‘Our Time, Our Place’

Young people from Bradford send off for the district's official UK City of Culture 2025 bid
19 Apr 2022

In the second in our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Shanaz Gulzar shares how Bradford's young people shaped a bid that awakened a sleeping giant of a city.

Alexandra Palace launches first young actors company

01 Jul 2022

Alexandra Palace’s Young Actors Company is preparing for its inaugural performance in the palace’s theatre next Wednesday (6 July).

The company, the first of its kind in Alexandra Palace’s 150-year history, is made up of 26 actors aged between 18 and 24, all based in Haringey, the neighbouring boroughs and wider London.

The programme offers young actors an opportunity to develop their skills, experience and careers in a professional setting, by taking part in training and delivering performances alongside the palace’s creative and technical teams, as well as masterclasses from industry guests.

Director of the first show Fragments, Jolley Gosnold, said it feels “incredible” to be part of the palace’s first in-house actors company.

“I’d encourage anyone with a love of performance and theatre to join us on the 6 July. It’s an amazing opportunity to see this genuinely talented and creative new Company take to the stage in the magnificent setting of the Alexandra Palace Theatre.”

The Young Actors Company programme will last a year, before inviting applicants to audition and form the next company. 

Make music compulsory in schools, says refreshed plan

30 Jun 2022

The updated national plan for music education offers a renewed focus on schools but falls short of addressing all concerns raised over the last decade.

Plymouth College of Art gains university status

28 Jun 2022

Following approval from the Privy Council, Plymouth College of Art has been granted full university status and formally recognised with the new title of Arts University of Plymouth. 

Plymouth’s specialist arts university was founded in 1856 as Plymouth Drawing School and operates two city centre campuses for over 1,750 students. As a university, it will offer a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and pre-degree courses spanning art, design and digital media.

“Achieving full university status is just our latest evolution in over 160 years of leading specialist arts education in the South West and internationally,” said Professor Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Arts University Plymouth. 

“Our vision for Arts University Plymouth is a new kind of art school for the 21st century, preparing graduates who are uniquely placed to provide creative solutions to the complex problems faced by modern society, spanning everything from the acceleration of new technologies to the global challenges facing healthcare, sustainability and the climate emergency.”

Higher and Further Education Minister Michelle Donelan said that the granting of full university status “is fully deserved and an historical moment for the city of Plymouth”.
“With this new status, I am confident that Arts University Plymouth will continue to help make dreams come true and equip graduates for a career in the creative industries whilst providing a blueprint for success to other creative providers,” she added.

New BFI study finds lack of career advice hindering sector

27 Jun 2022

A survey conducted by the British Film Institute and ERIC, a careers platform for young people, has found that a “significant” gap in careers guidance for young people aged 13 to 16 presents a major block for new entrants to join the sector.

Their report, based on interviews with over 500 young people and 250 careers advisors in schools across the UK, found that 93% of surveyed careers teams received requests for careers advice in the screen industries but felt “majorly ill-equipped” to provide accurate guidance.

The study found that 83% of young people weren’t aware of screen industries guidance being available at their schools and that 70% of careers teams thought it was very hard to get jobs in film and TV. 

Despite this, it found “hugely encouraging” levels of interest in the sector from surveyed young people.

Two thirds wanted to hear about careers in the screen industries while 93% of career teams reported receiving requests for guidance about careers in the sector.

Rapid growth in the industry is contributing to a shortage of crew, meaning stronger routes into the sector are needed to help meet demand, the BFI said.

“It is obvious that current approaches are not engaging or informing young people effectively and I look forward to finding new ways to help strengthen the provision of screen industries career guidance in schools through stronger links with careers professionals, schools and industry,” said Leigh Adams, Director of Education and Learning at the BFI.

Primary recommendations included in the report are to start as early as possible, be visible, provide up-to-date information and tools, use social media and build relationships with key touchpoints.

