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Home Is Where The Art Is is an LCR Cares support fund-backed project aimed at supporting local families during lockdown, offering the variety of art sessions which normally take place at Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum. The Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum identified and secured this funding, kindly providing this wonderful opportunity. In light of correctly following social distancing rules and the lockdown of public venues, these artist-led sessions took place both online and via telephone contact.

Many of the art sessions were delivered to the existing groups online, with new audiences welcome to join in with a range of new things to do each week – Wednesday Art Challenges, Family Friday Activities and features on past exhibitions. We actively encouraged families and multiple people within a household to participate, with the view that the sessions will foster extended learning, positivity and empowerment. This project was also geared towards supporting the incomes of our freelance artists who, without the delivery of projects such as this, have radically reduced incomes, or none whatsoever due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Free art packs for Knowsley residents were distributed, with priority given to families, young people, and those self-isolating (one pack per household / address). The Art Packs contained a selection of materials such as a sketchpad, paint, brushes, pencils, paper and eraser. The packs were delivered directly to recipients in a contact-free manner.

It’s fantastic to receive this grant from the LCR Cares support fund. At FOKGPM our work is always geared around enabling communities through public education and encouraging accessibility to the arts and heritage for all. In the context of the coronavirus crisis, we find ourselves unable to support our communities firsthand but with this funding, we can share our art and wellbeing courses online and remotely and not lose touch with those who most benefit from them.” Tina Ball, Chair of Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum

The Friends of Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum was established in June 2017, with the objectives of our organisation being ‘the education of the public by the promotion, support, assistance and improvement of Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum and its cultural and educational activities’. The Friends aim to support and serve the immediate communities of the borough of Knowsley, providing activities which are open and accessible to all; to ensure that there is always a free educational and creative set of activities for all, especially families, enabling the young and the elderly and those on low or with no income to engage with heritage and culture.

The project directly funded the delivery of the Wednesday Art Group and the Sumner Art Sessions, and the From Pen to Paper creative writing sessions. It also funded the art course over the summer, and we hope to expand our learning offer subject to additional funding being secured.

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