Making & Believing

"Children make-believing, artists belief-making."

Join us as we take you on a journey of Making and Believing in this short film that captures moments from our project. Witness early years creativity in action and hear some voices of those who took part.

About Making & Believing

From 2021 – 2024 this cross-artform Early Years programme brought together artists, educators, arts organisations, researchers and cultural centres in Somerset, Derby and Surrey.  It was motivated by the belief that the arts have a special educational role due to their capacity to develop imagination, curiosity and possibility thinking.
A programme of early years creative participation residencies and performance tours were led by Take Art in partnership with Derby Theatre & Surrey Arts with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.  

Across all regions the following took place:

Creative Residencies
Working in pairs, artists with differing artform practices visited a range of early years settings for 10 week residencies.  They supported creative activity sessions and explored possibilities in collaboration with children and staff.

Theatre and Dance Performances
Performances devised for an Early Years audience were performed for children, staff and parents both in early years settings themselves as well as in theatres.
Action Research and Learning.

This was an action research programme led by Dr Susan Young. Artists, early years practitioners and project staff from partner organisations observed, recorded and came together regularly to share experiences, reflections and learning. Each stage of the programme was informed by the previous stage.

Read Dr Susan Young’s full Research Report here.

Making & Believing Conference

‘Fostering creativity within early years’

As a final project event a conference was held on 25 March 2024 at Derby Theatre that enabled us to share our learning, to celebrate achievements and thank all those involved. The day brought together those who took part in Making & Believing plus others from the education and creative sectors across the country.

Watch the highlights and hear the keynote speakers below! 

We thank everyone involved in Making & Believing including:

Our Funder and Partners

Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Derby Theatre
Surrey Arts

Creative Practitioners - The Artists 

Richard Tomlinson
Amy Hardwick
Hannah LeFeuvre
Araceli Carbara 
Monika Johnson
Rachel Scanlon
Kate Comberti 
Charlie Betts 
Michaela Collings 

Theatre & Dance Companies 

Lyngo Theatre 
Flibbertigibbet Theatre 
Jienkyo/Arts Fraction Foundation 
Sarah Argent/Derby Theatre 
Takeshi Matsumoto 
Daryl & Co 

The Children and Adults who took part from:

39 Early Years settings
8 Libraries and Community Centres
5 Theatres