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Accumulate – The Art School for The Homeless

A new academic year and brings fresh focus for Accumulate

We are Accumulate and we are the first Art School for the Homeless. Based in London, we provide art school level tuition by professional tutors for people who often feel excluded from regular education system. We work with participants from hostels from all over the capital. We offer each participant the opportunity to find empowerment and the chance to further their education through creativity.

 

Our course offer is extensive. Joining the Accumulate course means a participant can study a wide range of creative mediums. Our workshops include photography, fashion, visual arts, illustration and film which gives the group room to fully explore their creativity. We work in collaboration with major cultural institutions, universities and industry professionals to support our group’s learning.

This year Accumulate is super ambitious! Our course starts course in October running all the way through to June 2020. We offer progression routes via our scholarship scheme onto the Access course at Ravensbourne University London. From there the Accumulate participants go onto the BA course. This is significant as it gives participants the chance to gain a university education which otherwise may not have been possible.

 

Thank you for following along on our journey. We can’t wait to share with you our new programme of workshops starting this Autumn. Watch this space….there is SO much to come!

Youth Culture – An Accumulate Exhibition

The Accumulate 2019 Exhibition launches April 2019!

On the 9th April, ‘Youth Culture’ the Accumulate exhibition for 2019 launches at Autograph in Shoreditch, East London. We are so looking forward to showcasing the incredible creative achievements of the group of participants who have taken part in the Accumulate programme this year.

Our group have covered a wide range of creative mediums in a really short space of time, given we only started with the group in January! We have introduced new workshops this year including fashion and sculpture which the group have absolutely loved. Collaborating with some big industry names which has been an absolute thrill for all of us involved.

The Road to Youth Culture

The start of the year brought together the group of participants. Each person taking part is affected by homelessness. Participants have come to from 7 hostels across London. For the first of our workshops we worked with our exhibition hosts and long term collaborators Autograph. Participants got to hear about the context and background to their extensive photographic archive as well as learning new skills with the camera before shooting on location around Shoreditch. Getting out of the hostel environment is a very important element to our project. Participants enjoy the experience of visiting and exploring new places as a focus to their workshop, helping them gain confidence away from the hostel.

On location in Shoreditch (Photo credit Sabela Peinado)

Fashion Workshop

2019 was the first time we have worked with a fashion theme in the Accumulate programme. We collaborated with international fashion brand Levis, London cultural space Somerset House and the photography archive, Youth Club Archive on this workshop. Participants got inspired, working with the theme of Youth Culture, reviewing Youth Club’s amazing social history archive of images. They then went on, using these influences to customise the iconic Levis Trucker Jacket to give it their own unique and personal look. An amazing outlet for self expression, learning new skills and finding inspiration working together as a group. The levels of creativity and imagination was just outstanding!

Customised denim jackets (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)

With the jackets complete, the group took part in photoshoots outside Somerset House and on location at the Printworks venue in East London. The group were fashion models and photographers for the day! The took  it in turn to photograph each other, perfecting their newly learned camera skills!

Shannon Stevenson Glowing Out Of Turn

Photo Credit Shannon Stevenson, Accumulate Participant

Sculpture Workshop

Along with a fashion workshop, we were so excited to introduce Sculpture to the programme this year. This workshop was kindly funded by Art UK as part of their ‘Art is all around you’ UK wide sculpture project. We also partnered again with our friends at Autograph. We were very excited to hold part of the workshop at the BBC Broadcasting House! Inspired by the sculptures and history surrounding this iconic building, our participants worked on themes that influenced their identity and own ideas of youth culture. They began modelling their sculptures first from cardboard then covering them in plaster before finally painting them with breathtaking results!

Adding plaster to a sculpture (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)

Zine Making

Amongst all this we also found time to create Issue 4 of the Accumulate zine Decay!! The creative ideas were first produced by our group, putting their own thoughts and feelings down on paper. This work was then passed on the 60 graphic design students at Ravensbourne University who worked to create the final spreads seen in the zine.

Creating at the zine workshop

 

The Youth Culture pop up exhibition will feature all the work our participants have produced during these workshops, including a show of the stunning customised Levis jackets and the official launch of Decay 4. As part of this event we will also be awarding scholarships to selected Accumulate participants, giving them the opportunity to further their creative studies on the Access HE course in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne University London. A life changing opportunity.

There is still time to register for this free event – click here.  Please show you support for our participants and come along. We would all love to see you there!

Accumulate Summer 2018

Wow, what a Summer we have had! As Autumn approaches, it’s great to reflect on what has been a really exciting time for our project with so much more to come!

We won an award!

June saw Accumulate highly commended by the Festival of Learning. This organisation celebrates the benefits of learning and the achievements of adults who have used learning to transform their lives. It was such a proud moment to see one of our 2017 scholarship winners; Jay collect this award. It was presented by Professor Linda Drew, Director and CEO of Ravensbourne University.

Creative Leaders 50

Following this, we were simply over the moon to see our inspiring founder and Director Marice Cumber named in Creative Review’s ‘Creative Leaders 50’. Recognition of people driving change in the creative industries and incredibly well deserved. Many congrats Marice!

Process at Somerset House

In July, we took part in ‘Process’ a two day festival of independent media & a zine fair held at Somerset House in Central London. This was a great platform for us to promote the work of Accumulate and our latest zine ‘Decay.’

 

This zine is the result of a collaboration between House of St Barnabas, Accumulate and Ravensbourne University. This collection of words, images and random thoughts by people affected by homelessness is now in its third issue. It is a really great showcase for the power of creativity, with organisations and individuals working together to form their own creative community. Click here to buy your own copy of Decay 3 and help us support more people affected by homelessness find empowerment through creativity.

