Bow Arts Annual Report 2011/12
Working with artists to make better communities
List of Contents About Bow Arts
Introduction Board Members Mission Chief Executiveâ€™s Report
Staff Members Supporting Artists
Bow Arts Trust Ltd 183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ t:+44  20 8980 7774
Live/Work Artist Studio Finder Employment Opportunities Exhibition and Project Opportunities Residencies Building Communities, Building Places
Community Programme Londonâ€™s Artist Quarter Live/Work Scheme Public Art Commissions Supporting Children and Young People
Educational Packages Arts Awards Manor Park Consortium
Bow Arts Trust Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 03031923 and also a registered charity number 1046958
The Nunnery Gallery
About Bow Arts Bow Arts is an arts educational charity with a mission to support community renewal in East London by delivering arts and creative services through a financially sustainable model. That means lots of things! In essence...
We provide affordable workspaces to artists Our focus is providing support to emerging artists We use the income generated to deliver: - educational programmes in schools - a community arts programme - a gallery, the Nunnery, which is free to the public We provide volunteering and employment opportunities Our business model is financially sustainable—that means we don’t rely on external funding to deliver our services
We hope that you will find this year’s report goes a little way to explaining the diverse range of activity that makes Bow Arts what it is. Welcome to our Annual Report.
Bow Arts’ mission is to support community renewal in East London by delivering arts and creative services through a financially sustainable model
Our Board Members Myriam Blundell
Rajen Madan (Vice Chair)
Michele Faull (Treasurer)
Jonathan Winskill (Chair)
Chief Executive’s Report Bow Arts has seen a remarkable year of growth despite such a difficult economic environment. I am pleased to report that the robustness of our business model has stood us in good stead. Financial sustainability is fast becoming a key requirement for third sector organisations but this has always been at the very heart of our organisation. Our Strategic Plan 2012-15 was finalised after many months of work. I would like to thank our board for their support during this process and look forward to implementing the Plan and rolling it out through the years ahead. It is the culmination of two years of work self-assessing the quality of Bow Arts using PQASSO. We finally achieved the Level 2 kite mark in February and you can read about this on page 13. 2011/12 was a great year for innovation. The new Manor Park educational consortium with eight schools in Newham was evidence of this. The model is a whole new way of delivering high quality creative education work in a borough with currently limited provision and you can find more about it on page 10. Our commitment to free access to high quality arts in East London continues at a pace with exciting developments for the Nunnery Gallery with the appointment of our new Gallery Director — read more on page 11. We also re-evaluated our digital presence and decided to re-brand our website and take up the social media challenge. We hope that our audiences will continue to grow and that we can provide even more avenues into the creative sector for our followers. I continue to serve on several arts boards including the National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers (NFASP), which is the governance and support agency for the artists’ studio sector. It is a great way of keeping in touch with the sector as a whole, especially as Bow Arts develops more strategic ways of working. Finally, as the year drew to a close, we received great news from Arts Council England when they made us one of their National Portfolio Organisations to support our growth ambitions in the London Borough of Newham for three years from April 2012. This will provide us with some formidable challenges but we are ready! I look forward to reporting back to you next year on our achievements.
Staff Members Marcel Baettig—Chief Executive
Rob Smith—Head of Education
Michael Cubey—Assistant Director
Fran Laws—Education Officer
and Head of Property
Lydia Ashman—Education Officer
Tilly Hogrebe—Property Assistant
Rob Harris —Education Assistant
Marcus Neal—Property Assistant
Angela Law—Business Manager
Rosamond Murdoch—Gallery Director
Aline Rice—Finance Administrator
Dawn Bigsby—Evaluations Officer
Supporting Artists Our artists are the great driving force of Bow Arts and our job is to support them in very practical ways; providing affordable space to live and/or work in, communities to integrate into, relevant employment opportunities, access to advice and networks, career-building activities and exposure to as much of the sector as possible.
There are few recognised training routes for those pursuing careers in the creative industries. Apart from arts degrees there are no professional exams or apprenticeships. We reckon it takes around 15 years from graduation as an ‘emerging’ artist to recognition as an ‘established’ practitioner, with little formal support during this uncertain time. However, one thing is for sure. The energy and drive exhibited by these young professionals is a force to be reckoned with. Today, East London boasts the largest number of artists and arts organisations living and working together in any capital city in the world.
