Cultivate is a creative learning programme working with primary and secondary schools to inspire, involve and educate young people about the creative and place-making opportunities in Wandsworth, including creative careers and future skills. It has enhanced, commissioned and delivered a range of projects including design and place-making residencies in schools, and Cultivate Routes, a creative careers workshop series.
The Cultivate programme has been working since late 2015 in three phases to bring regeneration projects, schools, cultural bodies, teachers and educators together to share skills and to open the eyes of children and young people to the possibilities inherent in:
• Exploring their natural and built environment for creative inspiration
• Using creativity and design thinking in their work
• Broadening their horizons when considering their future careers
• Producing pieces of visual art, design, multimedia and performance
• Co-creating and co-learning, working together towards both individual expression and shared end-goals.
The 3,264 CYP involved have taken part in activities that straddle art and design, and connect right across the curriculum – including sculpture, performances, musical compositions, mark-making, film-making, poetry and storytelling right through to geography, architecture and natural sciences.
“[Nine Elms is] probably one of the greatest regeneration projects in London. I think that Cultivate will help bring the community in touch with what is happening on their doorstep.” Cllr Govinda, Leader, Wandsworth Council
A great deal of work has been carried out to bridge the three very different sectors of property development, education and culture to improve the quality of provision around community and education projects linked to the regeneration. This complex work, in one of the largest regeneration zones in Europe, required expertise in brokering, nurturing and maintaining relationships, scheduling activity, strategic planning and political acumen. While some projects were commissioned and designed entirely by the Cultivate team, others were owned by developers and designed by their cultural consultants with the support of Cultivate’s project planning guidance.
Over its three phases, two distinct pathways for working with schools and educators emerged:
• Bespoke projects and workshops with schools and groups exploring a particular site or theme related to the regeneration. (Most were developer-led and some were devised by Cultivate as model projects or to fill gaps in provision).
• More general provision serving schools and young people across Wandsworth and beyond, including a booklet about the local cultural offer, network meetings, and the offer of Cultivate Routes workshops to all schools. (Through these sessions young people are exposed to varied practitioners and pathways, opening their eyes to the different opportunities within and beyond the creative industries.)
Cultivate, developed by Enable Leisure and Culture, is a London Cultural Education Challenge project funded by A New Direction. Cultivate projects have been funded by: Wandsworth Borough Council; Lambeth Council; South Thames College and London Ambitions; Vinci St Modwen; Taylor Wimpey; Ballymore; St William; Dalian Wanda; Bellway; Berkley Homes; and Linden Homes.