The ACE Foundation
Stapleford Granary, home of the ACE Foundation and ACE Cultural Tours © Calum Barlow.
THE ACE FOUNDATION
The ACE Foundation is an educational trust founded, as the Association for Cultural Exchange, in 1958 by Philip Barnes, a graduate of the University of Cambridge, in order to promote cultural and international understanding through education. We are based just outside Cambridge, England.
The charity has been a pioneer of adult and continuing education. For many years we concentrated more on residential summer courses than study tours, although the latter were an essential part of our activities from the very beginning. Oxford was the main centre of these summer schools for nearly 20 years.
Our first course was held at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1958 and we were honoured by an address by former Prime Minister Clement Attlee on the British constitution. For fifteen years we offered courses on British archaeology, followed by a period working on a "dig", for American and other international students. This work made a valuable contribution to archaeology in Britain at a time when it was much underfunded. The ACE Foundation continues to be a keen supporter of archaeological research, and has promoted the UK excellence in aerial archaeology to a worldwide audience. For many years ACE also provided courses for teachers and other professionals, with an emphasis on learning through international exchange.
ACE has made a major contribution to adult education by making study tours available to the general public. Courses covering the areas of natural history, music and theatre, have been added to our traditional base of art, architecture and archaeology.
The ACE Foundation continues to support educational projects at home and abroad and has recently launched an initiative which will see the development of participatory music and arts courses and, we hope, the establishment of a study centre for music and the arts. For more information please see the ACE Foundation website.
Set in sweeping rural landscape, the converted farm buildings of the long derelict Bury Farm now provides a beautiful arts and music study centre in Stapleford, South Cambridge. Boasting it’s own 120 seat recital hall complete with Steinway Grand piano, ensemble room, art studio and workshop, it is clear to see the level of sophistication and thought that has gone into this exciting development.
Stapleford Granary is now the permanent home of the ACE Foundation (The Association for Cultural Exchange), with whom the vision of Stapleford Granary began. Purchased by the ACE Foundation in 2009, the first phase of building works saw life brought to the beautiful 19th century farm buildings and has been lovingly restored to provide an inspirational place for shared educational and cultural pursuits.
In Spring 2018, Phase 2 of the building works were completed, and have provided further areas for music and art education, as well as increased capacity for the Granary Hall, new gallery spaces, a new foyer bar, outside terrace, and additional car parking facilities. As Stapleford Granary continues to grow so does the range of activities, and the calibre of artists and musicians attracted by the Granary.
The Granary’s impressive programming allows access to all levels of art, music and culture, with participation very much at the core of Stapleford Granary. Regular music courses such as the Youth String Orchestra, Folk Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, Flute Choir, Piano Club, Phoenix Chorale and Come and Sing, help provide a range of activities for professionals and novices alike. The well equipped Granary Art Studio also provides home to a range of regular art courses, masterclasses and one off workshops, from printmaking to mixed media and drawing.
Alongside educational courses, the programme of concerts, lectures and events offers a truly remarkable experience for audiences, not only due to the quality of artist and events, but also down to the intimacy of the Granary Hall. For this reason artists seem to truly enjoy performing at the Granary, and are keen to return for its small audiences and beautiful acoustic.
For further information and booking please visit our website.