The Sorrell Foundation and Katherine Appleford from Kingston University London
Sorrel Hershberg, The Sorrell Foundation
Katherine Appleford, Kingston University London
Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Kingston University London
The National Art&Design Saturday Club
In 2009 The Sorrell Foundation launched The National Art&Design Saturday Club in four locations. Based upon Saturday Clubs that ran in Britain between the 1940s and 70s the intention was to provide free arts activities for 14-16 year olds in local colleges and universities. Since then the project has grown into thirty-four locations nationwide. Katherine Appleford’s residency sought to support The Sorrell Foundation, producing evidence that the model works for young people, institutions and industries.
Appleford’s research was split into three key sections: assessing The National Art&Design Saturday Club’s impact, creating predication of how governmental educational policy will affect the industry, e.g. by discouraging young people from pursuing creative professions, and conducting research into the history of Saturday Clubs from the 60s and 70s. In order to achieve this Appleford conducted interviews with twelve individuals who attended Saturday Clubs in London, Mansfield, Sussex and Surrey in the 60s. The interviews concerned the participants experience of Saturday Clubs as well as their subsequent careers.
They key output of this process was The Sorrell Foundation Saturday Club Report which established a historical context detailing the structure and character of the original clubs, looked at the relationships created with parents and schools, examined the balance of freedom and artistic practice and talked of the tutors. The report also assessed the value of art education in creating transferable skills, assisting in participants self development and tracked their progress through higher education and into the career field. It demonstrated the long-term impact of this type of scheme, therefore, suggesting the potential and importance of The Sorrell Foundation’s current work. Furthermore it effectively emphasised the effect educational policy has on recruitment into creative industries.
The residency presented a talk titled National Saturday Art&Design Clubs: A Way in and a way up at the European Sociological Conference 2015, and an article ‘Art and Design Saturday Clubs in 1960s and 1970s – A way in, a way up’ is due for release.
Photo: Magnus Andersson
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