Rising East London Singer-Songwriter Helps To Expand ‘Artists In Residence’ Schools Programme Nationwide In 2020

Rising East London singer-songwriter Pallab Sarker is helping to drive forward one of the most innovative programmes set to bring artists into school classrooms throughout the UK, following a successful pilot year in London.

Pallab Sarker was appointed Chairman of ‘Artists in Residence’ (AiR) after it was launched a year ago by London Art teacher Andria Zafirakou – winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize.

The charity, which was launched in June 2018 with prominent names from arts and culture, including Sir Simon Schama, Melvyn Bragg, and Naughty Boy, brings celebrated and grassroots artists into schools in deprived areas to work with students to offer them a chance to develop practical artistic skills, gain an insight into what a career in the arts may look like as well as help raise the status and value of the creative arts in education.

Following a successful pilot in London, AiR is now set to expand across the UK with demand for over 80 residencies in cities and towns such as Newcastle, Manchester and Poole as well as plans to expand to Wales and Scotland.

Sarker is a rising singer-songwriter whose debut album ‘Grey Day’ received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, leading to him recently opening the Global Teacher Prize concert in Dubai, featuring Rita Ora, Liam Payne and Little Mix. Sarker was also one of the first artists to sign up to the AiR programme, undertaking a residency at the Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, London.

Pallab Sarker said:

“I was humbled and also thrilled that Andria asked me to be the Chairman of Artists in Residence as I know how art can transform young people’s lives for the better. Meeting artists in the crucible of the classroom is a powerful way to awaken a passion for the arts in young people. It can also help them discover hidden artistic talents and perhaps even encourage them to continue studying expressive arts subjects.

“Subjects such as art, music, and drama are being squeezed out the curriculum at a time when they have never been more important. They’re not only essential for personal growth and self-understanding but they also teach young people to think creatively, learn to communicate effectively and build resilience. All these skills will be important for the jobs that they are likely to do when they leave school.

“I encourage all artistic talent throughout the UK, including musicians, actors, dancers and fashion designers to support and lend their time to our schools. I hope this can be a true classroom revolution.”

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