Interview - Richard Clark

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Richard Clark, chief executive of the charity The Mighty Creatives, the children and young people's creative development agency.

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What is The Mighty Creatives?

Our mission is to help children and young people from birth to 25 use their creativity to realise their rights, reach their potential and make a difference. We have a range of projects, including work with children's centres, to engage parents in creative learning with their young children. At the other end of our age range, there is The Bank of TMC, which backs the ideas of young social entrepreneurs.

We use our expertise to be a bridge organisation for Arts Council England - there is a network of ten - working in the East Midlands to connect children and young people with arts and culture. Our priorities include working in early years settings and with young children and families. We look at the role culture plays in helping children to learn, play and express themselves.

What is the idea behind The (Cultural) Life of the Child Summits?

At a time of significant change, it's time to ask the big questions: 'What is a good childhood, how is it changing, and crucially, how can we work together to help all children thrive?'

We are interested in new models of professional collaboration and new ways of delivering services that put children at the centre. We're also interested in looking at how the arts and culture can be central to children's learning and development. We're holding a series of four events during the next year - one for each phase of childhood, 0-5, 5-11, 12-17 and 18 and above - talking to a range of providers from all sectors.

What are the plans for the inaugural Early Years Summit?

CEO of SoundLINCS Nikki-Kate Heyes and the director of The Spark Arts for Children, Adel Al-Salloum, will co-chair the first event. Linking all four summits is the award-winning author and speaker Richard Gerver. There will be a range of keynote speakers, case studies and debate looking at innovation in the early years.

We'll look at how children can learn and play creatively from a young age and the role of practitioners in nurseries and managers in children's centres. Some of it will be very practical, looking at how movement, music and images can support young children's learning. We'll also look at policy, exploring how we can create the very best environments and experiences for young children.

  • The Early Years Summit will be held on Friday 18 October at the Riverside Centre in Derby. Places are still available at the time of going to press and the event is free to attend. To book, visit www.themightycreatives.com or email bridge@themightycreatives.com for more information.
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