Aspex gallery in Portsmouth launches £4,500 crowdfunder to save its free Family Saturdays activities

WORKSHOPS that have seen more than 3,000 children and their parents get to grips with their artistic side are set to come to an end – but you can help them stay alive.

By ron Melton
Friday, 26th April 2019, 11:20 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 11:28 pm
Youngsters get creative at one of the Family Saturdays workshops at the Aspex Gallery. Picture: Daniel Boss
Youngsters get creative at one of the Family Saturdays workshops at the Aspex Gallery. Picture: Daniel Boss

Bosses at the Aspex gallery at Gunwharf Quays, in Old Portsmouth, are calling on city residents to help fundraise £4,500 to maintain the venue’s Family Saturdays programme.

Since being founded in 2016 the free sessions, led by local artists, have welcomed thousands of visitors of all ages in a bid to introduce art to the masses. 

By chipping into the hub’s month-long crowdfunding campaign, which goes live today, donors will even get the chance to win rewards – including bespoke pieces of art from city talents. 

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Families have fun at the Family Saturdays workshop at Aspex gallery, Portsmouth. Picture: Daniel Boss

Vicky Chapter, participation and learning manager at Aspex, said: ‘We believe in everyone having the right to access art and the benefit that it has upon our wellbeing and development.

‘Because of this it is crucial to us that these workshops continue to operate and remain free for children and families – so they are fully accessible to everyone in our community.’ 

Financial contributions made toward Aspex’s campaign will go twice as far as they are set to be match-funded by Arts Council England, through its Catalyst: Evolve drive. 

Gallery heads are expected to announce the crowdfunder project at today's Family Saturdays workshop, which will run from 10am until 3pm. 

Lord mayor of Portsmouth, councillor Lee Mason, will arrive to greet visitors and see the project in action at 1pm. 

One parent who regularly attends the workshops, but asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘I really hope the crowdfunder brings in enough money for these sessions to continue running.

‘With the Sure Start centres closing things for young children and families to do together are almost gone from the city.

‘This is really precious and we all really need it.’ 

The crowdfunder for Family Saturdays will close at 10am on Saturday, May 25. 

The social media hashtag #SaveFamilySaturdays can be used to harness ongoing discussion about the event online, as well as the campaign to save it.