About the project
As the name suggests, our Thursday Group meets every Thursday to create art and performance inspired by the collections of London’s museums, galleries and royal and religious palaces. The group, which includes some people with very complex needs, produces all of its work in the public spaces of our partner venues, guided by a range of artists and performers and supported by skilled and experienced social care staff. In addition to their creative input to projects such as Arrival, Wealth & Poverty, In Search of Spirituality, and Art of Social Significance, group members play an important role in helping our partner venues understand how they can best meet their equalities and access duties. They have also contributed to training for museum staff and the Metropolitan Police.
Evaluations of the projects involving the Thursday Group show a number of benefits for those taking part: the acquisition of skills and abilities, improved mood, enhanced self-esteem and wellbeing. Group members have also expressed pride in their achievements, such as performing an opera in Westminster Abbey and producing items for sale through our online shop.
During the COVID crisis we have continued to support the Thursday Group by phone, via WhatsApp and weekly Zoom sessions, as well as sending materials in the post. This means that group members stay in touch with one another, albeit remotely, remain engaged with the collections of our partner venues, and continue to collaborate in making high- quality art. Magic Kimono (link) is the result of what has been a highly productive period for the group. We would like to thank the London Borough of Wandsworth and the London Borough of Merton for their continued support of the Thursday Group.
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The project brought together a group of multidisciplinary British artists to create original pieces based on the theme of wealth and poverty, a thousand years from the monarchy to democracy, in London’s history.