The Ordinary Art Festival 2018

In just 5 months The Young Curators shaped these responses to their brand new festival offer:


“Organised and run by young people who have shown their dedication to achieve.”

“The programme was inspiring – both the range of activities and the programme itself. Make sure there is another one – GREAT WORK”

“The freedom for everyone to just be.”

“This is my first ever arts festival – I loved it”

“The Supercrips film: the way the young people explained how they felt was an eye opener – fantastic!”


Final figure for people participating in the Ordinary Art Festival and Seminar = 466

385 came to the festival

A quote from one young person who attended both days with his family:

“For once my sister wasn’t the outsider, the festival was a comfortable space.”

  • 81 professionals from the social care and arts sectors + parents and carers + young artists came to the Seminar

One father was moved to write to his MP and the minister of education citing Ordinary Art as best practice. Other Seminar feedback “I had a wonderful time and learnt so much. It was great to speak to the young filmmakers too!” Ella Trudgeon, Calling the Shots. “I thought it was an excellent inspiring day and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone.” Simon Jutton, Arts Council

  • 35 young people volunteered on the event as curators, broadcasters and event stewards. Enrichment students from local secondary schools KEVVICs, KCC and Churston worked alongside learning disabled young volunteers from Lifeworks Holiday Project and Kool Club. Young Broadcasters from Soundart FM led a young broadcast unit across the event to create ‘content’ for two live broadcasts that went out on Friday and Saturday (to be posted soon on Soundart FMs website). A group of young digital artists from Torbay called the Dead Pencils also came to lend a hand, leg and arm as they participated in the Steam Punk Flash mob in the Great Hall at Dartington.
  • 10 grown up volunteers from the TSB in Torquay, Play Torbay, Lifeworks and Dartington Hall baked, served, shopped and helped make the space ‘comfortable’

The Young Curators collated the work of over 100 ‘artists with labels’ to present at festival:

20 fine artists

40 musicians

3 DJ’s

10 Dancers

2 Graphic Artists

5 Young Broadcasters

+ 40 young film makers from across the country including one local group of 10 young film makers who have been working with Lifeworks and Calling the Shots for over a year to make Supercrips – which premièred at the Festival J

ALL got to share their art in a state of the art public arts space:

“I wasn’t expecting it to be that bloody good, not to be mean but its sounded like an orchestra, like real instruments, I’ve never seen anything that advanced. It took my breath away.” Young Curator

Thank you Dartington Hall for providing the most beautiful setting for this event…

And the most amazing arts organisations and artists, and support services who came together to enable this event: Bidwell Brook School; Create Studios; the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, the National Deaf Children Society, Forkbeard Fantasy, the South-West Open Youth Orchestra, Coordinart, Torbay, Yourway Studios, Plymouth, the Turning Tides Project, Farflung Dance Theatre, Artearth, Simply Yoga, Sophie Carr, Calling the Shots, Tyneside Cinema, the Barn Cinema, Biggerhouse films, Gnash Comics and Graphic artists; Jock, Lee O’Connor, Dom Reardon, Lee Garbett, the Soundwaves Project, Firstborn Creatives and Parkour Experience

The Ordinary Festival was brought to Dartington by the Branchline partnership working together to enable learning disabled young people to participate and lead in the arts: Lifeworks Charity Ltd, Soundart Radio, Daisi, Play Torbay, Dance in Devon and Dartington Hall Trust. To find out more about Branchline visit:

We would like to say thank you to the Claire Milne Trust, Arts Council England, The Real Ideas Organisation Calling the Shots, SENDIASS Torbay and Trinity School for putting their trust in the hands of the young curators and making this event possible.

And a big thank-you to Breeze Torbay for their support running up to the event 🙂

“I really hope the Ordinary Art Festival happens again and you carry on making it even bigger and better. Next time I want to do the Friday seminar too.” Audience member

Posted in Ordinary Art Event Summary and Evaluation

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