Thank You for the Music!

After more than twenty years of dedicated service working first as an artist initially before becoming a core member of staff serving as Artistic Programmer, Sarah Pearson has said goodbye to the organisation with a series of farewells marked with an Artreach project for our participatory artists with learning disabilities at Stirling University Art Collection then by a dinner and celebration in Bridge of Allan with artists, staff, partners and trustees.

Sarah (far left) with participants, volunteers, staff and artists.

Sarah Pearson will always be at the heart of the Artlink Central story, and right from the very beginning she has always put participants in the driving seat of everything the charity does. Her family have grown up being a part of the extended Artlink Central collective, always volunteering and supporting projects and fundraisers and Sarah has led some truly memorable projects in her time with the organisation.

Her greatest passions were the work with adults with learning disabilities and she established our brilliant team of core Artreach artists who have created work in Stirling Castle, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Stirling University, the Tolbooth, Stirling Thistle Centre and Scottish Parliament no less! Along with Claire Docherty, Sharon Quigley, Kat Wilson and other associated artists, Sarah has supported live arts projects, installations and commissions and even performances in elevators. She even managed to install a yurt in the woods outside Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

The other key area of work Sarah has built up has been our work with older people especially for people affected by dementia. She worked closely with our dementia arts advisor Rosas Mitchell to establish training and ongoing support for participatory arts practice in working with people living with dementia that built over a number of years into a range of outstanding projects, including Creative Prescriptions, our dementia friendly creative opportunities social prescription in Stirling and Falkirk.

Sarah was integral in developing our work with Veterans and delivered two significant pieces of work around photography and sculpture. And a really special project was Carnival of the Animals at Blaridrummond Safari Park where our music group of adults with learning disabilities worked with animateur Paul Rissman and the Scottish Ensemble to create a truly special collaborative event.

Everyone will know that Sarah was always there for colleagues, volunteers and artists and will be sorely missed. We thank her graciously for twenty years unflinching commitment to the ethos and values of Artlink Central. Thank you for the Music Sarah! It’s Bean Great!