2019: Support for Pickering Cancer Trust

The Assembly Hall Theatre is running a project in October 2019 with Pickering Cancer Trust which we are delighted to support. Local artist, Matt Syms, and Bethan Minter, Creative Learning Manager at the Theatre,  are running an illustration workshop with the Pickering Family Support Group which supports local families whose lives have been affected by cancer.

Matt will teach the families the basics of illustration, providing tips on idea generation and giving tutorials in how to draw people, hands and objects as requested (as well as the best way to hold your pencil, shading and other really helpful sketching tips). The participants will be asked to illustrate their favourite part of the Peter Pan story. The artwork created will be printed onto display boards and exhibited in the stairwells of the Theatre over its Pantomime season (which this year is Peter Pan).

Our sponsorship will enable the Theatre to deliver this project so please do visit the Theatre over the Pantomime season to view the artworks produced at the October workshop.

2019: Update from Aspens

Having received a grant from the Arts Society Royal Tunbridge Wells,  service users at a loved and respected local charity are now enjoying their own Camera Club. Aspens Charities (formerly Pepenbury) enables children, young people and adults  with a range of disabilities to learn new  skills and live life to the full. Operating in Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex,  Aspens provides services in residential homes,  assisted living in the community and Day Care Services.

After 30 years working in the City, Duncan Jay first volunteered at Aspens, then joined their permanent staff to run the much used and enjoyed Art Room and its facilities. With a grant of £520 from the Arts Society Royal Tunbridge Wells he was able to purchase 5 digital cameras and memory cards in 2018, share his passion for photography, and start a Camera Club. Not everyone knows instinctively how to use a camera but with patience and enthusiasm the service users have now mastered basic photographic skills.  With further financial  support from the Arts Society Royal Tunbridge Wells, Duncan aims to upgrade their equipment, enhance the budding photographers’ skills and organise an exhibition of their work. The photographs show some of the service users enjoying their photography.



2019: Support for Magic Lantern

One of the projects we are supporting this year is Magic Lantern (magiclanternart.org.uk), an educational charity which runs interactive Art History workshops in schools using art to help pupils observe the world around them and think creatively and criticially, thereby initiating their lifelong enjoyment of culture. We have agreed to support six one-hour Magic Lantern workshops for Year 5 pupils in the summer term at Speldhurst Primary School. More information about the workshops and how they are received by the pupils will be shown here later this year.

2019: Support for Speech Bubbles

The second project we are supporting this year is Speech Bubbles (londonbubble.org.uk), a charity working with Trinity Theatre to support Years 1 and 2 pupils (age 5 to 7). Their very effective programmes improve speech, language and communication skills giving confidence to young children, many of whom are disadvantaged, through the magic of drama. More information abut Trinity’s work with Speech Bubbleshttp://londonbubble.org.uk and their other education work can be found here.

2018: Support for Aspens

(formerly Pepenbury and Autism Sussex)

Continuing with our support for arts projects in our local community, we were very pleased to donate funds to provide Aspens with photography equipment to start a Camera Club. Pictured below are (L-R)  Chairman Sandra Hitching,  Zoe Eldea, Head of The Art Department at Aspens, John Dickenson, a service user, and former Committee member Anne Forster.

Aspens helps children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities, those on the autism spectrum, and/or those with complex needs. Through the provision of highly personalised support, they aim to enable people to learn new skills, live life to the full and contribute to society however possible. The organisation offers 100 years of experience and expertise in the South East.

More information about Aspens can be found at aspens.org.uk.

Members are always welcome to visit Aspens to meet everyone and to see the impact our donation has made. There are woodlands, a farm and, particularly popular with children, an outdoor gym and woodland trail. There is a nursery selling plants, fruit and vegetables, and a coffee shop. For more information go to pepenbury.info/visitor-information.

The photographs below show some of the artwork created by the residents.


The Arts Society Grants, including The Patricia Fay Memorial Fund

The Arts Society supports arts and arts heritage through a substantial grant giving programme. There are two types of grant giving activities: grants made by individual Societies and Areas and grants administered by the National Society’s Grants Committee.

Grants are available to help a wide range of activities, and are often made in addition to the contribution of local members. Funding is intended to support people with their ideas, skills and projects, rather than capital or architectural projects.

We offer funding in two main areas; grants for use by local Societies and Areas, and grants which support other organisations and individuals involved in arts education and heritage conservation.

The Patricia Fay Memorial Fund was set up in memory of The Arts Society(formerly NADFAS) founder after her death. The Britcher Furlong Bequest and the Zena Walker Bequest Fund were both established from generous legacies. Applicants can apply directly to The Arts Society and do not need to specify which fund they are applying to.

The Patricia Fay Memorial Fund & Britcher Furlong Bequest supports Areas & Societies for a range of purposes, some recent examples of which are:

  • Young Arts projects
  • Projects involving schools
  • Support for local Museums & galleries associated with The Art Society(formerly NADFAS)
  • Conservation/ restoration projects
  • Website development
  • Specific membership recruitment events
  • Lecture equipment
  • New Societies and Second Sessions

The Patricia Fay Memorial Fund also supports conservation students through carefully selected partner institutions. The Art Society works closely with the institutions who then decide on the most appropriate recipients.

The sum of £24,000 is available per annum.

The Grants Committee reviews the list of partner institutions on an annual basis. Bursaries are awarded at the Spring Grants Committee meeting each year.

Grants in the past have been made to:

  • City & Guilds of London Art School
  • University of Lincoln
  • Northumbria University
  • West Dean College
  • The Scottish Lime Centre
  • Hamilton Kerr Institute
  • University of Buckingham
  • Textile Conservation Centre (Glasgow University)