An blue, red and green oil artwork

Free Development Opportunity for Arts and Cultural Organisations in the Midlands

Supported by Arts Council England  
  • Are you an arts and cultural organisation working in the Midlands who’s committed to supporting care experienced children and young people?
  • Do you want to develop a deep understanding of engaging care experienced children and young people?
  • Do you want to learn how to make your work more powerful and accessible to children in the care system, developing organisational skills and knowledge that’s specific to their needs?
  • Do you want to have the chance to influence national practice across the sector?
  • If so we think this opportunity is for you…

Our invitation to you

Arts Connect and The Mighty Creatives (TMC) are inviting up to 25 Cultural Organisations in the Midlands to join us in a professional development training programme, inspired by TMCs Creative Mentoring training. After completing the training there is a chance to take part in an extended action research project with Virtual Schools in the Midlands.

Important Dates

We are inviting expressions of interest in joining the programme by Thursday 28th March and will be running online briefing sessions on Monday 18th March and Thursday 21st March. Full details can be found below.

“Working with Leicestershire Virtual School has been incredibly powerful. We have developed meaningful and long-term partnerships across organisations professionals and foster carers across the County. Through this, we have been able to creatively support many care-experienced young people in a holistic manner, facilitating a safe space for them to express themselves and build meaningful relationships with peers and adults.”

Beth Vecchione, Founder and Director of Care to Dance, on their partnership with Leicestershire Virtual School talking about why partnership working with a Virtual School has been vital to their organisational development.

Who is this for?

Any organisation in the Midlands that works in the arts or culture, dance, literature, museums, music, visual arts, the combined arts and the libraries.

How much will this cost?

It is free thanks to the support of Arts Council England.

Why should I take part?

Our research tells us that the specific needs of care experienced children and young people are not well understood or often overlooked by the cultural sector. Cultural organisations can play a vital role in engaging care experienced children and young people through creative experiences and opportunities. We also know how motivating and inspiring it can be for these young people to work with skilled professionals and in exciting venues.

Our professional development training programme is designed to grow your expertise, confidence and knowledge and support your organisational ambitions around work that authentically includes and gives voice to care experienced children and young people.

Who will run the training?

The training will be run by The Mighty Creatives team bringing their expertise from delivering their Creative Mentoring initiative.

When and where will the training take place?

Training will be online across May 2024, providing half day sessions on:

•  Thursday 9th May, 1.30pm-5pm – Understanding Lived Experiences of Children in Care.
  Tuesday 14th May, 9am-12.30pm – Safeguarding Best Practice.
•  Friday 24th May, 1.30-5pm – Trauma Informed Practice and the Vulnerable Brain.
•  Thursday 30th May, 9am-12.30pm – Empowering Children and Young People’s Voices.

Further opportunities after the professional development training programme

If you have taken part in our professional development training programme, you’ll be invited to submit an expression of interest to be involved in a 12-month action-research partnership project with a Virtual School (VS) in the Midlands. This project will explore an area of enquiry bespoke to the cultural organisation and partnering VS, shaped around the question “How do we best engage care experienced children and young people with arts and culture?”

There are 10 places for arts and cultural organisations on this project.

Once you’ve completed the professional development training programme, we can connect you to your local Virtual Schools who are eager to make new partnerships. Completing the training gives them the assurance that you understand safeguarding practice, the context for their children and young people and that you are committed to achieving shared outcomes.

What do I do to get involved?

We are hosting two, 45 minute online briefing sessions. We’ll share more information about both the professional development training programme and the action research project and answer any questions you may have.

These sessions will be held on:
  Monday 18th March from 4-4.45pm on Zoom
  Thursday 21st March from 9.30-10.15am on Zoom

To book onto one of the briefings, please click above on the date you wish to attend.

If you can’t attend the briefings but are interested in hearing more or you know you want to take part, please email Rob Elkington, Director of Arts Connect, to register your interest. 

Deadlines to be aware of

Please let us know if you would like to be part of the professional development training programme by Thursday 28th March.

Find out more

For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions .