Sixth Form students head to regional finals of The Goldsmiths’ Company Community Arts Award

Exhibition poster of where did all the animals go. Biro drawings of animals

Two of our Sixth Form students will represent the school at this year’s regional finals of the Goldsmiths’ Company Award for Community Engagement.

On Thursday 25th March, Dami A (Upper Sixth) and Abi T (Lower Sixth) will face the judging panel - virtually - to answer questions about their environmental art project – Where Did All The Animals Go?

The team has already submitted a presentation of the project, which they chose because of a visit by artist, Jane Lee McCracken, to the school two years ago. At this time, Jane spoke to students about animal extinction and delivered several biro drawing workshops as part of the grassroots project which provides, through art, environmental education to communities around the UK and internationally.

During the initial months, Where Did All The Animals Go? grew throughout the North East and now involves 11 schools, including Newcastle Bridges School at the Great North Children’s Hospital.

Substantial growth over the last 18 months has seen the project reach five continents, thanks to outreach partners in Guyana, California, Kenya and Malaysia. Later this year, Jane will be curating and organising Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021 exhibition and Endangered Species Conference at Newcastle’s Great North Museum: Hancock.

Abi, who is the Director of the Climate Club at RGS, said: "I have always been passionate about climate change and the impact it has on the planet. It has been great to see how this particular project has really helped to increase global awareness among young people.  

"Sometimes it’s hard to understand the link that climate change in your country has on the rest of the world and without listening to Jane’s talks, I would not have heard about these animals and the threats they face."

The Goldsmiths’ Company Community Engagement Awards were launched in 2019. The awards, which are student-led, celebrate the positive impact schools have through charitable and voluntary initiatives within their local communities.

Speaking about the project and competition, artist teacher and project co-founder, Christine Egan-Fowler, said: "It is a great opportunity for RGS students to make a difference to youngsters across our region and globally. As cultural brokers, our students lead the way; representing the North East as a place with a rich tradition for encouraging global innovation, responsiveness and creativity.

"Taking part in the Regional Final of Goldsmith’s Company Community Arts Award reflects our commitment to offering leadership opportunities and supporting Arts projects that bring different schools together. Exhibiting at The Great North Museum children’s drawing exhibition and wildlife conference reflects the power of young children’s activism as tomorrow’s leaders."

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