Art grant worth £30,000 rewards Kensington and Chelsea projects

Twelve projects were awarded £30,000 of funding by Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Art Grant.

The grant is aimed at supporting organisations in providing Covid-safe creative activities, like The Nucleo Project’s “Musicians of Tomorrow” and 24Hearts’ “Wish Up on a Star”, which received £3,000 and £500 respectively.

The Nucleo Project, set up in 2013, provides free music lessons to young people in north Kensington, and is part of the global El Sistema movement, which began in Venezuela in 1975.

Lucy Maguire, CEO and Programme Director, said: “It’s a big time commitment, and that’s what we ask from them in order to make sure they’re able to succeed. So that’s what the kids bring to it, their time and dedication, and then we provide everything else for them.”

“It’s very important that we are an orchestra based project, it’s based performing together as a team. The community that springs up around it, and the network of love and support that comes with that is very important too, not just to the kids but to the families.”

Almost 80% of Nucleo students identify as BAME.

She added: “They should have the same opportunities as everybody else, and arguably at the moment more because we need to compensate to rectify the balance of representation in the arts, of which there is far too little.”

“Musicians of Tomorrow” will connect 94 young musicians with two professional BAME artists, including Braimah Kanneh Mason the classical violinist for an online performance.

24Hearts, which was started in response to the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, will be providing materials to its 100 participants to create glow in the dark stars made of willow, a sustainable material, on which they will write their wishes for 2021.

Founder Sophie Lodge said: “It’s so dark and miserable in the winter, we just want to bring colour and joy.

“This is a way of keeping people together, even though they’re gonna be apart.

“For me art is crucial, the benefits to mental health of being creative are well established, and it’s not based on talent, but on the act of being creative. We aim to create a positive bubble of creativity.”

The stars will be set up underneath the canape on Portobello Market.

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