National Portrait Gallery

Developing young people’s sense of identity and pride

Young Londoners are getting the opportunity to learn about inspirational local people, thanks to a creative schools programme from London’s National Portrait Gallery. Faces and Places uses the gallery’s diverse collection of portraits to explore themes of identity, culture and society, and consider the connections between people and place.

Participants will attend a workshop based on stories about local people who’ve made a positive difference in their community – for example, by making an outstanding contribution to science, or standing up for equality. They’ll expand their knowledge of local history, discover artists and artworks, and be inspired to create their own artistic responses.

  • Faces and Places has already reached 50 schools in 7 boroughs. Over 5,000 pupils have taken part in workshops and 140 teachers in professional development activities.
  • The aim is to deliver 60 workshops a term, reaching 10,000 pupils over 2 years.
  • The National Portrait Gallery’s Learning Centre welcomes over 350 participants per day.

Positive role models

We’re awarding £197,655 to the Faces and Places project so hundreds more workshops can be delivered to schools across London. The National Portrait Gallery ran pilot projects in 2021 and 2022 and is now taking Faces and Places toschools in six boroughs where young people have limited access to arts education.  Every term, five primary schools, one secondary school and one special needs school, will participate in Faces and Places.

Schools will receive a Faces and Places resource box containing portraits of inspirational people connected to the local borough, teachers’ notes, group activities, and tools to create their own exhibitions.

“The National Portrait Gallery is truly a gallery for everyone. Faces and Places is an essential part of our mission to ensure young people all across London can benefit from access to our inspirational, world-class collection through enjoyable, inspirational engagement with portraiture.”

Liz Smith, Director of Learning and Engagement, National Portrait Gallery

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