I have a dream too, you know.

True, it may not be as ambitious and world-changing as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. But it’s a dream nonetheless.

To be honest, I wasn’t going to post about it until I felt I was in more of a position to realise this dream. But short of winning the Euro Millions Lottery, it aint going to happen without some serious philanthropic backer.

So, what is my dream?

Well, it’s to build a School of Arts for under-privileged kids.

Kids from low socioeconomic backgrounds in large inner-city estates. Kids who might not ordinarily get the opportunity to explore the more creative aspects of their nature.

What good would that do society? We’re in a depression, don’t you know!

Problems in every field of human endeavour are virtually always solved by creative thinking. Even the great Albert Einstein said so himself. Creativity allows us to look at problems from different angles and apply new thinking to solve problems.

Moreover, I don’t see it as a school that produces an unprecedented amount of artists. But an unprecedented amount of creative thinkers – whichever vocation they choose to pursue later in life. Whether it be mathematics, science, business, computers, product design, or economics.

And yes, a few more more artists too. And what’s wrong with that? Art is seen as a dirty word in this country. If I tell people I write poetry, they shift uneasily in their seats. If I said I write poetry in Ireland the response would be a polite smile and a nod toward the back of the queue.

Do you think the first rocket flight to the moon was dreamed up by a scientist?

Sure, scientists and engineers made it a reality. But it is creative people who come up with the ideas and the original solutions of how they can be achieved.

What will the kids do?

The school will develop and encourage creative thinking and self-expression.

It will foster, nurture and encourage exploration of the arts in all its many and varied forms including: painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, poetry, literature, screenplays, theatre, drama, dance, music, design, digital arts, film, photography, humanities, languages, and the classics.

Where is this school?

I quite fancy the idea of transforming a derelict Victorian mill. There’s something quite ironic about that. Though it certainly wouldn’t be a prerequisite. (Salts Mill in Bradford is a good example.)

Initially, an inner-city campus close to urban populations that have a high level of low socioeconomic families. Basically, anywhere across the Manchester – Huddersfield – Halifax – Leeds belt. It’s also sufficiently ‘central’ enough to accommodate children from further afield.

It would also be good to have a rural retreat – somewhere like the Lake District, Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales, where children can attend week-long courses/classes which double up as a holiday.

I would also like to open an international sister school in India or Sri Lanka where people from distinctly different cultures can share ideas. These schools could also participate in exchange programmes. (Then subsequently, even further afield: China, South America, South Asia.)

What about science subjects?

This school wouldn’t be a replacement for existing schools and their curricula – more of an extension to them.

Would it exclude people from non low socioeconomic backgrounds?

Not at all. But opportunities for middle-class families in other schools are much more accessible, regardless of ability.

Intake for low income kids would be based as much on desire and enthusiasm to participate rather than ability. There would be a limited number of places for more affluent children. Sort of like Eton – in reverse.

What kind of courses will it run?

Day-long workshops for visiting schools.

After-school classes.

Week-long courses. (Which would include accommodation for traveling students.)

Weekend classes.

Full-time sixth form courses. (A-levels.)

Masters and PhD courses.

What ages are we talking about?

Key Stage 2, up to, and including, sixth form.

Undergraduate, Masters and PhD courses.

What else does the school have?

Apart from studios and classrooms?

There’d be accommodation for students who are visiting from further afield.

Cafe / restaurant.

Gallery to promote and sell students’ work.

Gallery featuring independent contemporary and traditional art.

Masterclasses from guest lecturers.

State of the art library. (Both on and off-line.)

Book shop.

Art-house cinema.

Who will pay for it?

Well, that’s the biggest question of all.

A like-minded philanthropist would be nice.

Arts Council grant.

Lottery funding.

A percentage of Masters and PhD students’ tuition fees could go towards funding.

Sales from restaurant and galleries.

Fundraising / donations.

An Ideal World School of Arts.

Salts Mill, Bradford.

David Hockney at Salts Mill.

Salts Mill interior.

Studio space?

Any constructive criticism and advice about how to get something like this funded and off the ground would be greatly appreciated.

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Animation, Architecture, Art, Books, Brand, Cartoons, Ceramics, Children, Children's books, Children's stories, Classical music, Comedy, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Dance, Design, Digital, Disability, Economy, Education, Film, Haiku, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Inventions, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Radio, Screenplays, Sculpture, Short stories, Writing

9 responses to “I have a dream too, you know.

  1. John Smart

    I think Hockney would be four square behind that Dave. Seriously, why don’t you try and get it in front of him? He can’t be short of a bob or two.

  2. David, that’s a wonderful dream! I know some people who started a music school in a small village near my husband’s hometown with precisely the same goal – these kids are from lower-income families, some are tribal kids, and they come to this free school where they learn Indian Classical music, and also regular subjects. Music gives these kids tremendous confidence, transforms their lives.

    They had trouble fund-raising in the beginning, but the school is doing very well now, has grown. They have volunteers from many countries staying there for months. They have had prestigious visitors, including the former President of India. It was started by Mathieu,Blaise and Agathe Fortier from Quebec. They started http://www.youngmusiciansoftheworld.org/ – and they have this school in India and now 3 in Quebec.

    This is the FB page of the Indian school – https://www.facebook.com/kalkeri.sangeetvidyalaya

    The photos tell the story well – https://www.facebook.com/kalkeri.sangeetvidyalaya/photos_albums

    The Young Musicians page, it’s in French – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeunes-musiciens-du-mondeYoung-Musicians-of-the-World/333514912935

    They have recently introduced theatre too in their classes, and the kids love it!

    I can put you in touch if you are interested, they should know a lot of funding organizations in the arts. Let me also check with artist friends. Yes, I know, it’s not going to be easy, in these times – but I think you should not let go of this dream, David, it’s something worth pursuing aggressively!

  3. John Smart

    Yep, just PM’d you on Linked In. Should be good…

  4. A wonderful and beautiful dream. If only there was such a place when I was growing up maybe I wouldn’t have waited so long to try and embrace my creative side. If ever I win the euromillions David I would fund it because I actually believe you would make it a marvellous success.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s