“A radical re-imagining of what it means to nurture creativity.”
Hart School was initially developed by Hart Club as an intensive 3 month Arts programme designed to be free, inclusive and accessible. It is a radical re-imagining of what it means to nurture creativity and community in an educational setting and is now running once a week with our cohort of artists.
Open to adults of all ages, Hart School prioritises those typically excluded from similar opportunities due to financial barriers and lack of specialised support for disabled artists. The programme is a response to a missing sense of nurture and empathy generally lacking in institutionalised places of work and learning.
In designing Hart School we sought to create a holistic programme, putting people first. This has included delicious and healthy communal meals daily, regular one to one check-ins and a lot of inclusive and exploratory fun. We have enlisted a range of creative professionals to share a multitude of different skills with the group. From ceramics to textiles to screen printing, the participants have been able to explore their creativity in formats beyond their existing practices.
We have been actively committed to learning and adapting as this first version of Hart School unfolds. We have learnt as much from the inevitable challenges as from the many remarkable successes. With the three months drawing to a close, we are perhaps most proud of how quickly a real sense of community and mutual support has been established.
What is already apparent is the unique value of building a creative space that is inclusive, non-hierarchical and promotes collaborative learning. We have also realised that we want more time together, and have decided to extend the programme to continue once a week for the next nine months… Watch this space!
“I’ve enjoyed rediscovering my art at Hart School, and everyone is so helpful. I love it.”
Hart Club is an organisation founded in 2018 dedicated to championing neurodiversity in the Arts. It started as a gallery to platform the work of artists that so often go unseen due to the exclusionary structures that shape the art world. The project quickly developed to extend far beyond this as a myriad of people were drawn to the space and began to input their love, ideas, and expertise.
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic we were forced to close and were unsure of how we would weather the uncertain times ahead. However there was a quiet assurance that comes from having a community built on love, creativity, generosity and determination. The concept of a radically inclusive people-first Arts education hub had been a forming vision for over a decade.
Hart School is a direct result of the time and space we had to recalibrate, now in action as a result of the extraordinary efforts of our team and the widespread support of Hart Club’s extended community.
This is a collective dream come true – a powerful vibrant container of radical acceptance, art, music, movement, magic, joy, nutrition, healing, friendship and community. It is with great gratitude and wonder that we share this with you.
“Hart School has been important to me because I had the opportunity to expand my artwork and creativity in a bigger space in a chill environment.”
Arts Council England, The Bridget Riley Foundation and everyone that has donated to our fundraisers.