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Social Engagement Programmes

Making Life Better through Art

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Social Engagement Programmes It is the degree of engagement with communities that makes Dulwich Picture Gallery so special. Every week all year round, our free programmes help make life better through art. Energy, effort, time and resources go into enriching the lives of people in the inner city. We work with people at every stage of life from childhood to old age. Dulwich Picture Gallery is an outward looking gallery serving the local community and inner city through five strands of long-term outreach activity.

Parents and Children - Learn Together Programme Schools - Outreach Programme Adolescents - Urban Youth Programme Older People - Good Times Programmes People with Special Needs - No Obstacle Programme Dulwich Picture Gallery is proud to be an independent gallery without government funding achieving amazing results with the greatest economy.


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Parents and Children

“In Learn Together Art Club Parents and Under Fives share quality learning time�

Many single parents with young children feel isolated with little stimulation for themselves or their young ones. Families from deprived areas cannot afford the activities that more affluent families enjoy. Working in nurseries and Sure Start family centres parents and children learn about the great stories in paintings in a joyfully creative environment. Together parents and under fives discover new practical and fun art techniques to try out at home.

Visits back to the Gallery Building on the outreach workshop experience, very young children come with their adults to see the pictures they have been introduced to. Our Storyteller engages children and parents with the paintings in a welcoming informal atmosphere. It is unlikely that any of these parents would visit without this programme.

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Community Outreach Art Workshops Sessions may be sensory, active, literary, musical, messy, colourful, dramatic, and always engaging in responsive discussion where new vocabulary is at the core.

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Schools Outreach

“Full days for maximum creative time.”

With increasing focus on the core curriculum, dedicated time for creativity is squeezed out. Many teachers lack the confidence to teach visual art techniques. We give our school visitors quality time. Never left to mill about, they’re given a trained teacher for their entire visit. To help schools reap the full potential of the gallery experience our professional artists follow up the session by going back to the schools for full day creative workshops.


After School Art School

Enriching the gallery visit back at the school for the greatest depth of experience. Twenty Artdays per term, sixty per year, are provided for Junior Schools. This programme has been running every year for twelve years.

As part of the Extended School After Hours Programme, art school level teaching by professional artists is provided for secondary schools pupils ready to make a long-term commitment to build an extensive portfolio.


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Youth Working at the Gallery

“Involving youth every day”

Visiting a gallery is not seen to be ‘cool’. Yet many adolescents choose to join our welcoming Youth Programme to gain valuable life skills.

Welcome to Work Experience Teenage secondary students have the chance to work in the Gallery for a fortnight all year round. This programme is extremely popular and over-subscribed.

Young Explainers Secondary school students train as ‘volunteer explainers’ to interact with the public at weekends and holidays, building communication and customer care skills. Young Explainers also help on Outreach Programmes such as GoodTimes:Art for Older People, bringing the generations together.

Adolescent Interns An intensive two-week internship for secondary students throughout the six weeks of the summer holidays, targeting those with no alternative activity in the long break. Selected through an interview process, students gain insight into the variety of roles at the Gallery. The internship includes being introduced to other London museums and giving a final presentation to family and friends.


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Youth Outreach

“Working with challenging youth”

Many young people grow up in difficult circumstances with low selfesteem and few role models. The problems of disaffected youth, street crime and growing gang culture are alarming social ills. Every week we go into inner city estates to offer an alternative to being out on the streets. Professional artists and trained coordinators lead creative evening workshops for youth and the results prove the benefit. We also work with youth serving custodial sentences. Working with adolescents in the community for over ten years has given us extensive experience in this type of outreach.

Zoom In: Digital Art Weekly daytime courses for young people aged 13-19 not in employment, training or education.

Urban Youth Extending our successful format of evening workshops for vulnerable kids on estates - including youth enterprise and a final exhibition in a London gallery.

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Kennington Kids: Raw Urban, A Touring Exhibition Showcasing the art achievements of boys on the estate. This was the ‘Number one choice of the top five exhibitions’ – Time Out Summer 2008. Also shown at City Hall, London, January 2009 and Southwark Cathedral, February 2009.

Art on Remand Outreach Art workshops for the last seven years for young offenders serving custodial sentences.

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Older People

A third of people over 65 live alone. Twenty-five per cent have no best friend. One in seven will suffer dementia. Seventeen per cent of over 65s do not have contact with friends, family or neighbours. Many are depressed. It has been proved that loneliness and inactivity lead to physical and mental decline. (National Stats/Age Concern) Learning how to draw and paint can lower blood pressure, lift depression and enrich solitary lives. We make life better for the elderly. These programmes are so successful that they are the subject of ongoing research studies by the Oxford Institute of Ageing. Good Times: Art for Older People at Dulwich Picture Gallery is a multistrand programme working with over 40 partner sites for the elderly since 2005. Strands of the Good Times programme include:


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“Learning how to draw and paint can lower blood pressure, lift depression and enrich solitary lives. We make life better for the elderly.� Permanent Collection Tours Starting with a warm welcome, elderly people in small groups are made to feel really special. Seating specially designed to support the back and arms makes all the difference for a comfortable experience.

