Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall will introduce the Duchess of Cambridge to the work of the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts at Dulwich Picture Gallery this week.

Their Royal Highnesses will meet school children participating in the Great Art Quest, a project run by Children & the Arts at Dulwich Picture Gallery, on Thursday 15th March.

The Prince of Wales established Children & the Arts to allow young people who would otherwise have had no, or limited opportunity to access and engage with professional arts. It was set up in 2002 as a pilot scheme and became an independent charity in 2006. Since 2006, Children & the Arts has used the arts to help inspire over 100,000 children, in particular enabling personal and social development among those children hardest to reach through mainstream education.

The Duchess of Cambridge has a personal interest in the arts and supporting young children, and The Prince of Wales is taking this opportunity to show the successful educational work of Children & the Arts. The Great Art Quest, sponsored by investment managers GAM (UK) Ltd, introduces children to the visual arts by partnering them with local galleries, professional artists and storytellers and providing them with the skills and confidence to create their own works. Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of just four galleries selected by Children & the Arts to take part in Great Art Quest.

Over the last two terms, 120 children – aged 8-11 – from Goodrich Community School in East Dulwich, Langbourne Primary School and St Luke"s CofE Primary School in Dulwich, and the Globe Academy in Southwark have been working with a textile artist and a storyteller to create their own art based on Dulwich Picture Gallery’s collection of Old Master paintings. The project marries paintings, poems and songs with visual arts to encourage pupils to think about their own personal journeys and stories. The series of creative sessions inspired the children to create an artistic response to the themes of family, identity, and journey.

During their visit to the Gallery, Their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to meet the children, speak to the artists and storytellers who have guided them through the project, hear from the children’s teachers, and see a special exhibition of the children’s works interpreted by the children themselves.

The Gallery’s chosen theme of family, identity and journey was inspired by Face Britain, the latest Children & the Arts project and the UK’s largest mass collaborative art project involving 4-16 year olds from right across the UK producing self-portraits. The self-portraits produced by the children as part of Great Art Quest will be combined with thousands of others to create a special montage image of HM The Queen that will be projected on to the front of Buckingham Palace in April to herald the start of the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The portraits will also be displayed on the official London 2012 BBC Live Sites in city centres as well as over 400 screens in shopping centres and train stations across the UK.

Celebrated contemporary painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling will be introduced to Their Royal Highnesses as they tour the children’s works, and will explain her involvement as a patron of Face Britain. Face Britain will also attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record for “the most artists working on the same art installation”.

Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts is delighted that The Prince of Wales is introducing The Duchess of Cambridge to the work of this charity: “Our President, The Prince of Wales, is dedicated to giving young people the opportunity to discover their talents and to gain the self-esteem to use them. With that mission in mind we have been changing the lives of children for the past six years. This isn’t art for arts sake but a chance to engage with children at an early enough age that they can use the arts as a way to develop skills, abilities and the confidence that will be of a practical and personal benefit to them throughout their lives.”

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