Sheila Ceccarelli from AccessArt addressed Somerset Primary Art-Coordinators at the SPAEDA Annual Art Conference, stressing the importance of creativity for each and every child at school.

After many requests for a transcript of the speech, AccessArt is sharing it in the hope that it will help teachers and schools build the best possible creative offer for their pupils.


Paula Briggs and I have been working together since finishing the RCA sculpture school in 1994 and coincidentally both moving to Cambridge. We started on the ground via our first organisation – Cambridge Sculpture Workshops, 23 years ago, working in schools, museums and galleries and forming relationships with influential organisations which are still important, and inspiring to us now – like NSEAD and Engage – Lesley what an honour to be here with you today!*

In 1999 we saw the internet and recognised that we had before us the perfect platform to fill the great need to support, enrich and promote creativity in schools and enlarge our campaign for making, so we set up “AccessArt” and have been going ever since. We are now a UK charity with a growing following and believe that we are as needed now, as we were when we were founded, arguably more.

AccessArt: An Ideas Bank

AccessArt is an ideas bank full of open-ended creative approaches to facilitating and developing fine art skills and creative thinking – it’s a place where we hope ideas are planted, which you can then take away and develop and change/adapt as your own.

It’s also full of practical tips such as how to set up an art room, how to shape your curriculum, around all areas of fine art from drawing, sketchbooks, colour, printmaking and making – it covers how to hold a pencil (or unlearn how to) – and lots of campaigns and participatory projects – including our latest campaign “Brilliant Makers” and the “AccessArt Village”, which is now on tour nationwide. Resources are primarily created by artist educators for teachers and are based on actual workshops or classroom sessions. All resources are written and illustrated with the aim of enabling and enriching creativity. We now have more than 750 AccessArt posts and last year were seen by half a million users – we have 15,000 subscribers and almost 2200 members.

What I hope to do today is reassure you and back you up, and say that by supporting your children’s creativity – you are wholly on the right track.

Read more here.