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Digital Arts exhibition celebrates the creative work and progression of local hard-to-reach learners


Nov 14, 2017 #digital, #education

The digital arts and media company has launched its fourth third annual exhibition; Shining, with an aim to engage hard-to-reach learners’, boosting their confidence, belief and employability skills

Digital arts and media projects created by local residents, primarily from Sunderland and South Tyneside, are being showcased at the University of Sunderland’s Priestman Gallery. The launch (Fri Nov 17th) was hugely successful and the exhibition will remain open until noon on Friday, November 24th.

The event has been made possible through the regular support of the University of Sunderland and Sunderland City Council in particular. Peter Conway, Grainger Financial, Sunderland Community Action Group and Dominos Pizza also provided additional event sponsorship, which contributed towards the overall success of the annual event.

Multi-award winning social enterprise Media Savvy CIC is committed to inspire marginalised individuals through using non-traditional learning methods and a highly successful learning by stealth approach. The primary aims of their courses are to improve the confidence, self-belief and employability prospects of the participants, many of whom who are facing multiple barriers to gaining meaningful and sustainable employment.

The company delivers digital arts and media based courses for disadvantaged people, including; offenders, mental health service users, those with learning / physical disabilities and the long-term unemployed. Many of their courses also include nationally recognised qualifications in IT User Skills, Vocational Studies and Developing Skills for Employment.

Managing director Dan Makaveli, a University of Sunderland graduate said:

‘’2016-17 was another fantastic academic year for us. We grew our course foundation, expanded our partnerships and stabilised our long-term existence even further … We get so much job satisfaction at Media Savvy, that all of the hard work is always totally worthwhile.”

One of Media Savvy’s past learners, Judith, who is now volunteer and support tutor for the company said:

“I ended up on several [Media Savvy courses] and ultimately achieved a teaching qualification and valuable experience by volunteering … the one word I would use to describe Media Savvy would be ‘symbiotic’ because we all help each other ’’

In 2017, the Sunderland-based not-for-profit organisation picked up 6 separate accolades, including being named as Sunderland’s Family Adult and Community Learning’s ‘Provider of the Year’ and picking up the ‘Social Enterprise Award’ at the Sunderland Portfolio Awards in November.

By Emily