Outreach

The RBSA engages in outreach projects with groups across the region to ensure that everyone can access our artists, artwork and Permanent Collection.

Our work can be divided into three main areas:

  • Supporting artists
  • Selling original works of art and craft
  • Helping everyone engage with the visual arts

This last aim has been written into our ethos for more than 200 years, and the RBSA is improving access for groups who may experience barriers to enjoying our events and exhibitions. We are also able to take our Permanent Collection to people who for a variety of reasons can’t attend the gallery.

You can view a film all about our outreach work at Vimeo. The film was produced with funding from West Midlands Museum Development.

If you are a charity, community group or individual who wants to connect with the visual arts, why not get in touch? Guided gallery tours are available, and workshop sessions can be tailored to your needs.

Artist and RBSA Member Lynn Jeffery chats to participants at a recent Focus workshop

 

We delivered a successful project in collaboration with Focus, the main sight loss charity in Birmingham, and Sense, the charity for people with complex communication needs.

Our new video is the culmination of months of research and exploration into how we can provide outreach work.

“I’ve really enjoyed using real clay, rather than air-dry clay, which is what I normally use, because the texture really is quite different. Because I’ve got virtually no sight at all, obviously I’m reliant on the feel of the textures, so it’s been a really enjoyable and interesting session.”

Ian Reynolds, a volunteer art tutor who works with Focus, said: ‘I’d thoroughly recommend the RBSA to other groups. We were able to bring a new perspective to our work at the Focus centre, and had access to professional art tools and materials. The sessions we’ve had have been highly successful and people have really enjoyed them.’

And film-maker Emily White said:  ‘I think it’s important to take art out to the community, particularly to those who are unable to physically visit an art gallery.  There is so much happening in Birmingham that is not promoted or talked about, so creating films and making them accessible for everyone is quite essential.’

 

How to book an outreach visit

 

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  • Call or e-mail the RBSA Gallery on 0121 236 4353, natalie@rbsa.org.uk.
  • Ask to speak to Natalie Osborne, the Learning and Engagement Manager.
  • Provide information, such as: the type of activity you would like, the times you would like this to take place, the group size, and location.
  • Where funding is available, the RBSA will provide activities for free. However, if funding is not available, we have to charge to cover costs. Therefore, please also mention what budget you have. Where possible, we always try to offer something within budget.
  • All activities are administered by an RBSA staff member, delivered by a professional artist, and designed in line with RBSA safeguarding and health & safety policies. Outlines and risk assessments can also be provided.
  • If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Natalie (working hours Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm), who will be very happy to help you.

 

We are very grateful to West Midlands Museum Development, who funded our project with Focus, and to the following organisations for funding our work with Sense:

The George Fentham Birmingham Charity, The Roughley Trust, The Heart of England Community Foundation, The Harry Payne Fund, The Oakley Charitable Trust, The Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust, The Dumbreck Charity.

“projects of this kind…are an absolutely vital part of the cultural life in this region, and it gives the opportunity for organisations, and art organisations in particular, to engage with new audiences…”

 

Useful links:

 

 

This work is part of a project funded by the West Midlands Museum Development Fund, which is managed by Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust with funding from Arts Council England.