AccessArt works to inspire & enable high quality visual arts teaching, learning & practice. Find out how we do that and how you can get involved…
AccessArt was founded in 1999 by Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli, graduates of the Royal College of Art Sculpture School. In 2004 AccessArt became a charity (Registered Number 1105049), with the aim of furthering advancement in the visual arts.
AccessArt is now the leading provider of digital visual arts resources in the UK, providing inspiration and ideas to the whole community. Our reputation has been built through the vision and hard work of the directors, team and trustees, together with the support of the creative community of over 16,000 artists, teachers and facilitators who use our resources and who also actively contribute their ideas.
In 2011, as the economic climate tightened and it became harder to secure funding, AccessArt made the conscious decision NOT to apply for any core or revenue funding, but instead to endeavour to become a self-sustaining arts organisation. A membership scheme was introduced, and for a very small fee our community was invited to join AccessArt, in return for full access to all the resources.
This membership scheme has been a success and is growing exponentially. The income raised from membership now means that AccessArt is now self-funding. We are proud that we have seen exciting growth in AccessArt at a time when many arts organisations have had to cut back. As a small organisation we are incredibly efficient and able to react quickly, ensuring we keep ahead of the curve in terms of ideas and delivery. With no offices to support and a small workforce our costs are low, and yet our delivery, we think, is quite exceptional. Paula continues to manage and direct the organisation (Sheila stepped aside as director in 2020), and since then we have built our team to welcome Andrea, Rachel, Irina and Tobi.
AccessArt really works. Based upon the idea of a “pot”, each member of the community is invited to make a small contribution (either in the form of a small monthly fee or an idea), and, due to the numbers involved, the benefits each user then receives are significant. Each week we receive emails from members of our community telling us how AccessArt has transformed their teaching, and inspired their approach.
We hope you too will feel excited by what we stand for, and what we offer, and if you value the importance of arts in education, that you will want to play your part in helping to support the activities of AccessArt. We realise that you will already be playing a vital role in supporting the cause on a wider level (by your passion and commitment to the subject, by putting in extra hours on a voluntary basis, by supporting each other through networks etc.), but we hope you might find a level at which you feel moved to support us!
Perhaps you feel rich in ideas instead! Help make the resources on AccessArt even richer and more diverse by contributing an example of your practice to the pot. This might be as an artist, facilitator or teacher. Find out more here.