My leadership experience at Mozfest with Helix Arts

Katie Off the Beat.JPGWhen Katie set about doing her Gold Arts Award in 2016 she wanted to explore her own arts practice in digital media as well as support other young people to get involved in digital arts.  So when Helix Arts invited Katie to get involved in Mozfest 2016 by co-leading their ‘Off the Beat’ workshop at the festival for her Gold Unit 2 leadership project, it was an opportunity not to miss. Continue reading


Add some sparkle to your Christmas show with Arts Award!

It’s a busy time in schools at the moment – not only are teachers battling end of term fatigue, but many schools are in the final throes of putting together their end of year performance. In primary schools this is usually a nativity or Christmas celebration, while secondary schools could have anything from carol services to full-blown musicals, recitals, dance shows and art exhibitions. It’s exhausting just thinking of the options!

But the good news (apart from all the mince pies which hopefully have appeared in your staff rooms) is that Arts Award fits fantastically well with all of these events. We wanted to share just some of the ways you can bring even more value to your winter productions, and help your young people gain their Arts Award at the same time.

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Access Fund in focus: Soundcastle

This week Jenni Parkinson from Soundcastle writes about a community project delivered last year following their successful Access Fund grant application which allowed Arts Award to be offered free for young peopleJenni tells us how the Soundcastle team integrated Explore into their delivery with positive results!

In 2014 we offered Arts Award Explore as an optional extra element to our family community project Musical Beacons.  The project is based in a community centre in a Tower Hamlets social housing estate, and families with children of all ages attend weekly sessions to compose their own music inspired by their local area and identity.

We offered Arts Award as a way to encourage participants to attend every week, and therefore be able to recognise and celebrate their progress and achievements.  Nine young people between the ages of 5 and 10 took up this opportunity, and committed to staying an extra half an hour after the sessions each week for one term.  During this extra time we facilitated extension activities, such as opportunities to interview professional musicians, and allowed time for reflection and documenting of their work in the main sessions to build the Arts Award portfolio. Continue reading