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Case Studies

DepARTment Festival

Saturday 9th March 2024 | 11am – 4pm
Former Debenhams Store, Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield Town Centre 

Don’t miss our FREE creative arts festival celebrating the incredible young volunteers from the Takeover programme! 

DepARTment Festival is landing on 9th March in Four Seasons Shopping Centre for a one-of-a-kind festival experience! We're transforming the old Debenhams store into a vibrant creative arts hub for the day, all organised and produced by young people aged between 16-24 from Mansfield and Ashfield.

Captivate and our partners at Nonsuch, First Art, New Art Exchange, Arts Council England and Inspire Youth Arts have worked with over 200 young volunteers from local schools and colleges to help teach and develop new skills in the creative arts industries. Our end-of-project festival will showcase their achievements! Featuring family-friendly fun and activities all day, including youth-led themed zones and workshops: 

  • Circus - screen printing, balloon making and family activities
  • Puppetry
  • Installations
  • Photography
  • Pirates
  • Music – stage, DJ and songwriter
  • Family Rave and Disco

Arts Education Conference

Join us for our Arts Education Conference on Friday 8th March 2024 at Kirkby Leisure Centre. Aimed at teachers from Primary, Secondary, artists and cultural partners looking for inspirational ideas for arts based learning & cultural experiences. Find out more about great arts projects in and out of schools, engage in youth-led projects and take the time to explore our wellbeing zone.

Share best practices, learn from cultural educators, and explore new ways for the children you work with to experience and engage with culture and arts. Morning and afternoon event including leading industry speakers from national organisations:

  • Charley Genever- Poet, Creative Producer & Supporter of youth led projects
  • Alice Littlehailes- 30 yrs experience as a Primary Head & Advisor, Consultant and Advocate for Teaching for Creativity


  • A recap of newest arts-based projects
  • DJ and hip hop dance performance
  • Takeover zone with youth-led creative arts projects
  • CPD opportunity to learn about arts-based approaches in education
  • Book onto our afternoon workshops

Wellbeing zone – time management and professional wellbeing support

Creative & Inspirational zone – including Dragon’s Breath Theatre & Noise Academy

Takeover Presents: Pirates of Portland Kids Party

Wednesday 1 November 2023, 11am - 1.30pm at the Newstart Theatre, Portland College, Mansfield NG18 4TJ. *FULLY BOOKED*

Join our swashbuckling crew for a FREE family day jam-packed with Pirate fun.

The event will feature a whole host of pirate fun including:

Long Time No Sea by Fairly Famous Family - this 30 minute family is a comic mix of cannon ball juggling, magic trunks, hornpipes and outlandish thigh slapping. Pirate- themed workshops, Pirate carnival games with an opportunity to win prizes (free pirate coins for all children attending),  Pirate treasure hunt and Pirate food and drink (Pirate kids party box with a sandwich, drinks and snacks will be provided. Lunch served at 12noon. Pirate mocktails will also be available).

☠ Pirate fancy dress is welcome with a prize for best dressed.

If you weren't able to get a ticket, we do have a waiting list should any places become available.

To be added to the list, please email with Pirate Kids Party in the subject line and state your full name and how many children's places you require.

We are recruiting for TAKEOVER Tutors 
Location: Nottinghamshire- Mansfield and Ashfield 

DEADLINE: 2nd October 2023 

Fee: Bespoke to each setting and will include planning time + training- approx. £1650

Contract time will be bespoke to each setting but we envisage half a day to a 1 full day per week for 10 weeks. 

Our sessions will start post October half term 2023 until February 2024. All tutors will take part in a training session on 13th October 2023. 

TAKEOVER is a volunteering programme for young people aged 14+ from Ashfield and Mansfield. Led by creative young voices, TAKEOVER aims to create a youth-led festival in February 2024, offering meaningful opportunities for personal growth. It's all about developing creativity, culture, talent, leadership, and employability skills. From production and marketing to digital campaigns, performance, and presenting, young people will contribute to and showcase a fantastic festival in their local community. 

We are looking for tutors to support young people on their TAKEOVER journey.

