Art Inclusive is an exciting programme to encourage people at risk of social exclusion including disabled people, young persons at risk of offending, and others who are isolated from society such as the elderly and those being home schooled, to take up motivational and creative art workshops.  Hundreds of people will benefit from these workshops and the public community benefit will be massive, particularly in such a disadvantaged neighbourhood.  Art needs to be made available to a wider community and especially to those who might be distanced from society whether through disability; social isolation due to age, ethnic minority or home-schooling; and those who might be in need of guidance and direction away from anti social behaviour. 

 Staff & studends from the Trinity School building a parade snake for the

Chinese New Year Parade 2013

Nucleus Arts was established in 2002 to provide affordable studio and exhibition space for artists, and to promote easy accessibility of the Arts to the public; to break down the barriers and perception of exclusivity of the Arts and to enable the public to interact with the Arts in Medway and Kent.  We currently have artist studios, a large gallery, a community room, a cafe and a cafe gallery in Chatham; a gallery shop in Rochester; and a gallery shop in Maidstone.  We promote all types of art including (but by no means exclusively) painting, sculpture, music, drama, creative writing, photography and ceramics.

A total of well over 400 artists have benefited from Nucleus Arts services and thousands of people have visited the galleries and enjoyed the results of our facilities.

Given the quality and breadth of the work of Nucleus Arts, which is a not for profit arts organisation, it is surprising to see how few staff are employed. With only 2 full time staff, 7 part time and 40 volunteers to cover our three locations, Nucleus Arts is managed by a board of 10 Trustees from its parent charity, the Halpern Charitable Foundation (CN1096478).

Nucleus Arts generates funds to cover all running costs from the income raised from studio, community room and gallery hire.  However, the development of a new workshop and the Art Inclusive programme will require new and separate funding.

Nucleus Arts is the only organisation in North Kent that can carry out this programme.  We have the largest arts community in Kent, and have extensive studio and gallery resources to support the workshops. Trial workshops have historically already been successfully held with people from the Kent Association for the Blind, who found the Art workshops incredibly rewarding and beneficial; with MCCH for people with mental health issues and/or disabilities; further to this, Kent Police funded a trial workshop for young offenders and children at risk of offending as a means of re-integrating them back into their local community.  The trials were a resounding success and all funders and participants expressed support for a continuing programme of Art Inclusive. We continually get requests from other sectors of the community for this kind of programme, whether it be from organisers of home-schooling for children, disabled groups, or ethnic minorities. We have clearly shown that there is a huge demand for this service from a large section of the community. 


Trinity School students in the Chinese New Year parade with their creation 

It is clear that these workshops have been designed to develop a sense of achievement and pride, and will be of enormous benefit to young people from all backgrounds. 

To enable the Art Inclusive programme to become a permanent service on offer from Nucleus Arts, a purpose built workshop will need to be constructed on land already owned next to the Chatham studios and gallery.  There is currently neither a fully DDA suitable space nor a studio space which is available for a full time workshop within the existing buildings. We propose to build this workshop as soon as possible and start the workshop programme, Art Inclusive.

In the meantime we are continuing to run small scale projects within our available facilities, working with local schools and support agencies. 

Dalia Halpern-Matthews

Director, Nucleus Arts; Chair of Trustees, The Halpern Charitable Foundation



For further information on our social inclusion programme 'ART INCUSIVE' please download the introduction to the project: Art Inclusive Introduction

To view some letters of support from individuals we have worked with please follow these links:

D Frak Support Letter 

W Dawes Support Letter

Please follow this link to view the evaluation document of a small scale project we undertook with a group children from the Delce Junior School in February 2013: Delce Junior School