Local Partnerships Somerset

7 February 2018

Hauser & Wirth Somerset is firmly embedded in the local community and rural landscape of Somerset. The gallery supports, collaborates and works in partnership with many institutions, businesses and organisations in the South West.

Founders Manuela and Iwan Wirth live locally in Somerset and are patrons of a number of charities close to their heart. Their charitable giving is focused on art, architecture, conservation, sustainability and education. Importance is placed on local and regional communities by supporting a number of village schools, community centres and special interest groups. Every year Hauser & Wirth Somerset selects a new local charity to support.

The gallery does not charge an entrance fee, but donations to the chosen charity are welcomed. Additional fundraising occurs throughout the gallery’s diverse programme of events which take place throughout the year. Annual events include our Easter Escapade, Open Farm Sunday, Summer Events and the Pumpkin Festival, all of which provide a platform for charities to promote their ongoing initiatives to a broad audience. As part of the gallery’s charitable giving in the wake of COVID-19, we have chosen to share entrance and event donations from June 2020 onwards between three local organisations, each delivering vital social, health and cultural initiatives to the surrounding community at this difficult time. SaveSave

Bruton Food Drop Bruton Food Drop has been supplying weekly food deliveries to people that have been financially affected by COVID-19. There are many people in and around Bruton who have lost their income entirely and are not eligible for financial support from the government. A package consists of enough food and basic essentials for one person for one week. Many local businesses, churches, private individuals, community groups and both Somerset Community Foundation and the Town Council have joined together to support the initiative.

The Balsam Centre The Balsam Centre is based only a short drive from the gallery in Wincanton, committed to improving mental health, reducing inequalities and providing services that are easy to access, spanning from individual meetings to group activities and quiet time. Their services cover all age groups, keeping people connected, preventing isolation and supporting those who are struggling to cope.

Black Swan Arts Black Swan Arts is in the heart of Frome, the vibrant and varied exhibition and events programme features contemporary and innovative art and crafts from the South West and beyond. The popular arts venue provides studio and workshop space for local creatives, promoting and nurturing a wide range of craftsmanship and artistic practice, as well as a meaningful connection with the wider community.

Bruton Primary School PSA Bruton Primary School’s PSA is a volunteer-led committee driven to raise funds for the school community and its facilities in many exciting ways. It is the aim of the PSA to be inclusive and approachable, providing a valuable partnership between home and school, bringing staff, parents, and friends together socially in support of the children. Recent fundraising projects have enabled the school to install a new swimming pool and sensory room, as well as provide new library books and outdoor games equipment. From July 2019 – April 2020, all entry and event donations went to Bruton Primary School PSA and over £20,000 was raised.  

Carymoor Environmental Trust Carymoor Environmental Trust is an environmental education and nature conservation charity that provide informative outdoor learning for schools and young people about the local wildlife, landscape and how to live more sustainably.Recent projects and initiatives include a shaded story circle in their willow plantation, the build of a traditional cob oven, and new conservation equipment and tools. These are all invaluable for maintaining their reserve and developing their education programme, which includes learning days with schools, courses for adults, family activity days and volunteering opportunities. From July 2018 – 2019, all entry and event donations went to Carymoor Environmental Trust and over £21,000 was raised.  

Brue CREW The Brue Community River Environment Workers and volunteers work and learn under the guidance of the Somerset Wildlife Trust and the Wild Trout Trust. Their aim is to enhance the river that gave Bruton its name for the enjoyment of everyone who lives in or visits our town. Their vision is that ‘Bruton’s riverside will be somewhere relaxing to spend time with nature, and a walking corridor connecting the historic town centre with footpaths to the East and perhaps the West.’ From July 2017 – 2018, all entry and event donations went to BrueCREW and over £18,000 was raised.  

Somerset Wildlife Trust For over 50 years Somerset Wildlife Trust has been dedicated to restoring, strengthening and connecting the vast range of Somerset’s natural habitats and species. The landscapes of Somerset have inspired many generations of writers and artists due to the abundance of nature, ancient woodlands, vibrant wetlands and mosaics of wildflower meadows. From 2014 – 2015, all entry and event donations went to Somerset Wildlife Trust and over £25,000 was raised.  

Bruton Museum Bruton Museum is a small local museum situated on Bruton High Street. The Museum houses a desk belonging to John Steinbeck who spent time writing in Bruton. Located in Bruton’s Dovecote building, the not-for-profit heritage centre focuses on the town’s history and surrounding area, as well as providing a space for exhibitions and volunteer-led events within the community. From July 2016 – 2017, all entry and event donations went to Bruton Museum and over £17,000 was raised.

University of the West of England: MA Curating This annual placement provides a curatorial student with the opportunity to fully immerse in the activities of Hauser & Wirth Somerset for a year, benefitting from professional mentoring from the team at the gallery.

