Davinia Khan | Fresh Arts Ltd | London, UK
Entrepreneur of Excellence
Davinia Khan started Fresh Arts in 2009 at the age of 23 with her husband Pierre. The inspiration for Fresh Arts came when she returned from tour with the Royal Shakespeare Company. During her time with the Royal Shakespeare Company she had participated in the education workshops in schools. When she returned to Brent where she had grown up, she realised that there was a real lack of affordable and high quality theatre training in the area.
Davinia and Pierre started their first class in Harlesden with just 6 children and have now organically grown to 120 classes a week in mainstream and SEN schools and nurseries providing high quality arts education to children from all backgrounds.
Fresh Arts has over 2500 students working with them each week. Fresh Arts are committed to diversity in the arts and believe that their weekend theatre schools allow the arts to be more accessible as they are priced in a fair and affordable way while providing professional level arts training. The quality of the training at Fresh Arts is proven by children gaining professional roles and the impressive results in externally accredited LAMDA and LCM examinations.
Fresh Art's work with schools is where they really have the opportunity to level the playing field in arts education. Fresh Arts brings professional artists into state and SEN schools which gives access to the arts to children from all backgrounds rather than the privileged few.
As a company Fresh Arts believes strongly in giving back to the community. In 2017 following the devastating tragedy at Grenfell Tower, Fresh Arts immediately reacted by creating the Grenfell Arts Project which works with 40 primary school children who had been affected through displacement and bereavement.
Fresh Arts worked in partnership with Colville Primary School and major arts organisations like the Old Vic Theatre and The Globe Theatre to provide a place of respite and to provide access to the arts to help young children in the community. Following the evaluation of the first phase of the project, children who have participated reported feeling happier and more confident and enjoying the opportunity to visit the theatre.
Children who participate in the arts have been proven to grow in confidence and self esteem; feel more positive about themselves; have increased well being and have enhanced engagement with school and academic performance. Fresh Arts believes that these benefits should be available for every child in every community.
To achieve this aim and reach more communities Fresh Arts is now franchising. The franchise company will officially launch on May 1st but we have already sold our Luton franchise pre-launch and will begin to impact children in Luton in Summer of this year. This makes Fresh Arts the first black led theatre school Franchise in the UK. Davinia is pleased to champion diversity not only on stage and screen but in all areas of the arts including education and entrepreneurship.