From education to employment

Creative workshops bring the Arts to Liverpool’s children

Liverpool youngsters were encouraged to embrace the Arts at a series of events co-hosted by Liverpool Hope University, Granby Children’s Centre and Open Eye Gallery.

Academics from Liverpool Hope’s Early Childhood team worked with the Centre to deliver workshops where parents, carers and their children could explore their creative sides.

The events aimed to support children and families who might be unlikely to access the Arts, and to encourage connections with the free cultural offerings in the City from a young age.

Students and academics from Liverpool Hope University’s Early Childhood department joined representatives from children’s services – Granby Children’s Centre; arts and cultural organisations – Open Eye Gallery and community organisation – Granby Winter Gardens, to deliver the events.

As well as workshops held at Granby Winter Gardens, the team organised for work produced by children and their families to be showcased to the public at Open Eye Gallery on Saturday 9th November.

Dr Zoi Nikiforidou, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood at Liverpool Hope University, said: “The Festival of Social Sciences events were a great opportunity to work with partners, students and families from a wide range of backgrounds in celebrating children’s right to cultural and artistic activities.

“We hope this is only the beginning of a journey to connect the Early Childhood team’s research, values and social impact in an ongoing partnership with the local community.”

Rocio Blanco, who attended with her son Felix, said: “It was a great initiative, very well organised and especially fun for the kids. I’m very grateful for this activity, it gave me the chance to enjoy the museum/gallery with other mums, while our kids learn how to enjoy with art. A very educational and well organised activity.”

Kim Evans, School Readiness Champion at Granby Children’s Centre, said: “At the Children’s Centre we are committed to working with families to support children’s holistic development. The Children’s Rights through Art project was a fantastic opportunity for children and families to engage with art and culture at a young age. We are very appreciative that Liverpool Hope University and the Open Eye Gallery chose to work with us on this project, and it was lovely to use the venue at the Granby Winter Gardens.”

Sorcha Boyle, Events Co-Ordinator at Open Eye Gallery, added: “This event was a wonderful experience of socially engaged practice, which is core to our value base here. Cyanotypes or blueprints are a simple photographic process using sunlight and the children who made them are probably our youngest ever to work with Open Eye. We really hope that they and their parents will continue this connection into the future.”

Funded by the Economic Social Research Council as part of its Festival of Social Science, the workshops explored the theme of Children’s Rights through Arts and celebrated the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The (CRC) is the most ratified UN Treaty and has played a central role to improve the lives of children around the world.

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