 We'd love to hear from you if you're passionate about arts and culture and believe in providing opportunities to support and empower young people's ideas for an exciting youth-led festival in March 2024. If you are an artist in any art form or discipline, have experience and expertise in facilitating & delivering to young people, or experience in event planning and arts management, along with a desire to work closely with young individuals and bring their ideas to life then we want to hear from you! If you're enthusiastic about creativity and ready to make a difference, send us your CV & an expression of interest to

For more information click HERE

Captivate and Portland College:


We are looking for 6 primary/ SEND schools from Mansfield and Ashfield to come to Portland College’s Newstart Theatre to take part in a ‘Free’ morning or afternoon, focused arts, creative and inclusive activities. This will also be an opportunity for teachers and support staff to receive free resources, ideas, and meet the artist, and change agents.

This is the start of a new programme to support schools and communities with their creative and inclusion pathways. Portland College can also provide access support and some transport. 

Friday 10th November 2023. Session times: 9.15-11.45am and 12.45-3pm.

To express an interest, please email by 22 September 2023

Free Training Day at Mansfield Museum with Historic England - Wednesday 27 September 2023

Calling History/Geography/Humanities leaders and those involved with Curriculum Development. 

Are you looking for support to develop your local history curriculum and develop your role as a curriculum lead? 

Whether you are a Primary or Secondary teacher, your local history/ heritage should be a significant part of your curriculum and it can be a powerful resource to create a bespoke and engaging curriculum. However, many teachers struggle to find the information, resources and support to do so. 

Join us for a FREE TRAINING DAY at Mansfield Museum.

•                Learn how to uncover your locality’s unique heritage and story. 

•                Become part of a network of on-going support. 

•                Receive a free map and photo pack of your school (historic maps and aerial photos from Historic England’s archive collection) worth £140. 

•                Learn how to conduct a heritage trail around your school and uncover your unique hidden heritage and history. 

•                Access ongoing opportunities to develop your curriculum. 

•                Find out about local projects that your school can participate in. 

We look forward to welcoming you on the Wednesday 27th September 2023 (9:30-16:00). The training is free and all you need to bring is your participation and enthusiasm. 

Please reply early, as the map and aerial photo packs take a long time for our archive team to source and print for each school. 

Please email: to reserve your place. 

A limited amount of funding is available to pay for staff cover if capacity would be a barrier to participation.

Historic England Information

Summer Takeover at MyPlace: Young creatives from TAKEOVER to launch second pop up fete in Mansfield

Sunday 11th June 2023 | 11am - 3pm

The beach is coming to Mansfield! Head over to Myplace @ Westfield folkhouse on Sunday 11th June for a Summer Takeover.

The 16-18yr old volunteers from Inspire College and the Takeover volunteering programme are hosting a beach themed family fun day complete with entertainment and creative stalls. Expect games, crafts, food vendors, a bouncy castle, giant chess, silent disco and more! 

Don't miss some cracking performances with live bands from Inspire Youth Arts throughout the day. 

Arts In Schools - Enabling Creativity in your Curriculum

Captivate Meets: Teacher’s Network & Creative Sharing Event

Tuesday 21st March 2023 | 3.30pm – 5.15pm 

Greenwood Primary and Nursery School in Kirkby-in-Ashfield 

Join us on March 21st for the first Captivate Meets of 2023, bringing together Primary, Secondary & FE Teachers, arts professionals and educators together for an afternoon packed with creative discussion, networking & support.

Throughout the afternoon you’ll have the chance to:

  • Hear from keynote speakers about amazing creative projects happening 
  • Network with other teachers, creatives & professionals
  • Get access to quick-fire 1:1 support session with Captivate’s Schools Consultant - Amanda McLaren and Artsmark specialist
  • Hear updates from Arts Partners on ways your school can get involved in upcoming creative projects
  • Captivate Meets is hosted by Captivate - Nottinghamshire's Cultural Education Partnership, working across Mansfield & Ashfield and facilitated by Nonsuch Studios, Nottingham’s independent theatre & creative venue working across the county on community-led projects. 

BOOK here

Students from The Brunts Academy to Showcase Their Skills at Takeover Pop-Up Shop in Mansfield Town Centre

Talented year 11 students from The Brunts Academy in Mansfield will be running the First Art shop in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield between 15th and 16th February, as part of a two-day pop-up event hosted by Takeover.  

Takeover has been mentoring the current 15 and 16-year-olds on the program since October 2022, now they will be bringing art and business together for this one-off event. With support from First Art, the students will put their creative skills on display in the upcoming pop-up shop featuring a diverse range of their own products, including music, merchandise, a bakery and a gaming hub and hobby shop which will be open to members of the public over the two days. This hands-on project offers a real-world retail experience for the students to showcase their abilities, with the pop-up shop being devised and delivered entirely by young people from Mansfield.