The Great Fete

In August we took part in the Great Fete at Alexandra Palace in North London. Participants from hostels all over London came together to take part in this workshop. They took portraits using a polaroid camera of those attending the event. The images were then all linked together to create a ‘Palace Quilt’. This was such a great project to work on, bringing different parts of the community together to craft, share skills and make something collectively. The finished piece was then displayed by the festival.

Scholarship Winners Enrol!

As the end of August came, we were so proud to see the happy smiling faces of our 2018 scholarship winners as they enrolled at University. They will be studying on the Access to HE Diploma course in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne University.  This has all been made possible by our amazing sponsors Brickworks London, Straight Forward Design and Ravensbourne University. Exciting times are certainly ahead, and we are so happy to have you follow our journey with us.

 

 

Displacement - The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

The Accumulate Exhibition 2018

The Accumulate 2018 exhibition opens at The Guardian building at 90 York Way, Kings Cross, London in just 5 days time. This year, we have 21 people, from 6 hostels, who completed the 15 week Accumulate photography course, learnt new skills and made new friends. The theme of this year’s exhibition is Displacement, and on the course we visited places and exhibitions around London that related or drew influence from the theme, such as Peckham, Dalston and Shoreditch and the Basquiet exhibition at The Barbican.

Displacement - The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

Displacement – The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

As ever, the build up to the exhibition is full of anticipation and expectation. Accumulate participants have recently put themselves through the task of applying for a scholarship to continue their creative education and study on the Access to HE Diploma in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. This year, three scholarships are up for grabs and these will be announced and awarded at the Displacement Exhibition Private View on 17th May. It is a life changing opportunity for those that are successful and selected for a scholarship. Our thanks go to Brickworks London, the Ethical Estate Agency, Straight Forward Design Company and Ruth Keetch, a Ravensbourne governor, for supporting and funding these scholarships.

The Accumulate exhibition is not just about displaying the photographs taken by the Accumulate participants. It has a bigger role to play – it showcases the talents of a group of people that may feel marginalised and excluded from the mainstream and it becomes an educational tool of how much talent exists that is under utilised and needs to be nurtured and supported. Most of all, on the exhibition private view evening the Accumulate participants celebrate their achievements, learning and developments and others celebrate with them and admire their work. All of this is part of the positive learning journey that helps people to believe in themselves, their potential and ability to self progress onto a better place in life.

All of the photographs in the Accumulate Displacement exhibition are for sale, with profits split between the participants, so that they can earn money from their creativity, and Accumulate so that it can continue its services and provide more creative workshops to people affected by homelessness. It is possible to purchase the Accumulate exhibition 2018 photographs from our online shop here 

 

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

The Accumulate group tries out yoga and ceramics.

The Accumulate group tried out yoga and ceramics this year. Both of these are new activities for the group, and the participants left these both wanting more – which is always a good sign!

We now have a community of learning and this is something we want to build on as the project continues and grows. The Accumulate participants now greet and high five each other and are linked through their creativity and their talents, they are empowered, positive and are ready to take on new challenges. And that’s what Accumulate is all about, and that is success for us and for the participants.

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

Olive, a participant, emailed in after the Accumulate ceramics workshops and said “I felt so confident in myself when you told me I’m doing well and showing me new task and how to make things easier  for me” and here she is, very proud, with the plate and bowl that she made.

Olive with the bowl and plate that she made

Olive with the bowl and plate that she made

Thank you to our new partners for these activities – Level Six Yoga at Peckham Levels and the learning team at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

We are now starting to get ready for the Accumulate photography exhibition. Once again we will be having the exhibition at The Guardian building in Kings Cross. Our thanks are due to them for their continued support. The theme of the exhibition is Displacement and at the private view on May 17th we will also be awarding three scholarships for selected Accumulate participants to be able to study on the Access to HE course in Digital Media and Design at Ravensbourne. Please do email info (at) accumulate.org.uk if you would like to attend the private view and are not already on our mailing list.

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Crep Protect and The Accumul8 Scholarship

Crep Protect are a cool company, they are even cooler as they are changing someone’s life by funding a scholarship for an Accumul8 participant to study on the year long Access to HE course in design and digital media at Ravensbourne College. We asked them why and this is what they said….. (we love them even more now!)

“Crep Protect , created by 3 brothers from London’s district of Kingsbury , 3 brothers who had a simple desire to keep their sneakers fresh and to share the product with close friends / family and maybe a few retailers .
From humble beginnings – self funded , even when there were no funds available , to now just a few years later , to where the business currently stands , distributed in 52 countries and retailed in the most exclusive sneaker boutiques as well as all of the major players.

The reason that Crep Protect gets involved in opportunities such as this is because to a man , we have on occasion been paper close to losing everything that we have , we have been in the situation where you feel lost and helpless , yearning for someone to care , for someone to give you just a little lift , to get you off your knees and get you moving forward .
We know that feeling of everything being lost , so we know that if we can do something good for someone else , for no reason than the fact that we can , that we should , then maybe someone else will do the same .
When we are up and running ,when we are doing well , we should never forget to look around , to look and see who needs that little nudge , that opportunity to show that they are worthy , that they are talented and that they should not be measured by the situation that they find themselves in .
This is why we care – because it very easily could be any of us.”

So, if anyone out there relates to Crep Protect’s story and wants to help, feels inspired and can change a young, homeless person’s life by helping to fund an Accumul8 scholarship then we would love to hear from you, and you can find out more on our pledges page here

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Accumulate Scholarship winners Luke and Jay with Linda Drew, Head of Ravensbourne College

Scholarships