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Arts scheme to support creativity and innovation in higher education


Photo: (l to r) Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, student Kasia Pikula and Professor Estelle Thompson, head of media, arts and design at Glynd┼Ár University, at this year's Final Year Degree Show

Businesses in North Wales are backing a new arts scheme designed to support creativity and innovation in higher education.

The ‘Friends of the Arts’ project was launched by Glyndwr University and will be spearheaded by its world-renowned North Wales School of Art and Design (NWSAD) in Wrexham.

Chester law firm DTM Legal and Wrexham-based creative agency Fotofire kicked-off the initiative with a cash injection, and by sponsoring the successful Burning Bright: Degree Art and Design Show.

The University now needs others to follow suit and get behind the scheme, and has unveiled a series of incentives to tempt them in.

As well as invitations to all art and design events, gallery talks and private views at the Oriel Sycharch Gallery at the University, members will also receive a ‘badge’ to display on their website to show they support the arts, the opportunity to commission bespoke works by staff and students and the chance to play a part in the popular annual Creative Futures conference.

There will also be the opportunity to sponsor a student on their creative journey from induction to graduation, as they look to build a career in the arts arena.

Professor Estelle Thompson, Head the School of Media, Arts and Design at Glyndwr University, appealed to organisations to get behind the institution and become ‘friends’ of NWSAD.

She said: “Arts and culture are an essential part of life in the UK, and here at Glyndwr we believe supporting the arts is essential to building communities, encouraging creativity and innovation for everyone. 

“This year at our Burning Bright show we awarded for the first time the Ramada Prize for Community Engagement recognising the hard work and dedication shown by our students in working with local communities in Wrexham and across north east Wales.  We need your support to continue with this activity.”

The ‘friends’ fund will focus on supporting the students public engagement with the arts and community engagement activities and encouraging our students to give back to Wrexham and the surround area.

From providing materials for students to create public displays for local and regional community projects to enabling our students to work with community and voluntary groups promoting the arts in Wrexham and the region, the fund is a vital lifeline to support our students in this key area.  

In addition, the ‘Friends’ group will build stronger links between industry and the Arts, giving our students the opportunity to build their professional experience and reach their full potential. 

“We know that when industry, arts and communities come together to achieve a shared goal it benefits for all parties and wider society. That’s what the ‘Friends of the Arts @ Glyndwr’ group aims to do for the benefit of all’

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