Laura Solly, Arts Teacher at The Brunts Academy and Takeover Facilitator, said: “Takeover has been a fantastic opportunity for our Year 11s, by allowing them to pursue a passion of theirs, whether that be music, art, poetry or baking and developing these into small businesses.

Pupils have even gathered advice and feedback from local business owners to support their enterprise projects. Running the shop is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to display their talents to the public and get experience in retail and business”.

Takeover’s pop-up event will be open at the First Art hub in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre in Mansfield, between 11am – 4pm on both 15th and 16th February. 

Captivate is recruiting for a Chair 

Captivate-Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) is looking for a new independent chair to provide strategic leadership to Captivate meetings. 
The chair will be passionate about connecting young people with great arts and culture in Mansfield & Ashfield, with the potential of rollout from 2024 to other distrcits of Nottinghamshire. The chair will act as an ambassador and spokesperson for cultural education and Captivate.
The chair will ensure that the Captivate is governed effectively and is functional through its meetings, working groups and events.  In collaboration with the Captivate, the chair will consider issues, risks and opportunities and come to well-founded decisions that align with the Captivate vision and mission.

Duties and Responsibilities
Core responsibilities and duties will include:

  • Work with the Captivate Partnership Manager to lead the Captivate Partnership Group, and governance to the partnership, ensuring it has identified appropriate actions and is delivering within its vision and mission
  • Chair Captivate meetings effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Work closely with Captivate Partnership Manager to ensure meetings are well planned, meaningful and reflect the responsibilities of members
  • Motivate members to fulfil their responsibilities and are encouraged to be accountable for their commitments
  • Galvanise members engagement, helping to ensure that decisions are taken 

Informal discussion will be held Tuesday 24th January 2023-PM via Zoom.

Contact Vanessa Oxspring at the email address above for further information or to arrange an informal discussion of the requirements of the role. The successful candidate will be able to observe the next Captivate meeting which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 26th January 4-5.15pm via Zoom. All further meeting dates are to be arranged.

For more information, contact Vanessa Oxspring at

Success for Captivate Funding 

Captivate is delighted to announce we have been successful with two significant funding investments from Arts Council England until March 2024. As a result, we will create more projects for schools, and teachers and support children and young people to volunteer and take the lead in projects within their local area. 

Including more arts & cultural projects, more school residentials, cultural trips, more direct work with schools and artists; significantly, designing and developing our work with local children, young people, teachers, artists and leaders. We have also received funding through The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England for a new Volunteer programme, Takeover- pathways into work. 

Young people set to ‘Takeover’ their communities thanks to government investment

Inspire: Culture, Learning & Libraries & Captivate, Ashfield & Mansfield’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) has been awarded £262,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.

The grant will be used to deliver ‘Takeover’, creating volunteering opportunities for young people aged 14-24  to reach their creative potential. With the ambition of providing skilled new entrants to the cultural sectors, Takeover will engage young people in communities from across Ashfield & Mansfield, industry experts and creative associates from across the country.

Over 22 months starting from June 2022, young people, people with disabilities and those experiencing loneliness will take part in volunteering opportunities to develop creativity, supporting talent potential, leadership & employability skills. Young people will ‘take over’ their local area and produce their very own youth led arts and creative festival. 

Hundreds of young people, people with disabilities and those experiencing loneliness will get the opportunity to volunteer and help others thanks to the £262,000 government investment. 

The Volunteering Futures Fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England. It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities whilst volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference. 

A full list of funded projects can be found here.

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England said:

“We are overjoyed to receive this funding at such a challenging time for many people! This funding will enable us to work with our local partners to provide young people with training, mentoring and a range of opportunities to volunteer across the Ashfield & Mansfield. This is an investment in our local area future, an opportunity to actively engage more young people in arts, culture and heritage, helping them to discover their passions, contribute to their community and develop future leaders.”

Vanessa Oxspring-Captivate Partnership Manager said: 

The £4.6 million UK Government funding is being awarded and distributed via Arts Council England. Grants of £100,000 or more have been awarded following an Arts Council competitive process launched in November 2021. There are 19 lead organisations that will work with more than 160 partner organisations to deliver volunteering opportunities at a local level across England. 

An additional £2.2 million has been distributed by Pears Foundation and NHS Charities Together.

More Information

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