A young boy sits with his head bent over an ipad as he uses a digital pen to create a digital artwork

Celebrating Incredible Achievement

In March when schools and arts organisations began to close their doors Arts Award colleagues from across the country met to plan how we could help young people and arts organisations to stay creative and stay connected in such challenging circumstances. With many arts and cultural activities moving online we decided that through Discover Arts Award framework we could support arts, cultural and youth organisations to develop online programmes for their young people that could support their young people’s wellbeing through creative activity and acknowledge their work and achievements with a nationally recognised award. In the West Midlands we put a call out to organisations that wanted to continue to develop opportunities for young people and saw the value of embedding Discover Arts Award framework within their practice.

Amazingly in such challenging times 19 organisations were eager to get involved including libraries, youth services, music hubs and schools. It was evident that not all young people would have access to online resources so we made sure that we partnered with organisations that were also able to create and co-ordinate the delivery of physical resources and activities for young people.

Between April and August over 500 young people across the West Midlands have achieved Discover Arts Award certification, engaged with creativity, express themselves through the arts and stayed in touch or build new relationships with arts, cultural and youth professionals in their area. It has been incredible to see how quickly and confidently people have adapted how they work and how this has opened up an array of new possibilities for organisations and future young creatives. We can’t thank the people who have made this possible enough; they have truly demonstrated how much they care about the young people that they work with and to celebrate their commitment we are using this week to profile some of the amazing work that has taken place, with case studies from:

  • Nicola Durber – Read her story here.
  • Urban Heard – Read the story here.
  • The Salvation Army – Read the story here. 
  • The New Art Gallery Walsall – Read the story here. 
  • Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage – Read the story here.  

And fantastic work from:

Ingestre Arts and Hillside Primary School

Every year Ingestre Arts support hundreds of young people to achieve Arts Award certification through their residential arts programmes. As part of the Discover Arts Award online programme they worked with Hillside Primary School in Stoke on Trent on ‘The Virtual Ingestre Project’. The online sessions led by Heather Higgins encouraged students to explore their experiences of lockdown and guided them to create artwork using a range of new visual arts techniques. 10 young people achieved their Discover Arts Award certificates through the online programme and obviously had a great time in the process:

‘I really enjoyed it, it was brilliant.’ Danielle Year 4
‘I learned to try new things in art’ Evelyn Year 5
‘I have loved it and would love to do it again to learn more’ Lillian Year 5

Meadow Arts

Meadow Arts have a long and successful history of supporting young people on their Arts Award journeys. When lockdown began they joined the Arts Award Discover online programme and quickly adapted to online delivery to ensure they stayed connected and supportive for their young audience. Through a wide range of visual arts workshops and interactive sessions Meadow Arts helped 57 young people to achieve their Discover Arts Award certificates.

Find out more here. 

Get in touch

Please contact Becky Thompson, Arts Award Manager, if you need further information or details about Arts Award Discover Online.

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