Bath Spa University School of Art & Design In 2014 Hauser & Wirth Somerset launched a series of events in collaboration with Bath Spa University’s Curatorial Practice MA students. Since then we have worked closely with all courses and developed the Post MFA Residency Exchange Programme with CalArts.

The Big Draw The Big Draw is an arts education charity that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. The annual event is the world’s biggest annual drawing festival that takes place across schools, libraries, museums, artists groups, local councils, community centers and other organisations. Every year, Hauser & Wirth Somerset hosts events to coincide with the festival. In 2018, we were proud to have been awarded ‘The Museums & Galleries Award’ in the international Big Draw Festival Awards.  

Black Swan Arts Open Prize The Black Swan Arts Open is an annual competition which welcomes entries of original works from established practitioners and emerging artists of all professions and disciplines. Work can be submitted in any medium and in almost any size – from painting, drawing and printmaking to photography, sculpture and ceramics. The first prize is £1000 and in 2019 Elly Hawley, Director, took part in the judging panel.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre Since 2014 Hauser & Wirth Somerset has collaborated with Bristol Old Vic Theatre, developing a Summer School for young people aged 11-16 years. The Theatre Summer School takes place every year at Hauser & Wirth Somerset over nine days and invites participants to develop and create stories, characters and themes in response to the current exhibitions. Working alongside the Bristol Old Vic’s professional team, the young participants learn and develop the skills necessary to create and perform theatre.

Bruton Packhorse Fair Hauser & Wirth Somerset is the main sponsor of the Bruton Packhorse Fair, a fun community event that launches the Bruton Festival of the Arts. The Packhorse Fair provides opportunities for charities, voluntary organisations and local businesses, as well as promoting the huge array of local musicians, artists and artisans. At previous fairs, Hauser & Wirth Somerset have ran a hugely popular stall making hand printed tote bags, using a selection of specially designed stamps which were free to take away for participants.

Creative Youth Network The Creative Youth Network work with young people whom may be experiencing barriers to their progression. The centre in Bristol is a growing hub of support that includes youth, mental health and social services, as well as a wide range of programmes and activities to help young people reach their potential. Creative Futures selects young artists to receive the skills, networking opportunities, studio space and professional business support required to pursue a career as an artist. In 2019, we invited Anna Rathbone to run a workshop for Arthaus, inspiring the youth group to make their own zines on the theme of dystopia.

Drawing Matter Drawing Matter is grounded in a collection of architectural drawings. The Drawing Matter archive now incorporates a significant body of material focused on architectural drawings as works of ongoing exploration and discovery, particularly through sketches, sketchbooks, models, study and presentation drawings. Hauser & Wirth Somerset has worked with Drawing Matter on various events and exhibitions including the annual Architectural Drawing Summer School.

Family Arts Campaign A national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England raising family engagement with arts and culture. We are proud to have been recognised as one of over 750 organisations who have pledged to meet the Family Arts Standards, a trusted mark of quality that demonstrates excellence in family-friendly provision and events.

Hubbub Foundation Hubbub create positive and engaging campaigns that inspire ways of living that are beneficial for the environment. Every year at our Pumpkin Festival in October, we collaborate with Hubbub as part of their #PumpkinRescue campaign that endeavours to save edible pumpkins, squash and vegetables from being sent to landfill. During the festival, we supplied inspirational recipes to visitors encouraging pumpkins to be recycled and enjoyed.

King’s Bruton School Hauser & Wirth Somerset sponsored the opening of the Hauser & Wirth Recital Hall in 2019. The performance venue seats over 80 and has two class rooms and a recording studio within the building.

LEAF Education (Linking Environment and Farming) The leading organisation that delivers education and support about farming, food and sustainability in the countryside. The charity works to inspire future generations about these subjects, bringing them into a learning context and embedding an appreciation of farming into everyday life. The charity recently merged with FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) who we work with for Open Farm Sunday every June. We were pleased to welcome back Debbie Hicks to our Pumpkin Festival in October 2019 to share the charity’s regional activity and Somerset initiatives with visitors.

Prince’s Trust Every year, we support The Prince’s Trust by welcoming school pupils who are pursuing an Achieve Award, a programme that supports young people who are at risk of underachievement or exclusion from school to develop the skills and confidence needed to progress into a positive future. Students are invited to join us in order to learn all about working at a gallery. After meeting the team and practicing their interview skills, they take part in unique workshops inspired by the current exhibitions.

Spike Island Hauser & Wirth Somerset Director, Alice Workman, sits on the board of trustees for Spike Island, an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design based in Bristol. Spike Island is a vibrant hub for production, presentation and debate, and invites audiences to engage directly with creative practices through participation and discussion.

STAR A charity for Somerset children designated as in need and provides opportunities through art, music, sport and recreation to young people aged 5 – 25 who are most disadvantaged. Hauser & Wirth Somerset provides enrichment days for carers, Promise Mentors and children at the gallery.