Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education

…  43 .. …  26 … Big …. ..: Reimaginings

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On 26 October 2022, Arts Council England will announce the results of their long-awaited investment decisions into which arts and cultural organisations have been successful in their applications to become National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) or Investment Principles Support Organisations (IPSOs) between 2023 and 2026. The Mighty Creatives are in the same position as everyone else in the sector and are ready for the email on 26 October which will tell us about what our relationship with Arts Council England will be over the next 3 years.  

So, in the meantime, in the spirit of hoping for the best but planning for the worst, here’s another reflection which highlights some of the amazing work the charity has done for children and young people in the East Midlands over the last ten years.

Today’s reflection: building talent pipelines in the age of creative austerity

Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it’s creative, valuable and accessible. Whatever art form they’re interested in, whatever their ability, Arts Award can be a perfect fit with their interests and skills.

They can do an Arts Award in any area of the arts from fashion to poetry, rapping to dancing, sculpture to film. They can be artists or performers, or want to develop their skills in essential roles like marketing or stage management.

Designed by our very own Chair of Trustees, Felicity Woolf way back when,  the East Midlands is  at the national Arts Award forefront and it’s a programme that we at TMC are honoured to promote. 

Arts Award  truly is a creative, flexible and valuable qualification for everyone: it can be achieved at five levels – Discover, Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold levels – and offers children and young people every aspect of engagement possible: everything from taking part in different arts activities, to being inspired by artists and arts organisations through to organising your own projects.

We achieved 16,709 passes across the five levels between 2015 and 2018:  and together we enabled over 35,000 young people to create their portfolios which go towards gaining their Arts Award qualifications.

This means you have contributed to young people growing their leadership skills, artistic talents, confidence and creative skills.

The numbers associated with the project are impressive. Across the region, we have over 300 Arts Award centres actively hosting activiities; and 119 Arts, Cultural and youth support organisations

So, we’re here today to celebrate this phenomenal achievement. Everyone in the room has contributed to young people in the region accessing great arts and culture through the Arts Award framework.  You’ll hear some great key note presentations, and will be inspired by the amazing work produced by the children and young people of the region. 

You’ll also have lots of networking opportunity to meet many practitioners including our Local Cultural Education Partnerships.

As we look forward to the future with Arts Award  – and plan for its further evolution – we want to ensure all of you continue on the journey with us. Please make sure you sign up and stay connected with us at TMC, Trinity College London and Arts Council England for latest developments, continued support offers and opportunities.

(Extract from Introduction Speech at the Arts Award conference, ‘Arts Evolution’ at Stamford Court, Leicester on 13 March 2018.)

The Mighty Creatives staff team took part in the Mighty (UN)Mute, a day-long vow of silence, on 5th October 2022. You can check out the campaign here or donate your support to it here.

Or if neither of these is possible (and heaven knows we’re all in tough financial times right now), then anything you can do to share and shout about the campaign would be equally welcomed and appreciated.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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