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Arts Council invest in disadvantaged communities

Category: Employer Focus, Award, qualification, museums, activities, galleries

Arts Council invest in disadvantaged communities

Six hundred schoolchildren will be given unique access to cultural institutions in the first pilots of the Cultural Citizens’ Programme.

The Arts Council-led programme will launch in September in Liverpool and Blackpool, Birmingham, and Barking and Dagenham. The programme targets disadvantaged communities where fewer people currently visit museums, galleries or the theatre.

The programme is one of the key proposals from the Culture White Paper. Young people on the programme will be offered a range of cultural activities, such as free visits to local plays, behind the scenes access to museums and galleries, and exclusive trips to world class venues, so they develop a lifelong love of the arts. They will also be encouraged to work towards an Arts Award qualification.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:

“Arts and culture are an integral part of British society – it boosts tourism, improves our wellbeing and provides a source of local pride and identity.  We want to ensure that it is available to everyone, no matter what their background.

The Cultural Citizens Programme will open doors for hundreds of young people across the country, so they can enjoy our fantastic arts and culture scene, and gain the skills to build careers in this thriving sector.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

“Our investment in the Cultural Citizens Programme will help to ensure that more children and young people will have the opportunity to engage with art and culture, regardless of their background. We hope the scheme will complement our existing programmes for children and young people, and help to nurture the cultural citizens of the future.”

The programme will be led by Arts Council England and delivered by Curious Minds, Kids in Museums, and A New Direction with support from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. If successful, the programme will be rolled out across the country.

The details of the pilots are as follows.

Liverpool and Blackpool:

  • Working with Curious Minds, the programme will give 200 local 11-14 year olds the opportunity to engage with cultural organisations, public art, heritage sites and arts festivals.
  • Young people will work with specially trained Culture Coaches to plan extra-curricular visits to festivals, theatres, galleries and museums such as FACT, Liverpool Everyman, Tate Liverpool and Museum of Liverpool.
  • They will review and share their experiences to achieve a Bronze Arts Award.


  • A New Direction will partner with Creative Barking and Dagenham and Studio3Arts to ensure high quality arts opportunities for pupils across five secondary schools.
  • Cultural Citizens Clubs will be set up in the schools and will help students to design a programme of cultural visits.
  • The pilot will link with ‘Creative Schools’ a network of 30 arts organisations who will provide visits and opportunities for the young people involved.
  • All the work will be accredited through the Arts Award so that young people will finish the programme with a qualification that will help them progress to higher education or work


  • Kids in Museums Cultural Citizens pilot will look to partner with 20 arts organisations in Birmingham – from opera to street theatre, orchestras to high art.
  • 200 young people – Cultural Champions – will work with 20 organisations, taking on roles of responsibility within these organisations, such as tour guides in galleries, front of house in theatres, running social media, designing an events programme and running workshops.
  • Birmingham’s 200 Cultural Champions will be given free tickets to three different performances in the city, beginning this October with the Birmingham Rep theatre.

Are you interested in a career with Arts Council England? Please click here.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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