Auction: June 2010 –
Fund raising Committee Members
Simon Sharron (Headmaster European School Culham), Astrid Nielsen-Schuumans, Karin van Vrede, Antonella Shorrock, Constanze Rimensberger-Andel, Wilfried Rimensberger, Puk Lykke-Moller
Sponsors The project has so far attracted the support of CESPA, New College, Oxford University, ABN Amro, UK EU Commission Office, cultural sections and institutes of the Dutch, Finnish, Austrian, French and German Embassies in London as well as the Malta Tourism Authority. We are looking for further sponsorships of individual artists (guarantees on the reserve sales price of their artwork) or the whole project.
The European School at Culham is unique in Britain in preparing children for the European Baccalaureate, which means they are taught in at least one European language other than their mother tongue, and leave school bilingual or trilingual. It was originally established, as one of 14 similar European schools in the European Union, to educate the children of the employees of EU institutions, but most of its 830 pupils now come from families living in the Oxford area, often with one or more parents from a European country other than Britain, who want their children to have a European language based education. With the decline in the numbers of children of EU employees, the school is now losing EU funding, and has been faced with closure by 2017.
With the strong support of parents and others with a stake in the survival of this unique school, an education charity, Culham Languages and Sciences (CLASS), has been set up under the Chairmanship of Lord Jay of Ewelme to Sponsor the transfer of the school to the English state system as an Academy. Negotiations are progressing well with the British Government, European Commission and Oxfordshire County Council for the school to open as an Academy in 2010 or 2011, with the majority of the funding provided by the Government and the European Commission. If, however, the new Academy is to preserve the multicultural ethos of the present School and its present strong reputation and performance, and also, as the sponsors, CLASS, wish, to become a beacon in the English education system for both language and science teaching, there will be a need for additional funding, through an endowment fund of around £2 million, to maintain and develop its unique character. The aim is that these funds should be raised over the next year or so from Foundations, companies and individuals, in Britain and abroad, who have a stake in the continued success of this exceptional school.
an association representing parents at the school, believes that present and future parents have a particular role to play in helping to raise these funds, and has formed a project committee entrusted to achieve this through a variety of projects. The first is an arts project supported by European artists contributing to Europa – The Woman.
Oxford – The Private View of the Europa – The Woman exhibition and launch event for the international charity arts project at the Long Room Gallery, New College attracted a fast set of people from across Oxfordshire, London and international destinations despite the whole of Oxford bubbling over with art events linked to the Oxfordshire Artweeks.
Europa – The Woman artist Christine Robion came from Paris, Eva Gargulinska arrived direct from the opening of her latest exhibition in Peking. Juliette Goddard travelled from South-London with husband Charles, and Dutch artists Marcelle Hanselaar checked in at the New College for a quick Long Room encounter only to dash off to a dinner event somewhere else. Croatian artist Solidea Guerra was on a high as one of her works is selected for public exhibition at the Oxford Castle Sculpture Garden. Swiss artist André Wilhelm made a last minute oil painting contribution. Artists and visitors were praising the exhibition by so far 14 artists from around Europe that reflect on the theme Europa – The Women. The opening speech by CESPA chairwoman Astrid Nielsen-Schuurmans conveyed convincingly the passion of Culham European School parents that drives the exceptional activities for keeping the European Baccalaureate not only alive in the UK but bring it in to the fold of the UK’s mainstream education curriculum as a leading foreign and science teaching programme for primary and secondary school children. David Smith, Director and Secretary to the Board, CLASS, further highlighted this message. He spoke on behalf of Lord Jay, Chairman of CLASS, conveying his best wishes for the arts project and emphasizing that Europe – The Woman was an example of the European School parents’ extraordinary efforts to support one of the most successful education schemes that is leading to true bi- and tri-lingual language students with access to leading Universities. Catherine Baerder, MEP South East Constituency, expanded on the true multi-cultural education the European Baccalaureate provides and explained that this school is a true enrichment for Oxfordshire. Dr Volker Halbach, representing New College, was thanked for the generous free provision of their Long Room gallery space.
After the speeches singer songwriter Pete Woodroffe entertained guest with a set of songs accompanied by guitar. Other guest included Wolfgang Steuer, Warner Brothers, and book author and photographer Robin Laurance. There were many representatives of the European School including Headmaster Simon Sharron with wife, Karin van Vrede-Leopold, Vice-President Interparents and Antonella Shorrock, acting Chair of CESPA. Project producer Wilfried Rimensberger was able to confirm that artists from across Europe have provided artwork and will provide further works with a potential benefit of over £100000 to the future Culham European Academy. Sales are via a charity auction to be held in June. A string of further world-class European artists are still approached to join the project that is to be shown in several cities across Europe. One high-light will be an exhibition in the UK EU Commission’s new 12 Star Gallery, as confirmed by Jeremy O’Sullivan, responsible for cultural diplomacy at the London EU organisation. He also proposed to host the launch of the book Europa – The Woman, to which the first essays and poems are submitted. The book will also feature artwork from the exhibition. Further exhibition locations proposed by various organisations such as artstart are Amsterdam, Zurich, and Luxembourg, Berlin and Istanbul, with details to be announced during the coming months. Organisations and individuals buying artworks and lending it further to the project for future shows across Europe will become official sponsors of the exhibitions and get additionally credited in the book.
Photos can be seen at the opening event with Catherine Bearder MEP Liberal Democrat member of the European
Parliment for the South East www.europathewoman.org