The creative industries have the potential to drive significant economic growth. Their collective contribution to GDP amounts to some £90 billion a year, the sector employs 1.5 million people and export of services by the creative industries account for 10.6% of the UK’s total (DCMS, 2011). The wider personal and social benefits reaped through engagement with this sector are difficult to measure but most would accept that civilised society has an appreciation of the arts and its place in the world.
Open Studios 2012 The annual Open Studios event is the highlight of the Bow Arts calendar. It is a chance to showcase our artists and provides great opportunities for networking. In separate weekends in June and July over 300 Bow Arts artists threw open their doors welcoming some 2,000 visitors to see their work. It was a great opportunity for members of the public, curators and collectors to see a huge range of original artwork and get to meet the artists themselves. Not only that, but visitors also got a chance to see some of the work by our artists in ’ShEducation’ — a space where videos of educational projects were shown. Alongside all of this ran the Open Show at the Bermondsey Project Space— Dangerous Curves Ahead. The show was selected by Bob & Roberta Smith, Skye Sherwin and Emilie Faure and featured works of 73 Bow Arts artists. A wide range of media and styles were presented, reflecting the great diversity of Bow Arts artists.
Supporting Artists Affordable Spaces Bow Arts provides creative workspaces (both studios and residential) for over 400 artists in East and South East London at affordable, below-market rates. Some 25% of the income generated from artists is reinvested into creative and educational projects that support the artists and local communities. Our first and best known studio site is at Bow Road and has been used for the past 16 years to provide artists studios and a public gallery (The Nunnery â€” see page 11). There are currently 120 artists benefitting from provision in the building. P1 Studios is located just along from Bow Road and accommodates 16 artists in the ground floor of a large residential development. Our partnership with East Thames provides a minimum of ÂŁ10,000 inward investment into community focused arts activity annually (see page 7). This sustainable investment is in lieu of rent, over the 20 year lease on the building. In partnership with Crisis, Bow Arts has created 90 studios for emerging artists at SE1 Studios in Bermondsey. 20,000 square feet over two floors of a warehouse has provided affordable workspace for close to 140 artists.
Live/Work Scheme The Live/Work scheme provides around 100 artists with not only a workspace but also somewhere to live. It is a great way to support artists but is also a very valuable way of regenerating residential areas by housing young creative professionals right at the heart of the community. Read more about the scheme on page 8.
Artist Studio Finder is a free web resource sponsored by Bow Arts providing a central location where artists can quickly and easily find out about available studio spaces in London. It is also free for studio providers to advertise their available spaces . We publicise the site at numerous universities, colleges, degree shows and graduate fairs in London and beyond. Visitor numbers are growing rapidly with over 7,000 page views per month.
Supporting Artists Employment Opportunities We provide a number of opportunities for artists to gain employment via our Education programme. 135 professional artists are currently registered with us as Artist Educators or Workshop Facilitators. Our work is wide ranging and projects can vary across different art forms, for different audiences and clients. We work in a variety of school, youth and community settings across East London and beyond. Projects might include school workshops, artist talks or studio visits, after school clubs, training for staff in the arts and community art projects. Alongside this we run a professional development programme for artists that includes mentoring, volunteering and shadowing opportunities for those who are looking to develop their skills in working with children and young people. Once the necessary experience has been gained, there is a progression route into paid opportunities. There are also opportunities for artists to benefit from the public art commissions undertaken by Bow Arts, particularly when those commissions involve collaborations with the wider community. Read more about this on page 8. "Thank you for providing an amazing artist. Anita was superb with our pupils and the resulting mosaic is awesome. It's better than we ever dreamed it would be." Headteacher
Exhibition and Project Opportunities The London’s Artist Quarter website (see page 8) lists calls to artists and project opportunities for artists in East London. The ‘Opportunities’ pages get around a thousand hits a month and this is an area that we are looking to grow in the future.
Residencies Bow Arts is involved in a number of residency programmes and this year saw some great partnerships. We were proud to host the Land Securities Graduate Studio Award at P1 Studios. This two year programme provides three recently graduated artists with a substantial studio space for a year, rent free. Recipients in 2011/12 were Ali Kazim (Slade School of Art) , Ella McCartney (Royal Academy) and Jackson Sprague (Royal College of Art). There are also two residencies at SE1 run in partnership with Crisis, providing two artists with rent free studio space for one year each. In 2011/12 Franco DiCesare was selected for the fine art residency and Lydia Wall for the craft based residency. Both encountered Crisis when forced into homelessness and were regular attendees at Crisis’ Skylight arts projects. In fact it was here that Lydia first discovered a flair for millinery and went on to establish her own millinery business at the SE1 studio. At the end of her residency, Lydia was able to set up her own studio and continue her business in Crouch End.
