteller, Sue Bailey
  • Independent Arts
  • The New Carnival Company: workshop leader Sharon Poole
  • Volunteer, Sheila Lucas
  • Isle of Wight College students: Daisy, Izzie and Daisy

Photographs by Alice Armfield


Film by Sassy Productions IoW which gives a feel for the day:

Sassy Productions also made a short film capturing the thoughts of young people about culture and creativity on the Isle of Wight. View that film on this blog post, #LetsCreateIW.