Open Sesame!

22 October 2012

Artists and nursery practitioners will get their own creative playtime this month at Chichester Festival Theatre as they begin a new project called Open Sesame! Learning from each other and from a team of experienced artist mentors, they will explore ways to introduce art, music, dance and other forms of creative expression into the day-to-day play and development of under 5’s.

The result of close partnership between early years and arts professionals across Sussex and Surrey, and supported by Arts Council England, the project involves fifteen nurseries and seven trainees, and focuses on communities where there are high levels of deprivation. The artists will work with the nurseries for twenty weeks and alongside this Octopus Inc will devise a creative event for families that will be hosted by each nursery at the end of the project to celebrate the creative learning experiences of children.

Trainees and nursery practitioners in the project will develop their skills through learning and collaborating with each other and will also gain qualifications from their participation through a new Level 4 course at University of Brighton developed for the project and the Gold Arts Award endorsed by the Arts Council and awarded by Trinity College London.

This innovative project is supported by a partnership group comprised of local authorities and cultural organisations from Sussex and Surrey and is being delivered by Culture Shift and Octopus Inc.

Project partners:

  • Early Childhood Service, West Sussex County Council
  • Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service
  • East Sussex Early Childhood Service
  • Arts Partnership Surrey
  • Creative West Sussex
  • Brighton Dome and Festival
  • Chichester Festival Theatre

For more information contact Cindy Cox,, 07872 419604, or Clare Halstead – Open Sesame Programme Manager,, 07855 934701

More information on Octopus Inc: