Female student working on a piece of art

Case study - art + power

art + power supports disabled and socially excluded people with art projects. Volunteers build capacity, providing different expertise and range of experience.

About art + power

A membership organisation, based in Bristol, art + power has been supporting disabled and socially excluded people to produce high quality art projects for 15 years.

art + power’s challenge

art + power needed to engage new participants and volunteers, to support and develop its projects and build to a diverse, creative community. In particular, art + power wanted to engage people looking to develop their learning and skill base in the arts, or project management skills.

Students from UWE Bristol played an invaluable role in building a vibrant and creative community at art + power. They have developed, designed and participated in a wide range of inclusive arts projects, with each individual making their own unique contribution towards creativity and social justice.” David Richmond, CEO, art + power

How UWE Bristol helped

We helped art + power to recruit student volunteers to work as Arts Project Workers, Development Workers, and Support Workers, working on projects to support other artists. This meant finding a team of volunteers who have creativity, initiative and a passion for social justice.

  • Arts Project Workers supported disabled and socially excluded artists to develop projects and put on exhibitions and events.
  • Arts Support Workers provided individual support and coaching to disabled and socially excluded artists.
  • Arts Development Workers worked on fundraising, marketing and promotions. They developed resources to support disabled and socially excluded artists in their individual and collective arts practice.

UWE Bristol student volunteers have been an important part of art + power’s work, helping to build capacity, providing different expertise and range of experience, and enabling new projects to grow.

This enables everyone involved to pursue creative ambitions through a creative development process. Volunteers can gain practical experience in project management, documenting, managing budgets and delivering events.

The student experience

Student volunteer Phoebe describes her experience:

“As a second year art student, I was initially interested in becoming involved as a volunteer with art + power as I am passionate about the empowering nature of art and wanted to help support this, as well as gain some experience within an arts organisation and a better idea of what I may like to go on to do after my degree.

"I was involved in initiating a pop up workshop fundraising event with the participants of art + power. I felt I got a lot out of this experience, and found that everyone was very enthusiastic and supportive in making this happen.

"The experience helped to enable me to get a job as a pre-16 student ambassador with UWE, and upon completing my degree this summer, I will take on a job as an activity leader in an international summer school running art workshops. art + power really helped me to gain valuable knowledge, confidence and experience.” 

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