Building Communities Building Places Artists have been present in London's East End over the last 130 years and London proudly promotes itself worldwide as one of the most important cultural capitals in the world. The influence that young professional artists have on an area is immense and engaging and supporting this important community can have significant effects on regeneration. The area nestled between the Olympic Park, the City of London and Canary Wharf, is ‘London’s Artist Quarter’ and is home to the largest concentration of artists in Europe. With the announcement that the 2012 Olympic Games was to take place in East London, property developers suddenly took a keen interest in the major regeneration that was taking place as part of London 2012. Bow Arts has been keen to ensure that the essence and vitality of the artistic quarter, and its positive impact on the wider community, are very much part of any long term development plans.
Community Programme We have been working with community partners for many years offering a range of bespoke programmes. We match our best professional artists to enhance the level of provision in community settings and all programmes are tailored to meet the needs of particular service users. Programmes this year have been many and varied, from guided resident walks to street art. Here are just a few... Mapping Spaces, an East Thames project, brought together 60 local residents to explore arts practices and culminated in an exhibition at the Nunnery. Mohila Creations A social enterprise led by a Bow Arts artist where local women learned a variety of printing techniques to produce handmade cards for sale. Business and marketing skills are a focus of this project, which looks set to go from strength to strength. 14th Floor—The History of Social Housing in Tower Hamlets Local residents, artists and local historians researched the history of social housing via privileged access to the Tower Hamlets Archive, producing a 45 minute documentary, commemorative postcards and creating two bespoke walking tours. Poplar Boys and Girls Club Graffiti workshops for 20 young people aged 11-19 delivered two pieces of art work representing the youth club and its users.
Building Communities Building Places London’s Artist Quarter Website The London’s Artist Quarter website has been developed to support and help promote the collective voice of artists in the area and to introduce the East End of London as officially “London’s Artist Quarter”. The emphasis of the site is very much on how we can assist individual practice and encourage involvement by providing a ‘shop window’. Participants can upload their portfolio and publicise events and projects. Promoters can publicise commissioning opportunities and calls to artists for shows. Galleries and other venues can upload forthcoming events which can be easily viewed on a day by day basis across the whole area. Over 1,000 local artists have so far registered on the site and the site average around 23,000 hits per month.
Live/Work Scheme This scheme is a unique social enterprise initiative in which Bow Arts and Poplar HARCA have combined forces to offer local artists and creative practitioners the opportunity of affordable live/work space in Tower Hamlets. The scheme is designed not only to support artists but also to promote access to culture within communities. Our ambition is to create a new permanent creative community in the East London as an international gateway for culture. Artists have often historically been a significant factor in the regeneration of deprived and disadvantaged areas; this scheme aims to involve artists who want to be a part of that process. Two-thirds of the rent from artists contributes to the running costs of the scheme and a third goes into a Community Arts Chest that delivers a programme of high quality, sustainable community art projects for local people. The fund generated £50,000 in 2011/12. “I feel like I’m part of the community by sharing lifts with people, talking, knowing my neighbours. It’s a process of osmosis: good will spreads itself.” Live/Work Artist
Public Art Commissions We have a strong track record of successful public art work and work with numerous public sector and commercial partners to provide complete solutions — from initial creative concepts to realisation and installation. We specialise in community consultation, ensuring that work undertaken really does ‘add value’ to the area. 2011/12 saw a number of commissions, including the St Paul’s Way Trust School hoardings. Artist Emily Allchurch worked with 90 local Primary and Secondary students to produce the longest piece of art in the country surrounding the site of the new school development.
