Learning & Skills

Learning

Somerset House's Learning and Participation work connects our cultural programme, history and onsite community with a diverse audience throughout the year.

We offer a range of events, projects and resources engaging young people, students, community groups and families in activities that draw on the unique, rich creative talent and cultural offer here at Somerset House.

Informed by the incredible range of artists, designers, makers and creative residents based here we support young people in developing creative skills, personal practice and in providing the tools, resources and opportunities that may support and inform potential career choices.

We also provide a welcoming space for community groups and families to use our facilities and resources, working together in memorable workshops, open discussions and exhibition and event inspired learning.

Originally built partly as a home for the Learned Societies (The Royal Society, The Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Antiquaries) Somerset House has continued to be a space that nurtures collaborative learning and innovation.

Our current programme focuses on exploring practice, process and emerging ideas to inspire the next generation of creative practitioners and professionals.

Young People

We run a series of events exclusively for young people, from artist led workshops exploring contemporary themes to skills based practical sessions. We are especially committed to engaging those who are not currently in formal education or may have limited access to creative opportunities. Our young people’s programme primarily for those aged 16 - 21 provides opportunities to those making career choices and those looking to develop work experience and creative specialisms.

Our aim is to open up our building and allow our young audience a space in which to discover new artists, explore their work and engage directly with our community of Somerset House Studios artists and tenant organisations. We allow young people the opportunity to explore our programme and the building itself, aiming to offer the space and tools for development while also providing access to a professional context and contacts.

Uniquely positioned to offer exhibition visits, access to artists and a network of creative professionals we run a distinctive programme shaped by both our collaborators and those who participate. Recent projects with Somerset House Studios Artists include the Object and Assemblage series with Eloise Hawser, the Physical x Digital Sculpture workshop with Werkflow and the Youth Echo Workshop with Matthew Plummer Fernandez.

Our Creative Careers and Skills Programme has two main strands. The Creative Careers Academy offers work placements and open skills events where 18-25 year olds can gain insights and connections to strengthen the early stages of their careers.

The Creative Jobs Studio is a partnership between Somerset House Trust and the Creative Society. This is a series of networking and artistic events for young people. We aim to have a safe space .

Find out more information on our Creative Careers and Skills Programme here or email creativecareersacademy@somersethouse.org.uk

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Werkflow Workshop
Werkflow Workshop

 

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Edible Utopia Talk
Edible Utopia Talk

PUBLIC PROGRAMME

Each Somerset House exhibition is accompanied by a public programme of ticketed in conversations, masterclasses, gallery lates, weekend festivals, and free drop in exhibitors talks in the galleries.

These events extend the curatorial narrative, give insight into practitioner’s processes and invite interaction, conversation and access points for experts and enthusiasts alike.

The range of event formats provide an informal opportunity to engage socially, whilst gaining and exchanging new skills and perspectives on the cultural context.

 

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Exhibition Event
Exhibition Event

COMMUNITIES & GROUPS

We work closely with a number of groups, charities and organisations on tailored projects that open up our building and promote access to new audiences. Running exhibition tours and bespoke workshops we aim to inspire personal development through making, open discussion and collaboration.

By exploring our cultural programme and offering a look behind the scenes we try to expand the conversation around art and broader culture as well as presenting the variety of creative and career opportunities within the arts. We also look to take our work beyond Somerset House, meeting groups beyond our building in order to initiate relationships and understand individual and collective needs and interests.

Our work with communities and groups has included artist led workshops, tours of the Somerset House Studios and inviting organisations to collaborate with curators on our exhibitions. We look to provide a welcoming environment for all visitors and to engage with new audiences in mutually supportive, sustained projects.  

We are always looking to connect with new people. If you are interested in getting in touch please email our Learning and Skills Coordinator Sophia Hinton-Lever on sophia.hinton-lever@somersethouse.org.uk

“The Accumulate group always come away from the Somerset House workshops energised, enthusiastic and full of rich creative content and ideas, and often don't want to leave at the end of the day!...I would almost say that Somerset House has become Accumulate's second home as we are there so much and always enjoy our time there!"

Marice Cumber, Founder and Director of Accumulate

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

Somerset House offers schools, colleges and universities workshops, site visits, talks and events linked to our cultural programme and resident network. Catering predominantly for secondary schools, higher education and beyond we have a network of over 100 companies and artists based on site as a unique international network and resource.

Our work with schools focuses on secondary students and in particular those at key career choice points (year 8,9 onwards) in order to offer new experiences exploring the behind the scenes of our building or offering a deeper engagement within our exhibitions and events programme. We are equipped to cater to individual and collective needs and our team are experienced in working with a range of schools including SEN and students with specific requirements. Previous activities have included a digital workshop led by the Björk Biophilia Education Project and an Afro-Beat poetry workshop with the Royal African Society.

With Colleges and Universities we aim to create an environment for discourse in which students can feed into the wider conversations surrounding the arts and society. We also offer the tools in which groups can contextualise, research and support their studies and provide an opportunity for more independent investigation. Recent projects such as social media takeovers, student artist residencies and industry panel discussions have encouraged conversation while developing professional awareness and preparedness.

If you are interested in visiting Somerset House or our exhibitions, please see our Educational Group Visits page for more information.

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School Group
School Group

“Not only have our students been hugely inspired by working within such an exciting setting, they have also acquired invaluable professional experience. Our collaborations have included workshops, critiques and even students working as artists in residence for the Big Bang Data exhibition. Ravensbourne has greatly benefited from working with Somerset House and we are excited to continue our collaborative relationship into the future”

Katharina Koall, Senior Lecturer and Foundation Course Leader.