Creative collaborations inspired by Bedford Arts and Cultural Education Conference

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Participants of the BACE Twinning Programme, Photo: One Stop Media.
Participants of the BACE Twinning Programme, Photo: One Stop Media.

The Bedford Arts and Cultural Education (BACE) partnership’s ‘Twinning Programme’ will be in the spotlight next month at a free conference to explore collaborations between  arts and education.

In the hope more and more schools and creative organisations will work together for mutual benefit.

The conference on 10 July, at Gateway, University of Bedfordshire is co-hosted by Bedford Creative Arts and Peter Pan Teaching School Alliance.

Those going along will explore how arts and education professionals can work together to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for young Bedfordians.

“Children and young people have so much to gain from the cultural and education sectors working together,” said Kayte Judge, programme lead, Bedford Creative Arts.

“The BACE Twinning Programme, inspired by the metaphor of ‘twin towns’, has enabled us to acknowledge the differences and similarities in each sector and make them work to the advantage of young people. 

“This conference offers us a chance to share the journey so far, and to inspire others to collaborate.” 

Speakers at the conference will include Ben Pearson, Chief Education Officer of Bedford Borough Council; Gill Peck, BACE and Putnoe Primary; Annabel Thomas, Trinity College London; Emma Van Nieuwenburgh & Tina Gray Rampello, Royal Opera House Bridge; Paul Wildman, Lincroft Academy and Samantha Martin, Arts Council England.

The event will also explore relationship building, lessons learnt and practical problem-solving from the BACE ‘Twinning Programme’ 2018/2019, a project that paired local schools with creative and cultural organisations to enhance collaboration between these two major sectors.

The ‘twins’ include:

  • Bedford Creative Arts and Wootton Lower School
  • Full House Theatre and Putnoe Primary School
  • The Philharmonia Orchestra and St John Rigby Primary School
  • The Higgins Bedford and Mark Rutherford School
  • Music for Bedford Borough and Sharnbrook Academy
  • Bedford Borough Libraries and Goldington Green Primary School
  • Dance Path and Scott Primary School
  • Artist Anne Marie Stijelja and The Grange Academy.

A the conference results from the ‘twinnings’ will be shared as case studies alongside breakout sessions on heritage & libraries, music, performing arts and visual arts.

The organisers welcome any individuals from both the education and cultural sector, including artists and freelance practitioners, as well as school governors who are keen to work in collaboration.

This event is free but places need to be booked in advance at the conference’s Eventbrite page.

The conference and twinning project were funded by the Education Improvement Strategic group. The venue has been donated by the University of Bedfordshire.