Supporting art in education

The 'Cut Paper Not Arts' campaign was launched at Henry Maynard Primary School in Walthamstow Village
The ‘Cut Paper Not Arts’ campaign was launched at Henry Maynard Primary School in Walthamstow Village

Heidi Lightfoot on a local campaign promoting creativity in schools

Together Design, a branding and design company based in Walthamstow, has been working with local pupils at Henry Maynard Primary School to highlight the importance of creativity and the arts in education.

Co-founder Katja Thielen says: “Creativity and ingenuity is at the heart of progress, but funding for the arts in primary schools is shrinking rapidly.

“We believe that every young person’s creative imagination should be cherished, nurtured and supported. To see how squeezed and sidelined the arts are in the classroom is depressing. I run a business that’s benefited from being part of a flourishing local creative scene, so we felt compelled to do something about the situation.”

The resulting campaign, Cut Paper Not Arts, saw designers from Together Design running workshops with 240 pupils aged between seven and ten at Henry Maynard Primary School. Tasked to create collages and posters on the importance of creativity and what it means to them, the children stepped up to the challenge.

The brief was to “cut, rip, stick and draw – anything goes” and the colourful posters that emerged surprised everyone. “The work was fantastic” says Katja. “The results and the pupils’ enthusiasm were better than anything we could have imagined. I wish we had their fearless, spontaneous attitude to design.”

Working with the children has inspired Together Design to create a range of products, for sale on their website. The range includes free workshop downloads that anyone can access along with creative kits and crafting materials, with all profits going back to fund art materials for local schools.

“We hope our campaign will bring out the artist in more young people,” says Katja. “We’re so proud to be doing what we can to promote the arts in our local community, so that tomorrow’s bright sparks can learn through play, and develop the endless curiosity and creative skills that will power them to change the world and shape a brighter future.”

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