Government to invest over £100m in music education

27 Jun 2022

DCMS, the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care have jointly announced new music and sport initiatives to support children’s development. 

More than £100m will be used to increase opportunities across the country for children to study music and learn instruments.

Capital funding worth £25m will be given to schools to purchase an estimated 200,000 new musical instruments, including adapted instruments for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Schools will also be asked to offer at least one hour of music teaching a week in the curriculum for key stages 1-3 as part of the launch of a new National Plan for Music Education, with £79 million made available every year until 2025 for the Music Hubs programme.

The plan also includes providing teachers and young people with guidance on how to progress a career in music.

“Music can transform lives – so it is vital that music education does not become the preserve of a privileged few and is available to everyone, regardless of their background,” said Chief Executive of UK Music Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

“Continued investment in music education is vital if we want to unlock the huge creative potential of young people and level up opportunities across the country.”

Additional initiatives in the National Plan for Music Education include steps to further develop instrument and music teaching, a pilot to improve music progression in disadvantaged areas and the roll-out of an inclusion strategy in every music hub area.

We’re all astronauts, but some of us need more space

Children supporting a model globe
22 Jun 2022

Cultural experiences - as offered by Our Place in Space - are vital for youngsters with special educational needs. Dan Byrne, an SEN teacher, suggests more can be done to make them accessible and fulfilling. 

Equity survey shows inflation is a 'workforce crisis'

21 Jun 2022

The members' survey analysis also reveals Black people and the young are disproportionately leaving the sector after the pandemic.

Manchester School of Digital Arts opens to the public

15 Jun 2022

Manchester Metropolitan University’s new School of Digital Arts (SODA) opened for its first public viewing on Monday (13 June).

The £35m project, an investment from the university, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, has been developed to “address the urgent and growing demand for skilled workers in the region’s creative and digital industries”.

The school will welcome its first students in September, offering courses in animation, user experience (UX) design, photography, sound design, gaming, and artificial intelligence. Monday’s opening was the first opportunity for business leaders, policymakers and creative practitioners to view the new premises.

Great Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says SODA will be integral in helpling Manchester be a digital city-region.

“We must future proof our digital talent pipeline, connecting education and industry and I’m pleased to see this happening at SODA.”

National Theatre expands £3.3m youth programme

15 Jun 2022

The National Theatre is expanding its Speak Up programme to work with some 140,000 young people from 55 secondary schools across the next three years.

The programme sees school pupils working with local artists and teachers to co-create artistic responses to issues that are important to them, with the aim of developing young people’s self-expression, wellbeing and personal skills.

The expansion follows a successful pilot phase that began last Autumn and is made possible after a £3.3m grant from the Mohn Westlake Foundation to deliver the project in areas of low arts engagement.

The National Theatre’s Artistic Director Rufus Norris says Speak Up is a crucial part of the theatres work in levelling up, “giving agency to young people nationwide whose voices often go unheard”.

“This innovative model will empower young people to share their views on current issues and put them at the heart of the creative process,” he added.

Rural art projects in Northern Ireland get £1.5m boost

Young people taking part in workshops run by arts organisation Glasgowbury
13 Jun 2022

New art fund launches to address needs of local rural communities as they emerge from the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Scottish theatre company launches programme for disabled people

09 Jun 2022

A Scottish theatre company has launched a new initiative to help disabled people get involved with performing arts.

Cutting Edge Theatre, based in Edinburgh, has received funding from the ScottishPower Foundation for its Inspire Disability Arts programme.

The theatre company said the programme will establish a clear pathway into theatre for those of primary school age all the way to professional training and employment.

Suzanne Lofthus, artistic director at Cutting Edge Theatre, said: “It’s about offering equal access to the performing arts. I was able to do drama at school and then join a youth theatre.

“People with disabilities should have the same access I had, whether they want to pursue a career in theatre or just take a class for fun.

