In this online presentation and conversation Anna Colin, who co-founded the alternative art school and community space Open School East, describes how it was set up in response to spiralling fees and student debt, making art education accessible to a broad cross section of society.
This was done by making its programmes entirely free of charge and opening them outwards, responding to local needs, and providing an informal and welcoming environment for the development and sharing of skills and knowledge across all communities and generations. She discusses how Open School East has developed into a situated learning environment that facilitates placing learners in real life situations that directly connect to the experiences of the neighbourhoods or the communities they are a part of, or subjects that are directly relevant to them. Anna presents the programme and how the different parts connect and benefit from each other, what it means in relation to urgent issues in the local context, and how this knowledge can be transferred and distributed through new models.
is a curator, educator and researcher who co-founded the free, independent art school and community space Open School East in London, then Margate, where she was a director until 2021. Colin works as a lecturer at the MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is completing her Phd on the notion of the alternative in multi-public educational and cultural organizations from the late 19th century to the present, in the UK and further afield, at the University of Nottingham. Alongside her curatorial practice, which straddles the social and the ecological, Anna is currently training in horticulture and garden design.
Open School Est website www.openschooleast.org