Philanthropist opens the way for new writers at Collage Writing Room

Collage Writing Room helps people to find their voice and has been doing so for the past 7 years. It offers people a space to write and gives them expert guidance on how to hone their craft. In the time of COVID-19 the support has moved online until face-to-face sessions can resume.

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The project’s Director, Kate Pemberton, has been steadily growing the offering to work across more writing genres and to empower more diverse writers.  This was helped by a time-limited grant from Arts Council England.  Kate explains: “The Arts Council funding was a great recognition of the quality of work and the contribution we can make in helping to bring new and diverse writers to the fore.  It helped us grow at just the right point.  But to keep the courses affordable to the people who need them most we need to work with partners.  Collage Arts has provided us with the space, but the programme needed additional investment.

We are delighted to have struck up a relationship with the writer and entrepreneur Steve Thompson.  His interests and skills are a perfect fit with what we are working to achieve at Collage Writing Room.  It is heartening to know, especially in these times, that people are willing to come forward to make a real difference in the Arts and to people’s prospects as creatives.”

Collage Arts Director Manoj Ambasna says: “I have been leading Collage Arts for over 30 years. This is one of the most challenging times we have faced as an arts sector.  We know that Government is looking at a massive injection into the sector, but they are also talking about saving the crown jewels.  Every one of the crown jewels was a diamond in the rough at one point.  Found, shaped, polished, refined and displayed.  Steve Thompson understands about building value-added businesses.  He also sees that to be relevant, the creative sector needs to find new and exciting voices.  We are delighted his generosity will allow Collage Writing Room to continue to thrive.”

About Steve Thompson

Steve Thomson is the author of the blog, This blog chronicles the transformation in his life brought about by the arrival of his son Archie in 2012, and his move to be a stay at home dad.  He attended a journalism course run by Collage Writing Room (then known as Haringey Literature Live) in November 2014 to help develop his writing and increase his confidence.  He now seeks to make a positive contribution to the debate surrounding issues that will impact the world his son and his contemporaries inherit. His curiosity and analytical expertise have seen him contributing to debates on topics ranging from politics to sport, energy security to mental health, and transport to addiction. He says he is as prolific as his little boy allows.

Steve has also been instrumental in the development and growth of Zapnito, a Software as a Service business. Zapnito enables organisations to create branded expert knowledge networks and communities.

About Collage Arts

Collage Arts is an arts development, training and creative regeneration charity based in the Wood Green Cultural Quarter. For over 35 years, the organisation has operated artists’ studios in Haringey with an estate of 100 studios and making spaces. Collage also creates opportunities for greater participation in the arts and widens access to employment in the creative industries. It does this through a range of learning programmes, enterprise and support services, facilities and resources?

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Watch the animation: The Revolution is being televised poem from the series: We Matter, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by Sandra Howell, supported by the community of writers at the Collage Writing Room.