Children being instructed by artist Shona Watt at a workshop

Explore the Work From Across the Globe

Find out more about the Artists that we work with

View the work
The project allowed the pupils to develop team-building skills and their understanding of other cultures. To have a practising artist come into schools and work with the students is a wonderful experience.
Carmen Hannaby, teacher, Coloma Convent Girls’ School, London
School children in Ethiopia being taught outside a classroom

On Tour


Working with an artist or designer who has been trained by our lead artist Shona Watt, pupils learn and gather ideas that are channelled creatively into drawings, paintings, photographs and other visual media. These are transformed into a collection of large-scale works of art. The artworks are then curated and exhibited in galleries, along the River Thames walkway, schools across the UK and around the world in partner countries.

Since its creation in 2005, Rivers of the World has been delivered in thirty five countries around the world, currently including Malawi, Kenya, Palestine, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sudan, Lebanon, Tanzania & India and across the UK in London, Reading, Hull, Southend-on-Sea, Worcestershire, Exeter, Warrington, Halton, Peterborough, Stockton-on-Tees and Coventry. Students work with artist, trained by lead artist Shona Watt, to create beautiful river inspired artwork, which is displayed in exhibitions around the world. Explore our artists, schools, countries and work from previous years.

I really had a great time working on the Rivers of the World project, it built up my confidence and understanding of how to make use of the resources around us.
Andrew Mutuma, pupil, Kafue Boys Secondary School

Introduction to the Project Themes

The programme is taught around six themes designed to provoke ideas and discussion for wider cross-curricular learning

Children in Sri Lanka making art in a workshop

Rivers of Life 

Encouraging schools to teach, think and talk about the features of rivers, learn outside the classroom, take part in fieldwork and explore habitats and wildlife found in and around rivers.


River City 

Exploring ways of unlocking the history of cities through studying the development of their major rivers. It encourages pupils to look closely at their own and other river cities and the impact they have on the people who lived and worked there in the past and present.


Working River 

Focusing on how rivers continue to play an important role in the life of countries today and how developments beside them can trigger controversy and debate.

Children in Vietnam making collage art

Resourceful River

Exploring the importance of rivers as vital resources fed by the water cycle, that need to be preserved for current and future generations.


River Culture

Exploring how rivers provide inspiration for arts and culture and contain ideas to show how schools can inspire their pupils to continue that legacy in the 21st century.


Polluted River

Looking at how our actions can damage the rivers we depend on and illustrating how schools can encourage their pupils to find ways to take action to help maintain this precious resource.

Adrian Evans talking to a workshop of teachers

On Location


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Our team member Kate Forde

Kate Forde

Head of Education & Engagement

Kate has an arts background having completed an Art Foundation at Central St Martins and a Fine Art Degree at Glasgow School of Art. She spent the following years working in Art galleries and continuing her own practice until returning to London and joining the Thames Festival team! Kate has worked on many exciting projects and festivals and has travelled to numerous countries with Rivers of the World. She strongly believes in the importance of high-quality art education for all children and young people and has played a central role in developing all our key education programmes.

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School children painting at Monteagle Primary

Key Funders



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