Mayor's Award for Access

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Posted 31st December 2017

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village
Mayor's Award for Access

This year, Watts Galley Trust has been commended for its pioneering work to make arts provision in Guildford accessible to people with disabilities. At a ceremony held at Park Barn Adult Day Care Centre, the Trust received a 2017 Mayor's Award for Access through the Arts in recognition of the transformative impact of its Art for All learning programme. This programme – which provides workshops for local schools and vulnerable groups improving educational outcomes and contributing to well being – will have reached 20,000 learners by the end of 2017.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Watts Gallery Trust, said: 'We are humbled to have won this Award and would like to thank the Mayor and the Access Group for this important recognition of the transformative role that the arts can play in enabling access.”

When founded in Compton in 1890 by G F and Mary Watts, Watts Gallery – Artists' Village was created to provide Art for All. Throughout their lives, the Wattses held a firm belief that through art there could be social change.

When the Wattses first arrived in the village, they found a community in need of employment but lacking opportunities. Mary Watts immediately invited villagers to attend clay modelling classes, which led to their creation of Watts Chapel. Galvanised by their new skills, the Wattses helped the community to establish a social enterprise, The Compton Potters' Arts Guild, which provided employment in the village for more than 50 years.

Today, Watts Gallery Trust remains committed to this ethos, and through its Art for All learning programme the charity reaches people who can benefit from the transformative capacity of art but who may otherwise miss out on participation.