About Artburst

Artburst is an award-winning not for profit company that provides creative educational workshops to improve the lives of children and their parents and carers.

Our Aims

Artburst’s purpose is to engage children in creative education and the arts to bring positive outcomes to help improve their quality of life and develop skills to support their educational and life journeys by: 

  • Increasing confidence in their abilities 
  • Improving their communication skills
  • Cultivating an increased sense of pride in their achievements 

Our Specialism

We offer highest quality programmes, projects and workshops. We specialise in communication-focussed creative projects which support children form all backgrounds and are particularly beneficial and accessible for children and families whose primary spoken language at home is not English. Artburst is a Consortium Partner in the national Communication Trust and our work is recognised for innovation in Speech, Language and Communication Needs.  We integrate Makaton and British Sign Language (BSL) within many of our resources. In developing workshop content the team compose and develop highly creative new stories and songs to accompany the creative activities we devise.  All our workshops integrate drama, art, music and movement, using the arts to improve children’s confidence, develop their communication skills and increase pride in their achievements. Since early 2020 Artburst has adapted its work to reflect the needs of families, education practitioners and the wider community to offer accessible online content throughout and beyond the COVID  pandemic.  

How we work

We are based in Islington, though we work pan-London. The dedicated small core team work alongside a pool of talented freelance Art , Drama, Music and Movement practitioners who we train in our workshop practice to deliver highest-quality work. We work in a number of ways including on funded programmes with support from Trusts and Foundations; on commissioned projects; and through consultancy.

We are committed to Safeguarding Children. 


Funded Projects

We create partnerships with Schools, Early Years Providers, Local Authority services (e.g. Libraries), CAMHS, Registered Social Landlords and community groups to deliver a range of projects for children and families to address their identified needs. 

Commissions and Consultancy

We undertake commissioned projects from, for example Schools; Museums and other settings; we offer consultancy to develop Family Learning programmes; and recently developed an accessible Museum Guide for children and families with Speech and Language Needs and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities .

Our supporters and partners 

Our projects and work have received funding support from: 

  • The London Community Response fund and National Lottery
  • Hackney Community Grants
  • Action for Bow
  • The National Lottery Reaching Communities
  • The Ernest Cook Trust
  • London Community Foundation and the Peabody Community Fund
  • The Communication Trust Consortium Grants 

Our current and previous partners include:

  • Hackney Speech and Language Therapy Team
  • Hackney CAMHS
  • Hackney Ark (the flagship centre for disabled children in Hackney) 
  • Peabody Housing and other Registered Social Landlords
  • Hackney Libraries 
  • Tower Hamlets Ideas Stores
  • The London Transport Museum
  • The Charterhouse Museum
  • The Museum of London
  • Children’s Centre’s 

Our history

Artburst was founded in 2006 by Penny Embden and Amy Bicât, two arts practitioners who have been lifelong friends since the age of 4. After receiving qualifications in Art Psychotherapy and Therapeutic & Educational Application of the Arts, Penny and Amy decided to combine their skills and mutual passion for empowering young people through the creative and performing arts. Since founded in 2006 Artburst’s work has brought positive outcomes for over 15,000 children and families.