Who we are
We are Arts for All...a community creative centre based in Shoreditch in the East End of London. We run creative clubs for local people and aim to build confidence through creative achievement. Our exciting clubs for adults and children incorporate many different art forms and materials. At Arts For All we believe that if you introduce an element of creativity into a person’s life, then it will positively affect every area of their lives. In reference to “Every Child Matters” we are concerned with every aspect of the welfare of the people who attend Arts For All. Ideally, everyone should have these opportunities and at Arts For All we provide creatively based, good quality projects for the whole community.
In Shoreditch we are working with adults and children who often face disadvantage in many ways. Through long term unemployment, poverty, overcrowding, broken families, crime and communities populated with drug dealers, many people feel lacking in confidence and have low aspirations. Arts for All is a safe, welcoming, exciting place where they can come and learn new skills, make friends and have fun; and through creative achievement, grow in confidence and self-belief. We hope that, through support, encouragement and the gaining of new skills and experiences, we will see adults moving into employment and children and young people seeing a brighter future for themselves.
Meet the founder and CEO
For many years I had been living in the Bethnal Green area and had worked as a volunteer youth worker and a creative designer -maker. I had always felt drawn to starting something that would bring colour, care and creativity into the lives of local people of all ages and in 2001, with a friend, I started Arts For All. The area in which we work is so diverse - with poverty and wealth sitting side by side. But I have always believed that everyone needs an element of creativity in their lives - that it can be literally life changing. If you add to that a warm welcome and true, uncomplicated care and support you have a place that can change the course of a life.
In January 2002 we found ourselves setting up in The Tab Centre - our home now for 16 years! Over this time we have touched the lives of countless children, young people and adults. We have supported people through the highs and lows of life, done numerous exciting sellout exhibitions in The City, built confidence through creativity, care and encouragement and seen both children and adults grow in confidence and aspiration and go on to positive changes in their lives.
Throughout the years we have had ups and downs and we have changed and rearranged some of the clubs that we run - (often based on how much money we have) - but throughout it all the simple vision and heart of Arts For All remains the same. Our clubs are inclusive - no matter who you are or what your background or situation. The people we work with; whether children or adults, all matter; and we will do whatever we can to support, encourage and care for each person. Today - as I observe the clubs I am excited and thrilled to see the joy that each child and each adult gets from picking up a paint brush or doing a sculpture; trying their hand at a bit of jewelry making or learning to play pool!!
Looking into the future I desperately want to increase the days that we are working with adults with learning disabilities. Funding always seems to limit what we can do even though in heart and spirit we are ready to increase the work. I also would like to increase our sessions for children and young people and this is definitely a plan for 2019. I would like to involve as many children as possible in creative workshops that result in exhibitions and give them the opportunity to shine and grow in confidence as a result. My main aim for the charity is that it would thrive and grow and continue the work of so many years - supporting, helping and caring for our neighbours here in Shoreditch.