Young woman and young man work together on creating an artwork using paint and paper

Arts Connect – Our Guiding Principles 

Arts Connect works with a variety of partners including education, arts, culture and local government in the West Midlands to ensure that all children and young people can benefit from engagement in high quality arts and cultural activities.

We believe that engagement with the arts and culture in all its forms, the opportunity to take part, to create and produce culture supports young people to build the social and cultural capital that enables them to thrive. It builds creative skills that are valued by employers and can provide pathways into careers in the creative industries.

We know that cultural opportunities for young people are not equal and this correlates with post code, socio-economic disadvantage, rural isolation, ethnicity, family status and disability, amongst other factors.

Our contribution to leading change in acting against this inequality is focussed in five areas:

Our Vision, Mission and Values

Read them here

Our Aims and Objectives

Read them here

What is Arts Connect?

Arts Connect is an initiative of the University of Wolverhampton and Culture Central. It was established in 2011 specifically to deliver the Bridge programme funded by Arts Council England. It has continued to deliver the core Bridge functions since then as well as working in partnership on other programmes such as a teacher development programme, Performing Pedagogies with the RSA (funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation) and the youth arts programme Emerge (funded by Spirit of 2012) with our East Midlands partners The Mighty Creatives, the bridge organisation for the East Midlands.

Why is the University of Wolverhampton involved?

Arts Connect is part of the Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton. The work of Arts Connect reflects the University’s long held commitment to transforming arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people and especially within formal education. This work began in 2003 with the University delivering the Creative Partnerships programme of creative education with schools in the Black Country, Telford and Shropshire.

What have we achieved?

Since 2015 we have supported  over 350 schools with their Artsmark programme; engaged 650 schools and early years settings in development programmes; attracted 260 participants to a national conference on early years arts and creativity; seen the number of young people with an Arts Award rise year on year to above 7200 awards last year (2017-18); created a network of 13 Local Cultural Education Partnerships; leveraged new investment into work for children and young people; invested in the ongoing development of over 200 cultural professionals and built our communications reach to be in contact with over 3,000 followers via social media and newsletter subscribers.

Meet the team

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