Ingestre_hall@sandwell.gov.uk 
"Creative learning at its best" 
01889 270225 

The Bigger Picture 

Sandwell Residential Education Service website 

Ingestre Orangery website 

A Message From Ingestre's Head of Centre 
 
Welcome to The Bigger Picture, our way of exploring, celebrating and advocating for residential arts experiences throughout the UK and beyond. Ingestre’s Head of Centre and other leading contributors will offer regular insights and updates into the world of residential arts and talk about the challenges and opportunities we face on a day-to-day basis. We hope this blog will help anyone interested in supporting residential and creative arts education, in whatever context and sector they work in, and find a new appetite to challenge the status quo and promote creative opportunities for children and young people everywhere. 
Our UK relationship with Continental Europe is under pressure and the drop in the number of foreign visits to Ingestre Hall suggests we have a relationship problem. In 2016 Ingestre hosted several residentials for schools from Spain, Belgium and Denmark. Some of these were shared with local schools to enhance the residential experience. Visits involving other countries provide affirmation and hope for our service, they are a testament to the idea that the arts are trans-national, that the arts can enable new and positive relationships to be forged and that working with creativity and skilled artists enables a fresh and dynamic appreciation of identity and belonging to emerge. Our European visitors cherished this and looked forward to their repeat bookings, confident that we were creating an experience and opportunity that could bring about personal transformation with wider learning outcomes for schools and their communities. They recognised that Ingestre residentials provide visiting artists and participants the collective opportunity to become aware and appreciative of the importance and value of art as a powerful vehicle for intercultural understanding and expression. 
Since its birth as a residential arts centre in 1960, Ingestre Hall has been a hive of creative activity, where children & young people find ways to identify, interpret, reflect on and share their loves, concerns, hopes, dreams and visions. The art that is produced and shared is often a powerful depiction of young people’s thoughts and desires and an allows the viewer to appreciate the effort and reflect on the meaning. This is a cultural interchange, an exchange of ideas that art has enabled. Ingestre Hall is uniquely well placed to support this, as a residential centre for young people committed to providing space, resources and support for participants to engage meaningfully with the arts, find their own voices and share them with an audience. We all have our own experiences of engaging with art and sometimes perhaps we forget those things that have truly inspired us. 
Residential Arts Education for Children and Young People is a sector that occupies a unique but lonely space somewhere between outdoor education and arts centres per se. It struggles to find a wide and appreciative audience and is, within residential education literature, forever lumped into the category of ‘outdoor education’. However, for those of us who believe the arts can and should be an intrinsic part of our education system, ‘residential arts’ has much more to offer and will hopefully soon be recognised as a sector in its own right. 
“Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it's produced the most extraordinary results in human culture” - Ken Robinson is helping us appreciate, what anyone who works in arts education will already intrinsically know, that changing the world is possible through arts and creative education. Within a residential context, we also become a community, of artists and providers, where our individual creative efforts and social interactions are linked and shared for the benefit of all. 
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