Opened in 1993, Tate St Ives sits on the edge of Porthmeor Beach, predominantly attracting a seasonal audience who visit during their summer holiday and for many their first experience of a Tate gallery. Following the Tate model, a young people’s learning programme was established in 2008, working with a regular group called Young Tate until 2012.
Cornwall is ranked as one of the most deprived areas of the country, its young people facing challenges of education, employment and training. Travel is time consuming, and public transport costly and infrequent. In November 2012, just prior to the start of Circuit, the gallery combined its Curatorial and Learning departments to form a new Programme team. Young people were identified as a key developmental audience, with recent research showing the gallery is perceived as a place that holds little relevance to their lives.
I’m part of something important and heading towards the direction I want to go.
Circuit aims to change perceptions by providing new opportunities for young people to work with artists, arts professionals and the exhibition programme, through the creation of Tate Collective project groups, delivery of seasonal events for young audiences and by developing partnerships with local community groups. Two dedicated staff roles have been created to enable this, and work closely with the rest of the team and Tate Collective to develop marketing, communications and activity with reach across the region. Key to the vision and legacy of Circuit at Tate St Ives is embedding a welcome for young people across the whole organisation, and establishing a range of channels through which ongoing engagement and dialogue between young people and the gallery and can be maintained.
I never leave a session without inspiration and being proud of everything I have achieved.
“Tate Collective St Ives has helped me Improve so many skills, such as communicating, meeting new people and really inspiring me to do what I want to in my future. I never leave a session without inspiration and being proud of everything I have achieved. Gradually over the year, through Circuit, I have been a part of other great projects and events such as the Blueprint Festival at Tate Liverpool. I met so many amazing people and have gained some amazing friends. I hope I can carry on and also bring some of my ideas and skills to help advance this amazing project. Tate Collective makes me feel as if I’m part of something important and heading towards the direction I want to go. I am so grateful to everything I have been offered. It truly is an incredible journey that I wish will continue for a very long time.”