Harper James are delighted to be helping one West Midlands entrepreneur pivot her national performing arts charity into an online learning community due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leamington Spa-based actor and educator Laura Berridge runs Arts Insight, an educational charity which offers musical and theatre workshops to primary and SEN schools across the UK. Combining her gift for acting with her passion for education, Laura’s previous experience running theatre companies for children and managing the education programme for a large arts organisation was the inspiration behind establishing the charity. The most popular workshop Arts Insight offers primary schools is creating a full-scale theatrical production that sees all normal lessons suspended for a week, giving pupils the unique chance to learn life skills through becoming part of a theatre company. The five-day workshop lets pupils get involved in acting, singing, costume design, technical roles and even film production, thanks to a ‘making of’ documentary that records the whole process.
Before the coronavirus closed their doors, Arts Insight were poised to enter a very special tenth anniversary year with a recent fundraising boost from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. Founder Laura’s quick thinking soon turned disappointment at having to pause their plans for 2020 into decisive action. At a time when schoolchildren were more in need than ever of creative stimulus due to enforced school closures, she devised a plan that would also give home-schooling parents a break: why not offer children the Arts Insight educational experience online?
Calling the new online offer Arts Inside, Laura built the platform with her web team in a fortnight and is now getting ready to host the charity’s first online classes. When Harper James heard about the huge educational and community value in Arts Insight’s plans, we were keen to support their endeavours on a pro bono basis. Our commercial associate Angela Kerry has been working with the charity to ensure that the new platform is watertight legally, and we’ve helped make sure that the platform has all the necessary terms and conditions, privacy and cookie policies in place to protect the organisation and its users. Parents will be able to subscribe to the online community for a nominal fee and access a range of virtual resources, challenges and lessons with their children, designed to promote life skills through creative learning.
Founder Laura Berridge said: ‘Arts Insight have been bringing the magic of performing arts to children all across the UK for 10 years. One of the strengths of our new Arts Inside online platform is its ability to creatively connect those children with each other – whether they’re in Salford, Belfast or London. The help we’ve received from Harper James to move our operations online gives us real peace of mind knowing we’ve done everything correctly for our new community of learners.’
Harper James CEO Toby Harper commented: ‘Arts Inside is a fantastic example of the creative thinking we’re seeing from clients across the UK as they pivot their services and products to meet new customer needs during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s important to remember that as your business adapts, your legal position may change too. We are very pleased to give a dedicated founder like Laura the legal helping hand her charity needs at this time and wish her the very best with this new online chapter.’