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 a part of the University of Wolverhampton. 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; we are actively connected to over 694 schools & 854 teachers and have attracted 260 participants to a national conference on early years arts and creativity. Since 2015, 41,698 young people have achieved Arts Award accreditation; we have 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 are actively connected to 526 arts and cultural organisations and 88 individual artists and through them the children and young people of our region. We have also built our communications reach to be in contact with over 4,000 followers via social media and newsletter.

Meet the team

If you would like to keep in touch with the latest news from Arts Connect and hear about opportunities in the arts and education sectors in the region, sign up to our monthly enews.