A New Direction

Published on Jun 14, 2022

Aim of organisation

A New Direction is an award-winning non-profit organisation working to enhance the capacity and agency of children and young people in London to own their creativity, shape culture, and achieve their creative potential. Their vision is a world where all children and young people achieve their creative potential.

Name of Project

I Am an Artist

What are the key objectives of this project?

To address the barriers of learning opportunities for disabled children and young people (CYP) in partnership with Hackney and Islington based ‘special schools’. Covid-19 has had devastating impacts on CYP lives and their access to enrichment and learning.

A New Direction is committed to working in local partnership to create new opportunities supporting recovery. By participating in creative arts projects with disabled role models, and exhibiting their work at a pan-London inclusive arts festival (called the ‘I Am Festival’), CYP will build confidence. Also, it will improve their sense of personal wellbeing and increase 21st-century skills (communication, teamwork, empathy).

What the project entails

The project is taking place in classrooms, with 3 to 4 workshops per group of children, in different schools. The artists are helping pupils on different activities each time, activities include drawing, and bringing different types of fabrics and materials that the children can use to create outfits. The artists then proceed to record the pupils wearing their creations. Those recordings will help later with augmented reality. The augmented reality is to be used in the I AM Festival 2022, where the public can view, over four days, the art that the pupils have created.

Beneficiaries of the scheme

The beneficiaries of this project are schoolchildren in schools based in Hackney and Islington. Those schools specialise in children with different types of special needs/ learning difficulties. About 40 school children are attending the project’s sessions. Their ages span from 10 to 16 years old. They come from different backgrounds, mainly middle class with working parents.


The staff at the schools. Most of them are female teachers, about 12 to 16 teachers in total. In the project, the school children are working with 2 artists, Catia and Romain, who bring different types of fabric and clothing items. There is also a disabled non-verbal artist that is helping with the project.

How the artists were chosen: The artists were chosen after a number of them submitted project ideas. Then, a shortlist was created and from then on, the schools chose the project they thought was best.

The Community Pot funding helped pay for the artists to go to schools.