“When I started to look to see where in Scotland learning-disabled people could train in performing arts in a supported environment with their peers, the answer is almost nowhere.

“This award from the ScottishPower Foundation means we can start to change that.”

Study recommends hour of arts each day for children

08 Jun 2022

Children could benefit from an average of 65 minutes dedicated to the arts each day, according to new research.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the arts was built using insights from 504 primary school teachers surveyed across the UK and guidance from child psychologist Laverne Antrobus.

It is published by Sky Arts to coincide with the launch of Access All Arts week, a nationwide arts initiative for primary schools taking place until June 10.

The RDA breaks down to 17 minutes dedicated to literature, 14 minutes to art, 12 minutes to music, 11 minutes to drama and 11 minutes to dancing.

Antrobus says the RSA for arts is a "brilliant way to put a simple framework around the importance it holds for children and their development".

"Having the opportunity to paint, to dance, to write poetry has huge wellbeing benefits for a young child, helping them to develop self-confidence and a positive self image.

"Access to the arts helps to build creative skills which are likely to be in demand later in life – for example, problem-solving and imagination."

Welsh language youth theatre to relaunch

08 Jun 2022

The Welsh Government is investing £1m over the next five years to support the relaunch of the Urdd’s national youth theatre.

Urdd is Wales’ largest national youth organisation and its theatre, Cwmni Theatr Ieuenctid Cymru, was set up in the 1970s to provide 14 to 19-year olds creative opportunities in Welsh.

The theatre ceased to operate in 2019 but will return to coincide with Urdd’s centenary celebrations this year.

The Urdd Eisteddfod, a national music competition and festival, also returns this year after a three-year hiatus, with free entry after the Welsh Government provided ringfenced funding.

Director of the Urdd Eisteddfod and the Arts Siân Eirian said the youth theatre has offered unique opportunities to thousands of Wales’ youngsters interested in theatre.

“We see the need today more than ever, due to the impact of Covid, to provide equal opportunities and invaluable training for our young adults who want to pursue a career in the arts, and the re-establishment of our youth theatre will offer that at a national level.”

Bradford wins UK City of Culture 2025

Bradford celebrates winning UK City of Culture 2025
01 Jun 2022

The West Yorkshire city becomes the competition's fourth winner, after a successful bid that championed diversity and young people

Drama education should not just be for the elite

26 May 2022

Drama and theatre education are curriculum entitlements for all children and young people, not just the privileged few, says Geoff Readman.

Government to end funding for Creative Careers

Discover! Creative Careers Week 2019 image © Tyneside Cinema Newcastle[62]
18 May 2022

DCMS is to provide £947,000 for Creative Careers Programme to continue until March 2025, but does not intend to fund it beyond then.

Generation post-pandemic 

17 May 2022

The first post-pandemic generation is about to enter the creative industries. Anoushka Dossa has been examining their expectations and aspirations.

Wales’ national music plan gets green light

group of schoolchildren play musical instruments
17 May 2022

Wales’ first National Plan for Music Education sees funding for music provision trebled, to ensure all children get the opportunity to learn.

Aston Hall hosts campus for neurodivergent students

17 May 2022

A campus offering creative education for neurodivergent students is opening at Birmingham’s Aston Hall.

The new facility will see students of Pinc College undertake classes in art, digital art and complementary studies at the Grade I listed 17th century mansion, which is operated by Birmingham Museums Trust.

As part of the new partnership, Birmingham Museums will offer the students access to arts opportunities across the trust’s nine museum and heritage sites.

The Aston Hall campus marks Pinc College’s first in the West Midlands and will open officially in September. Prospective students are being invited to attend open days at the facility on 19 and 20 May.

Birmingham Museums’ Historic Properties Museum Manager Kimberley Biddle said the trust is looking forward to students exploring the richness of the building as part of their creative learning.

“I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand the work of team Pinc and the way that focussed art engagement can unleash unbounded creativity in their students.”


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