Recycled craft items from around the world to bring fun and colour to Rugby this summer

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VISITORS to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum this summer are in for a real treat with an exhibition looking at craft objects made from recycled materials.

The Art of Social Enterprise showcases recycled craft items produced by inspiring social enterprises from around the globe. Social enterprises are profit-making businesses with a focus on providing social benefits rather than dividends. Most of the social enterprises featured in the exhibition support groups of the most disempowered, undervalued and disadvantaged people, particularly women, their aim: to give people fair wages and secure, sustainable livelihoods.

Every social enterprise in the exhibition has a unique story to tell about the type of waste it collects and the way that it uses it, and there are lots of objects on display telling these stories. Visitors can explore the displays and see a range of items from baskets and hand bags made of woven recycled plastics and paper, to lamps made of drinks cans and recycled metals to jewellery made of rolled recycled paper.

The exhibition has at its heart a workshop space where visitors can drop by all through the summer to take part in fun recycling workshops. Most of these activities are free and create something to take home. The workshop space has comfy seating, music (provided by world music label Putumayo) and will be a relaxing and fun place to hang out in during the summer.

Social Enterprises are also very much at work in the UK and through the exhibition Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has worked with two great local examples. Shelanu (which means belonging to us) is a new social enterprise based in Birmingham. The group is a collective of migrant and refugee women who produce high quality craft objects inspired by their new home of Birmingham. A range of their new items will be on display in the gallery and for sale in the craft conservatory on the ground floor of Rugby Art Gallery and Museum. ChangeKitchen Community Interest Company (CIC) are a social enterprise caterers who cook up change for disadvantaged people in Birmingham as well as delicious food. Their vegetarian and vegan food celebrates diversity and they will be providing some wonderful fare for the exhibition opening on 7 July.

Rugby Borough Council has created a family friendly and interactive display for the exhibition about what can be recycled in Rugby. This includes a new illustrated A – Z of recycling, an illustrated display of the life cycle of rubbish and a fun sorting activity for children.

The Art of Social Enterprise exhibition runs from 7 July to 1 September 2012, and admission is free. The preview event is today (Saturday) from 10.30 -12 noon and includes a free drop-in activity for families - all are welcome.

For further information, contact Rugby Art Gallery & Museum on (01788) 533 201 or ragm@rugby.gov.uk. Alternatively, visit www.ragm.org.uk