Making & Believing

Making & Believing is a rich early years action learning programme funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, led by Take Art and delivered in partnership with Derby Theatre & Surrey Arts.

It offers high quality, small-scale experiences through multi art-form creative residencies, encompassing workforce development and performances in settings are complemented by an artist practice development programme.

Developing both lets us explore the crossover of performance and participation and as a whole respects the skills of EY participants as co-facilitators, strengthening legacy.

This project will support children, practitioners and Early Years creative practitioners to share knowledge and skills through: 

  • Regular Early Years performance tours in 3 counties
  • Support for companies, artists and practitioners to come together as a learning community
  • Creative residences where pairs of artists will deliver creative sessions in collaboration with setting staff and children
  • CPD opportunities for artists and practitioners to share skills and learn from experts from the sector 

For more information about our CPD programme or how to get involved, follow us on socials or email

Our partners

Surrey Arts

Surrey Arts: is the Surrey County Council Arts Service and leads on the Surrey Music Hub. The Arts Development Team works to enable access to the arts for all members of the community through partnerships, projects and development work. It is a member of Arts Partnership Surrey, a partnership of eight local authorities who develop projects for the local community. Through a project aimed at developing the cultural offer for 0-7 year olds in the county it has developed a strong relationship with the EY and Childcare Service, a group of local artists experienced in EY practice, and a network of EY settings who have benefitted from creative projects and practice. They are the basis of the ‘touring network’ in Surrey for this project.

Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre is part of the University of Derby and already has a relationship with EY specialists in the Institute of Education and the Sociology Department. They have experience delivering in this sector both in terms of research and well as working in partnership with Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership, the Opportunity Area board and the city council.

Derby Theatre specialises in making work for under-fives and has established practice in the way that children’s stories, language and interests inform work. They have successfully commissioned high-quality makers to co-create resulting in critically-acclaimed work for under-fives. They have consistently received excellent feedback from children and their families who enjoy work that is physical, metaphorical and highly creative. Artistic director, Sarah Brigham, has an excellent reputation for both making and commissioning work for this age group and understands how to ensure that audiences are both engaged and curious.