If you need a creative outlet this summer look no further than the Red House at Plymouth School of Creative Arts!

The Red House (Millbay’s answer to the ‘tardis’) is opening its doors during August to everyone who wants to explore, experiment or simply try something new and creative.

Outside the Box is a creative collective of local artists who have put together an eclectic programme of workshops including watercolour, ceramics, furniture design and print making, plus more. The workshops are open to children from 8 up to grown-ups (or children at heart!), so there is something for everyone. A Creative Crèche will also be available for children from ages 3-8. This will be happening from 21st to 25th August, with a free community exhibition on Saturday 26th to showcase everyone’s wonderful creations – for more details and to book visit their Eventbrite page.

During the same week local comedy and theatre company, Fast and Funny, will be running a Sketch Comedy Summer School for young people between the ages of 7 and 18. This is an exciting opportunity for young people to try their hand at making and performing comedy on stage so even if they have no experience, they can have a go! Fast and Funny are also offering a free theatre and performance taster workshop at the end of the week with their sister company Fast and Fearless. This is a relatively new venture for the company that focuses on more traditional theatre and performance training but draws on the practitioners’ wealth of experience in this field. The Sketch Comedy School will be running from Tuesday to Friday with the taster day being on Saturday.

If that wasn’t enough, Beyond Face, a performance company with a focus on encouraging and developing the work of Black and Minority Ethnic performance artists, will be running ‘A Good Neighbour’ which is a research and development week for people to explore photographs and questions around what it means to be a good neighbour.

RIO has been working closely with Plymouth School of Creative Arts this year, under the Power to Change Connected Schools programme, to explore how community business can help solve local challenges, create new services and empower people to #MakeThingsHappen in their community. There is a particularly rich, creative community in and around Stonehouse, but there are few outlets for individuals to develop themselves as artists or to develop entrepreneurial skills that would support their work. Outside the Box will provide a space to showcase local artists, develop a community gallery space, run events and workshops, and promote artists’ work.

The business offers a collaborative approach to showing emerging makers and artists across a range of sectors with the vision to creating Stonehouse as a high-quality art hub.

Outside the Box artist, Caroline Mercer has been leading the project and co-ordinating this year’s summer school. She says:

“We came together out of a personal passion for what we do and a belief that when working together we can grow; as an individual and as a community. We believe that art is for all, anyone can be creative and we are all making something all of the time... whether we're making friends, dinner, appointments, letters, connections, memories...

Art is for all and we welcome everyone to the Summer School; there will be something for all ages and levels of experience. RIO has been helping us to reach out to the community and support this event and further developments. Our partnership with RIO has come at a good time for us as they are able to support us in ways which we couldn't possibly do by ourselves, which is right at the heart of what we are about... growing together. Learning together.

There are many ideas in the pipeline for OTB and the community, and working with RIO will make these happen to benefit all. I really love that we don't really know what shape OTB will take on and that it is the artists and the community that will shape it together. We are certainly looking to recruit more artists which will help us to add more opportunities, events and workshops to benefit our community.”

To find out more about Connected Schools or projects in your community please contact RIO – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash