February 28, 2018

Last week, the marionette madness continued, with the children creating their very own puppet shows and stop-motion films!

As a triumphant finale to our amazing two-week puppet series, the children at the Spandau and Pankow shelters used the puppets, that they had created the previous week, to make their own stop-motion films, and puppet theatre shows.

As we discussed in our recent post, puppetry as an art form can help bridge the gap between visual and performance art, and for children in particular, this can provide an important outlet for non-verbal communication which can be incredibly powerful! With their avatar puppets and hand-crafted backgrounds, the children were given a window for self-expression and emotional release- puppetry allows them to do this in a way which is safe, supportive... and a lot of fun!


The week before, the children made their very own mechanical puppets, using paper and pins. By attaching the limbs...

February 27, 2018

In honor of UK Children's Mental Health Week, we take a closer look at the newly launched organisation, Place2Be; explore this year's theme of #BeingOurselves; and ask ourselves, "Why is there such a rise in youth mental health issues-- and how can we help!?"

'With one in ten children aged between five and sixteen having a mental health problem’ children’s mental health is clearly something we need to continue talking about. Here at Pass the Crayon we are reflecting on activities which took place recently in the UK for Children’s Mental Health Week, on the week of February 2nd-9th

As a concept, children’s mental health is now gaining wider recognition in the UK, with the theme this year placing emphasis on what it means to #BeingOurselves- celebrating uniqueness, individualism and diversity. Since we are always trying to support children’s uniqueness and mental development here at Pass the Crayon, I will be relaying some information I have found surrounding one of the...

February 24, 2018

Maëlle Foix, our friend and long-term artistic partner, is this weeks Artist of the Week! She speaks with Manon Jourdan about her work, past and present, and her exciting future plans. We also speak about the power of creation, dreams and metaphor as a tool to help young people communicate and connect with other people- and themselves.

Maëlle is an inspiring graphic designer and talented illustrator from the ''School of Art and Design'' (Ensaama) of Paris. Looking through her various illustrations is like entering a bath of color - Maille creates a childlike, joyful and twisted universe of cheerful characters and stunning colors.

In June 2017 we were lucky to have her as an intern for one month, and in that time, we formed a very special bond and considerably benefited from her creative spirit. Not only did Maelle co-ordinate artistic workshops, but she also helped to build our PTC brand by designing all of our amazing bespoke logos and infographics (see right). Maël...

February 23, 2018

This week we were delighted to welcome back our much loved friend, and long-term PTC artistic partner, Maille Fox. Maille has been leading our latest two-week long workshop series, and we have been making Puppets!

In Week 1,  the children built their hand-held puppets out of fabric and polystyrene foam balls. The children painted all the puppets themselves, including the face and clothes- their puppet is meant to represent themselves. Next week, we will get to play with them on scene!


In Pankow, we took a more 2D approach to puppetry, with our mechanical paper puppets. The kids had to design a puppet which represented themselves- all of the limbs had to be created separately and then joined together using pins. The children also had to make a background depicting a place they love to be, or would like to go. This was an interesting session and allowed the kids to freely explore their imagination and some of their personal memories and desires. Next week....

February 18, 2018

This week at Pass the Crayon, our workshop theme is Puppets! So, we thought it would be nice to dedicate this week's Artist of the Week post to the oldest puppetry association in the world, UNIMA!

Founded in 1929, UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) is an international non-profit organisation and UNESCO partner, operating in over 90 countries worldwide. As a collective, UNIMA connects and supports thousands of puppeteers from all over the globe, promoting puppetry as an art form, and sharing its craft with future generations through performance, workshops, exhibitions and festivals.

UNIMA is one of the oldest artists collectives in the world, and has a long and beautiful history of connection and friendship, which transcends political or cultural divisions. In 1929, at the Fifth Annual Convention of Czech Puppeteers, a group of puppeteers from Bulgaria, France, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, Romania and the Soviet Union, gathered together and decided to form UNIM...

February 12, 2018

Welcome to 'PTC Weekly', our brand new blog series dedicated to bringing you all the latest arty updates from our workshops in Spandau, Pankow and Wedding! :) Last week, our theme was SPACE.


In addition to our regular workshops, this week we hosted a special four-day series at Kreativhaus, a community space dedicated to promoting the arts and culture through creative play and performance art. We hosted afternoon sessions from Monday to Thursday, where we explored the theme of Space- we made planets, aliens and finally, a space fresco, which is now being displayed on the wall at Kreativhaus for the next two weeks. :)

"We are super happy to start the New Year with a partnership with Kreativhaus. We took a  lot of pleasure leading these workshops, and we met a lot of really great kids. As well as creative activities, we sang, we played a few games, and even hosted our very own concert! We chose the theme of Space because it allowed the children...

February 12, 2018

In honour of Children's Mental Health Week UK, one of our volunteers has created this beautiful poem about what it is like inside the mind of a child... This years theme for Children's Mental Health Week is 'Being Ourselves', and we will be exploring this in more detail in one of our upcoming articles! :) 

A Child's Mind

Round run run round

Sweet sugar sun and sound

Climb the sky and jump the town

Wheels turn and why sit down

Pick the berries, sip the juice

Bat the ball and all things small

Take a telling, hope no yelling

Back to ball, roll the grass

Eat your food, not too fast

Sun goes down, off to bed

Time to rest that little head

Quiet now, sleeps in town

And he heard you wont settle down

Be excited for the days

But for now a sleepy haze, you must stay

Safe and happy, every day.

** If you enjoyed this post then don't forget to 'like' and share on social media. Stay tuned for more coverage on youth mental health awareness, coming soon! **

February 10, 2018

We finally bring you the second installment of ‘Who Is A Refugee?’, our two-part review of a recent UCL debate, featuring esteemed refugee academics Professor Elsbeth Guild, Ahmad Al Rashid and Dr Phillip Cole. 

In Part 1 the talk centered around defining refugeehood under the current UN convention, establishing its parameters, and discussing whether these parameters remain compatible with our contemporary geopolitical and environmental landscape. All speakers recognised the fact that the current EU migrant system is severely dysfunctional, and in its current form, is letting down thousands of people who have fled their native countries for legitimate reasons.

In the next phase the speakers consider solutions to protracted refugee situations, and balance the advantages and disadvantages of changing the basic UN Refugee Convention, or keeping it the same and creating adjacent conventions. The ethical problem of distinguishing different groups by their level of ‘need’ as defined by the out...

February 8, 2018

At Pass the Crayon we have been exploring the theme of Space in our recent art workshops, so it seems fitting to kick off our new 'Artist of the Week' series with astro enthusiast and visionary artist, Tomás Saraceno.

In recent years we have seen Art and Science come together to create unique avenues of creative expression. Both of these disciplines challenge our perception of reality in profound ways, and when combined, can produce astonishing art forms which are not only aesthetically striking, but experientially significant. 

For millennia, artists have grappled with the existential chaos of human existence. Art provides human beings with the tools to express feelings and abstract concepts which can be deeply painful, yet essential to understanding ourselves as individuals, and as a collective. In the past, artists have mainly focused on human-centered enigmas such as beauty, pleasure, pain, time, and of course, love and death. However, since the Enl...

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