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Celebrating the Work of North Cambridge Academy Arts Ambassadors

Over the course of 2023 spring and summer terms Kettle’s Yard collaborated with the Fitzwilliam Museum and a group of 15 year 8 students from North Cambridge Academy (NCA) on a project which saw students become Arts Ambassadors – attaining their Arts Award Bronze qualification and championing creativity within their school and community. As part of our annual Arts Ambassadors project with partner school NCA, students were provided with opportunities to discover our collections and exhibitions, learn about the artworld and artists, and develop their own art-making skills

All participants enjoyed a positive experience, as one Arts Ambassador shared: “I learnt that art is all around you, it’s not just pencil and paper.”

After kicking off with an exploration of the Fitzwilliam Museum and film-making workshops, the Arts Ambassadors then spent a series of sessions at Kettle’s Yard. Inspired by the exhibition Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery, they discovered more about ceramics and Rie’s work through weekly explorations with ceramicist Rachel Dormer, and were drawn to many of Rie’s forms, creating observational sketches and notes. Inspired by Lucie Rie’s own sketchbooks displayed in the Edlis Neeson Research Space, and those of artists they worked with, the students creatively documented their experiences throughout the project in their own sketchbook.

The Arts Ambassadors were also inspired by a visit to ceramicist Katharina Klug’s Cambridge studio where they were fortunate to learn more and see her demonstrate her practice. They participated in an artist-run workshop with Rachel Dormer, where they learnt how to make clay pinch-pots; a new skill which they then shared with their NCA peers from Year 7.

It was a full and wide-wranging programme, with many new creative insights and skills gained, with Arts Ambassadors reflecting:

“Being an Arts Ambassador is really fun, because you create new things and learn new things every time you go on a trip.”

“It is a very nice journey to go through.”

“I learned a lot of new skills and art techniques. It is a fun experience!”

Well done to all the Arts Ambassadors for their enthusiasm, participation and creative development! We have been collaborating with the Fitzwilliam Museum and students and staff from our partner school NCA on the development and delivery of the ‘Arts Ambassadors’ programme for the past 10 years. We work together to develop and deliver the annual programme as an opportunity to actively engage year 8 students, who express a strong interest in art, over multiple visits and creative workshops at Kettle’s Yard and across the University of Cambridge Museums. As Arts Ambassadors all their work goes towards attaining their Arts Award Bronze qualification and championing creativity within their school and community. We look forward to welcoming the next cohort of Arts Ambassadors from our partner school, NCA in 2024.