Supporting Children and Young People Bow Arts is London’s leading arts and creative learning provider. Our Education programme serves a wide range of audiences by providing long term, high quality arts education experiences. Currently we work with 50 schools and community groups across London’s Artist Quarter.. “Bow Arts broadens students’ horizons.” Ofsted
Educational Packages We have long been working with schools to provide bespoke projects tailored towards making learning accessible and improving attainment across all key stages. However, we realised that many of our schools have similar needs and similar challenges in terms of time constraints and budgets. So in January 2011 we decided to launch a range of ready-made educational packages, which can still be tailored to the individual needs of schools, whether it be school improvement solutions or arts enrichment opportunities. These have proven extremely popular and have produced great outcomes for not only the students, but also the teachers, the schools and the artist educators. All participants have been reporting improved knowledge and understanding, increased skills, improved attitudes and values and increased inspiration and creativity. The Primary School packages range from creative literacy to willow sculptures and from animation to healthy living. All are designed to support cross curricular learning as well as the development of creative skills.
“All the children really enjoyed the project and were fully engaged, regardless of ability. The level of attainment was WELL above and beyond KS1.” Year 1 Teacher
The Secondary School packages have the same aspirations as those above but are obviously tailored to an older audience and learning that is often focussed on GCSE and A-level examinations. We also include packages for easing the transition from Primary to Secondary school as well as targeted intervention packages which tackle underachievement and disengagement.
Arts Awards These artist led workshops deliver a structured programme of arts activities that lead to an Arts Award accreditation. The programme includes not only the creation of artworks by participants, but also visiting galleries and attending arts events, researching and understanding career pathways in the arts and even leading arts activities with peers. 35 young people gained their awards last year, learnt new skills and, perhaps most importantly, reported increased confidence following their leadership activities.
"Art is forming part of everyday life, because I could be inspired at any time." Year 10 student Page 9
Supporting Children and Young People Manor Park Consortium Newham is one of the 10% most deprived local authorities in London. Severe deprivation has been linked to low educational attainment and aspirations, and addressing these are key priorities within the borough’s current young people and children’s plan. Additionally, there is a direct correlation between high levels of deprivation and low levels of arts participation and Newham has been identified as having the lowest level of engagement in the arts nationally. Bow Arts worked with the Manor Park Soft Federation to establish a consortium to address these issues. The Bow Arts Manor Park Consortium comprises of eight schools, one nursery, six primaries and one secondary who pool resources and work together towards addressing shared priorities, which include those of the borough and federation-wide issues such as supporting learners with English as an additional language. Year one of the three year delivery plan has focused on investing in staff in order to build teachers’ skills and confidence in delivering arts education and this has formed a sustainable basis for the development and growth of the programme. Throughout this first year, 15 professional artists worked across the consortium, over 600 students participated in projects, more than 70 teachers took part in the CPD sessions and approximately 100 parents attended the celebration event. The consortium model is innovative and unique and we look forward to working with partners in Newham to deliver real opportunities for the young people there to explore their creativity and aspirations. The success of the model is already tangible and we hope it can be replicated in other areas of need.
Educational Attainment Bow Arts works with a number of primary and secondary schools on programmes directly linked to raising student attainment, both in the arts and in other subjects across the curriculum. One example of this is our work with George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets. George Green’s serves a community with high levels of social and economic disadvantage; the proportion of students eligible for free school meals is significantly higher than the national average. Over a third of students have special educational needs and/or disabilities, which is significantly higher than the proportion seen nationally. Bow Arts artists worked with GCSE Art and Design students over a number of weeks. The projects linked to the students’ coursework topics, and acted as a lead in to their final practical examinations. The projects developed not only practical skills linked to the students’ areas of interest, but also supported them in developing their ideas, creating a whole body of work, and their ability to work more conceptually. The results were fantastic: GCSE results rocketed from 63.5% A*-C in the previous year, to 90% A*-C after the interventions made by Bow Arts. This exceeded the school target, and national average, of 75% A*-C. We look forward to continuing to build on these results over the coming years.
The Nunnery Gallery The Nunnery is a contemporary art space run by Bow Arts located in the heart of London’s Artist Quarter and a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park. One of our charitable objects is the provision and maintenance of a free public art gallery and since our inception 16 years ago the Nunnery has been the focus of free exhibitions and a place where access to the arts is available right at the heart of the community. The programme of events in the Nunnery has been many and varied in 2011/12 and included the Marmite Prize for Painting, Franko B’s solo show ‘I Still Love’, the ‘Corpus Lotus’ group show by Royal College of Art graduates, David Rickard’s ‘Testing the Limits’ and two interim degree shows presented by Wimbledon College of Art MA students. June 2012 saw the launch the Madge Gill retrospective consisting of a series of three ten week exhibitions. Gill, a Victorian spiritualist resident in the East End, became one of Outsider Art’s most fascinating figures. The exhibition has been extremely popular, incorporating commissioned artists’ responses to Gill’s drawings, and even made The Guardian’s Top 5 exhibitions in August. In addition, the Nunnery is home to exhibitions of works produced by our schools and community programmes.
