Hikapee, To The Moon

Introduction to Hopper and Hopping Higher

Here at Take Art we believe that the Arts are not just for grown ups, students or school children. That is why we work hard to ensure the under fives in Somerset and beyond have access to top quality creative experiences, tailored to their unfolding minds and imaginations.  

In 2017 Take Art joined forces with Surrey Arts and China Plate to launch Hopper, a 20-month initiative to create opportunities for over 3,500 pre-school children to experience and influence the development of great art and culture in their Early Years setting.

The Hopper Hopes

The pilot wanted to test if it were feasible to hold performances in a range of settings in Somerset and Surrey. Hopper brought seven fantastic early years shows to Somerset and Surrey during March, June and October. This resulted in 70 stunning performances held in nurseries, libraries, schools, children’s centres, village halls and theatres.  

Early Years practitioners stepped up to their new role of promoter selecting a performance from the curated menu and marketing it to their local communities.

In 2019 Take Art was given additional funding by West Somerset Opportunities Area to continue the initiative and a further 16 shows were put on for 880 young children and their families in West Somerset. This extension was called Hopping Higher.

The Theatre Companies

The project has supported six theatre companies in developing high quality and relevant performances, with the development process involving Under 5s so their voice is heard in work made for them. The companies are Tangled Feet, Dancing Strong, Hikapee, Second Hand Dance, Flibbertigibbet Theatre and AYCORN East. Click on the below links to go to the company websites.

What Hopper & Hopping Higher Achieved

What the participants thought!

Richard Tomlinson spoke to parents, artists and EY practitioner, John Williams and asked them to share their experiences.

Read the Hopper Project Evaluation Report

Read the Hopper Project Evaluation Report here 339.26 KB DOCX

A grand total of 3,972 children and their grown-ups came along to see a Hopper show, smashing our 3500 target by 472!

Amanda McMurren, Early Years Practitioner, explains“Being able to involve children and their families in an interactive and engaging show aimed at the early years has been an amazing experience. Children have been able to relate their own feelings to what they have experienced making it relevant to them and their lives

Download the Hopper Early Years Promoter’s Toolkit

This toolkit will guide you through the three main areas of organising an Early Years show including marketing, hosting and the day itself.

Partners and Funders   

Hopper was a partnership between Take Art, Surrey Arts and China Plate, working closely with key local theatres: The Brewhouse in Taunton, Bridgwater Arts Centre, The Egg in Bath and Camberley Theatre in Surrey.  

Hopper was funded by Arts Council England, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Partnership Surrey. Hopping Higher was funded by West Somerset Opportunities Area.  

This funding enabled us to offer high quality EY performance at a greatly reduced price to Early Years settings and theatre.  

Read more about the Hopper partners here.

Half Moon, Fairy Tales Gone Bad

Get in touch

For more information about this project please contact Ralph Lister, Executive Director at Take Art.

email: ralph@takeart.org  tel: 01460 249450

visit: www.takeart.org for regular updates

address: The Mill, Flaxdrayton Farm, South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5LR