Deutsche Bank Award
"Postgraduate viola player and creative entrepreneur Megan Jowett has just won the 25th annual Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise music prize of £10,000 for Make the Paint Dance. Her innovative project, inspired by the artist Marc Chagall and the music of Ravel, combines music and art to inspire children.
“The outreach element of my project was inspired by the childhood poverty of Chagall, and the need to bring creativity into schools to break down social barriers,” explains Megan.
Through a series of workshops in local Gabalfa school the children were able to explore their creativity, developing the way they work to unlock new ways of learning, exploring themes and colours. Working with the composer James Banner, they created a piece of music which the children narrated.
“The children benefited enormously from the project,” said Eleanor Sandford, Deputy Headteacher at Gabalfa Primary School. “It’s the first time they’ve had an opportunity to interact with musicians in a live performance situation and this brought them into close proximity to orchestral musicians.
They enjoyed the opportunity to develop their creativity in a multi sensory environment and it was lovely to see the different ways they responded to the tasks. Performance opportunities are a vital experience for the pupils and they relished the opportunity to make the music dance.”
Make the Paint Dance began life as Megan’s Vocational Project module. After discussing it with Head of Ensemble Performance, Zoe Smith, she took it forward by talking to the College’s outreach department, and with specialist advice from the development department. Zoe put together a pitch panel, which included the College Principal, and they gave Megan a grilling as part of her preparation.
“Hands-on workshops bringing music and art together are rarely offered to children so I was really happy to hear she would be developing her idea further,” says Zoe. “The idea that Megan has taken an academic requirement and turned it into a creative enterprise is really fantastic, reinforcing the strong employability strand that underpins our postgraduate programme.”
Megan will use the £10,000 prize money to set up the company, Make the Paint Dance and run a year-long pilot, developing programmes to test out new ideas, while monitoring the positive impact that the project has on the children’s creativity. She also plans to secure more funding to continue the work within Welsh schools.
“As a pioneering new company, we are constantly thinking outside the box and want to explore all aspects of the company through creativity. As well as the prestige and endorsement from winning this award, I also have a a mentor from Deutsche Bank. This will really help me to set the company up for long term success in its creative work.”
Megan’s project has also led to a new module, ‘Advanced Outreach Skills,’ creating a better way to assess outreach work at postgraduate level."
For more information on the Deutsche Bank Creative Enterprise Awards go to www.dbace.uk.com.