“I’ve learnt that art brings people together. There was a real sense of community here at the show today.” Exhibition Visitor In December 2011, Rosamond Murdoch was appointed as our new Gallery Director and has begun to set out a clear plan for the development of the Gallery, including a cafe to attract new audiences and open up the building to the local community. Rosamond also brought with her ’Sparked’, a public art project based previously at the View Tube and funded by the Legacy List. Artists commissioned to create work for ’Sparked’ included Tomas Klassnik and Ritak Ikonen, Neville Gabie and Lemn Sissay. In February 2011 we were delighted to receive a grant from the GLA for improvements to the entrance of the Nunnery. The improvements have made the area far more inviting for visitors to the gallery, with new paving and environmentally friendly lighting. It is now fully accessible for those with disabilities. The grant also supported the capital costs of opening the cafe. All in all, we hope that visitors will be encouraged to come along and enjoy the space and at the same time enjoy some terrific art.
Quality In February 2012 Bow Arts was awarded the PQASSO Level 2 Quality Mark, a nationally recognised award that offers users, as well as commissioners and funders, external verification of the quality and credibility of an organisation. Bow Arts worked long and hard to gain this accreditation. 200 quality indicators had to be met, coupled with an on-site evaluation. Every business process was examined thoroughly, from communications to planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the ability to remain committed to service provision. Meeting these requirements means that Bow Arts can proudly display the PQASSO and Charity Commission kite marks for the next three years. The year also saw a significant restructuring of our internal finance systems with the intention of providing a simple framework for staff, trustees and others to understand what the practical application of the Bow Arts business model looks like. The new Chart of Accounts was put in place mid-year.
Volunteering Bow Arts offers a variety of opportunities to engage with its areas of work as an intern or volunteer, ranging from getting involved in Open Studios to supporting our educational artists, from gallery invigilation to marketing internships. We are proud to announce that we matched 33 volunteers this year with internal opportunities. The programme looks set to expand next year too, as we commit more resources to helping people gain work experience and learn new skills. Of course, it works both ways. A big thank you to all those that gave their time to help deliver improved quality services.
33 volunteers placed this year
“Thanks for all the support through these past few months, I’m sure one of the main reasons I got the my new job was because of the skills I developed here.” Marketing Intern
Financials Bow Arts has seen a year of steady growth across all business areas, putting the organisation in a strong position to continue this pattern. In 2011/12 achieved a surplus of £180,000. The main income stream continued to be licence fees and rents receivable from artists for the provision of studios and Live/Work spaces.
Charitable Expenditure (£,000’s)
Going Forward We are very excited about the coming year, despite the challenging economic environment. London 2012 has drawn the attention of the world to East London and the legacy of the Games will provide many challenges and opportunities. Bow Arts looks forward to being part of that process by working with partners and reinforcing the part that the creative industries have to play in creating vibrant neighbourhoods and communities. We believe that development is more than putting buildings up!
Our Artists We look forward to working with more artists and to continue our pledge to provide affordable places for these young professionals to work and live. We will also be looking into providing structured professional development opportunities for artists and teaching staff in 2013.
Our Impact The culmination of our quality assessment work this year was the PQASSO Level 2 kitemark. We are committed to continually reviewing our internal processes to make sure we remain the best that we can be. But this coming year we will be looking to the external environment and trying to understand better the outcomes and impacts of our work.
Our Environment As we move swiftly into the 21st century it is evident that a great many people have concerns about the impact of human activity on the environment. Bow Arts has reviewed its Environmental Policy and will be rolling out its Environmental Action Plan this coming year with a view to measuring and reducing its carbon emissions.
Equality and Diversity One of our strategic aims is to develop audiences and this means, in part, having a greater understanding of the diversity of our communities and what art and creativity mean to them. East London provides great opportunities to engage with diverse communities and this coming year we look to gain a better understanding of this work.
We would like to thank our trustees, staff, partners and, of course, our artists for all their support and encouragement. Page 14