Dartford Artsmark Town was an ambitious 18-month project supporting 23 Dartford schools (over half of all Dartford schools) to achieve Artsmark status, and develop their arts, music and theatre provision offered through their school curriculum.
Building on Icon’s previous collaborations with project partners Dartford Borough Council and ROH Bridge, we secured a partnership investment from ROH Bridge with the aim of bringing about real and lasting change in cultural provision for the children of Dartford.
Participating schools took part in one of three ‘real world’ arts challenges, including composing and performing new music at the Dartford Festival (attended by over 30,000 people), developing creative designs to decorate a new Dartford bin lorry, and writing, rehearsing and performing a new theatre production at the new Outdoor Theatre in Dartford’s Central Park.
In 2015, only two Dartford schools had Artsmark status. By completion of the project in 2017 we were delighted that all 23 participating schools had achieved Artsmark status, meaning that the Dartford area now has the third highest proportion of Artsmark schools in the country.
“I learnt that art doesn’t always have to be beautiful, it can be conceptual and thoughtful. It was an incredible experience and I’m glad I took part.” – Participant, Wilmington Academy
“It’s exciting knowing my art could be shown around Dartford. I realised that anything can be used for art and I now look at the world in a different way.” – Participant, Maypole Primary School