Despacito Art School

Story of the Despacito Art School

Started in 2017, the Despacito Art School is a hands-on place to learn about art, craft and functional object-making. Despacito is open to young people aged 5 to 12, who live in and around Cliftonville and Margate. The art school was named by the young artists after their favourite 2017 summer hit. Despacito provides regular opportunities to showcase the work of the young artists to their families, the local community and the broader public; these include exhibitions in and around our building, projects in collaboration with our community partners, and participation in events and festivals.

What next? Despacito Art School 2021

Speaking in Trees programme

We believe that it is every child’s right to have access to art, education and nature. As part of the Despacito Art School we are developing local community partnerships and an outdoor arts education programme called Speaking in Trees.

We want to be able to offer outstanding, free alternative education to local families and children who lack opportunities to develop creatively, working with children who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, ensuring  access to free arts education and nature as part of the healing and recovery post covid. This programme is inspired by historic outdoor learning models and will take aspects of the methodologies of Forest Schools whilst inviting artists and creative practitioners to lead it with and for local children and families.

See below for more information on our first project as part of the Speaking in Trees programme.

Read more: Garden Art at Garden Gate

, 3:30–5pm

Garden Art at Garden Gate

Wednesdays throughout July.

  • Despacito Art School

Response to Covid /children and young people

Artists are part of the cultural sectors’ journey in the healing and recovery post Covid. Open School East aims to develop support systems for children and young people who may have fallen behind through programmes to support physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you’re enjoying Despacito or want to take part, please fill out our short survey below:

Past Sessions

In 2019 the Despacito Art School was featured on TV twice, in a short film that premiered on BBC Breakfast, and as part of a short documentary about Margate and the Turner Prize.

Read more: Doorstep Despacito

Every Wednesday from 8 July to 2 September 2020, 3-5pm

Doorstep Despacito

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Art Explorers

Art Explorers

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Voices of Margate

Voices of Margate

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Margate is a Playground

Margate is a Playground

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Heroes


  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Carnival school 2018

Carnival school 2018

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Creatures of Cliftonville

Creatures of Cliftonville

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Leaving this world

Leaving this world

  • Despacito Art School
Read more: Despacito 2017

, 4–6pm

Despacito 2017

  • Despacito Art School