Art Workshops in the Sackler Art Studio Extensive research has informed our creative programme enabling us to develop stimulating art sessions appropriate for older people.

Crossing the barrier of gender

Intergenerational Art Workshops

Elderly men can feel particularly isolated and find it difficult to engage with new activities. We run programmes specially tailored to reach this group.

Artist led art workshops in partnership with schools. Fostering greater contact and understanding

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“We’ve never been treated so kindly and sensitively as here - it’s been marvellous!”

Community Art Workshops Creative sessions in local libraries, parks and community centres.

Art Appreciation: Lectures for Seniors in the Community – Outreach Daytime talks in a local library for those keen to know more, informal, friendly.

Good Times Celebrations Celebratory entertainments combining the visual arts with live music performances followed by refreshments and time to socialise.

Enhancing Residential Care: Art Appreciation Talks – Outreach For those who can rarely get out, we do the travelling, taking reproductions, books and stimulating company. One grateful participant said, ‘I thought I would never use my brain again’.

Enhancing Residential Care: Art workshops in care homes – Outreach Joyful sessions leading to beautiful art installations for communal pleasure, or individual artwork for people discovering talent often for the first time.

All sessions include homemade refreshments, socialising and friendship. 9

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Prescription for Art

“An innovative programme with amazing results.”

Evidence shows that art can actually reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Prescription for Art addresses a dire need. This programme operates alongside the medical profession to enrich the lives of older people. GPs prescribe this innovatory course of engaging creative art workshops and gallery tours for older patients who are particularly isolated. Our research shows over and over again that stimulated people feel better. This programme uses art to tackle loneliness and inertia. A tempting menu of art activities, combined with time to talk and enjoy companionship, helps to build confidence and self-esteem.

“I look at the world in a different way since I’ve been coming to these classes” Prescription for Art “I shall remember this day for the rest of my life.”

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People with Special Needs

“Extraordinary flexibility and inclusivity for any group with complex needs.”

Many people with disabilities feel they are a nuisance in public places. Rarely is there personal attention throughout the entire visit. We offer extraordinary flexibility and inclusivity for those with complex needs.

Gallery Tours and Art workshops off and onsite

‘No Obstacle’ Bespoke Gallery Experiences

A caring and stimulating programme for adults for whom it is hard to learn in a traditional way.

Our Community Outreach Manager creates tailored experiences for those whose physical needs require a great deal of personal care.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is very easily accessible for those with disabilities. It is entirely on the flat and without steps. Cafe and toilets are all on the flat and the peaceful grounds have attractive seating. Cars with disabled badges may park in the car park right next to the Gallery Road entrance. Free parking surrounds the gallery. Beautifully designed chairs are available for older people to use in the gallery, these are lightweight yet crucially they support the back and arms. Wheelchairs are provided. A hearing loop is available for talks and the What’s On Guide is available in large print. Everyone is made warmly welcome; this is the special ethos of Dulwich Picture Gallery, an intimate and personal experience dedicated to the individual for the duration of their visit. 11

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Dulwich Picture Gallery is proud to be an independent museum serving the community with the widest possible span of education.

Uniquely among museums, Dulwich Picture Gallery’s extensive community programme happens without any government funding. For more information on research, development and the full list of community programmes visit our website. As well as these Social Engagement Programmes, the Education Department also runs a busy weekly Public Programme of lectures, events, classes and courses. Sackler Studio Creative Workshops happen every morning, afternoon, late afternoon, several evenings, all day on Saturdays [Saturday Art School and Saturday Study days] and on Sunday Family afternoons. Programmes are for all ages and cover a wide range of ability from beginners to those more experienced. For a full list of Public Programmes visit the website or subscribe to our What’s On brochure mailing list. 12

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“The Education Programme at the world-renowned Dulwich Picture Gallery is a perfect embodiment of how access and excellence in the arts can go hand in hand and has set the standard for others to follow. This is about opening up the best things in life to as many people as possible” The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell MP “The real prize seems to be the perspective on life... By taking people who have lost focus and self-esteem and hanging them, metaphorically speaking, among the Rembrandts and Poussins, they change people’s view of themselves.” The Telegraph “By the enterprise and innovation of Dulwich Picture Gallery, art has been brought alive for a huge number of people.” Department for Culture, Media and Sport


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Social Engagement Programmes

Making Life Better through Art

Brochure design: Ellie Manwell

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Social Engagement Programmes  

Every week all year round, our free programmes help make life better through art. Energy, effort, time and resources go into enriching the...

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