Open Door Project at HMP Channings Wood
Weston College is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £29,995 by Arts Council England to deliver ‘The Open Door Project’ at HMP Channings Wood – a Category C men’s prison located near Newton Abbot, Devon, where the College is the Prison Education provider. This transformative project is set to run throughout 2024, with the aim of providing arts and creative experiences to prisoners, along with potential routes into employment, through collaborative partnerships with local artists and arts organisations.
Key highlights of the project include:
- An Arts Festival in January 2024 – the project will kick off with an Arts Festival, showcasing the creative talents of the learners. This event will enable learners to try out different art/creative forms and techniques and give feedback on which ones they would like to explore further, as part of the prisoner-led collaborative process.
- In-Prison Workshops – throughout the year, a series of workshops will be organised within the Library and Arts Centre at HMP Channings Wood. Local artists and arts organisations including printmakers from Double Elephant Print Workshops, willow sculptors from Weird Sticks Community Interest Company, creative writers and performers from the Outsiders Project, and contemporary ceramist Lili John, amongst others, will collaborate with each learner to nurture their creative skills and provide guidance.
- Touring Exhibitions – the artwork created by the learners during the workshops will be displayed in touring exhibitions at various local partner venues including Cockington Court Centre of Creativity, Torre Abbey Museum, MAKE Southwest, Newton’s Place, and Exeter Quay Custom House. This not only highlights the creative potential of the learners but also fosters a sense of connection with the wider community.
- Weston College’s Creative Summer Festival – as part of these touring exhibitions, learners’ work will feature at the Weston College Festival next summer, celebrating their achievements and the transformative power of the arts.
Kate Linden, Arts Lecturer at HMP Channings Wood, who is spearheading this inspiring initiative commented: “The Open Door Project is a unique opportunity for prisoners to explore their creative potential, connect with their community and gain valuable skills that can lead to employment opportunities upon their release.“
Weston College is committed to supporting ‘The Open Door Project’ and is excited to be a part of this transformational journey for the learners at HMP Channings Wood. As the project progresses, we will release more information on the dates and times of these future events so people can enjoy the creative outputs.
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