Young Arts and Heritage Leaders take over Turner Contemporary

60 local children from Ramsgate primary schools took over Turner Contemporary as part of the first phase of the Pioneering Ramsgate project.

To celebrate Universal Children’s Day, Turner Contemporary held a child-led takeover day as part of Pioneering Places East Kent.

60 Young Arts and Heritage Leaders, aged 7 to 9, directed artists to create their visions for Ramsgate before visitors’ eyes, designed a special menu for the café and built impressive structures using their choice of materials.

Pioneering Places East Kent is integral to Turner Contemporary’s Programme. As part of the national Great Place scheme, the gallery is working with 60 children, aged 7 to 9, from Ramsgate Arts Primary and St Laurence’s Junior Academy and inspiring them to take the lead and have a transformative impact in their local community.

The Young Arts and Heritage Leaders will explore Ramsgate’s rich history with artists and heritage researchers, whom they recruited, and respond creatively. They will lead the project until its conclusion in 2020, collaborating with Turner Prize winning collective, Assemble, on a Child-Led Plan for Ramsgate, and commissioning a major new artwork to be installed near the Harbour.

Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and Visitor Experience said:

“Today the atmosphere at Turner Contemporary has been electric. The Young Arts and Heritage Leaders took over the galleries with creativity and imagination and transformed the space in ways that we could never have predicted. They have tremendous capacity to inspire all of us and create great places. At a time when the Kids Rights Index, which ranks how countries improve children’s rights, revealed that the UK’s current global ranking is 173 out of 182 countries, and over 4.5million children in the UK are in poverty, this work has never been more important. Giving children the opportunity to take the lead and be creative is proven to enhance their wellbeing, their confidence and their listening and speaking skills. It is an integral part of the work we are doing with our community and I can’t wait to see what the Young Arts and Heritage Leaders do next… ”

This work builds on Turner Contemporary’s child-led project Art Inspiring Change which took place in four Margate primary schools and involved 69 pupils. The pupils reimagined 4 key sites across the town and transformed them with art. Culminating in a town wide takeover day, in July 2017, Art Inspiring Change connected with thousands of people across Thanet. As a result of the project, confidence in skills rose from 36% to 93%, confidence in ideas rose from 48% to 96% and 100% of parents surveyed saw a positive improvement in their child.

Turner Contemporary is recognised nationally and around the world for their work in supporting children’s leadership through the arts.

pioneering places placemaking education symposium banner turner contemporary 20 november 2019

Register now (free registration) for an opportunity to learn more about this innovative, child-focused placemaking project, plus a chance to see the Turner Prize exhibition at the Turner Contemporary, Margate.