Making cultural venues accessible to new generations

Children & the Arts’ Start programme works with arts venues around the UK to foster new partnerships with their local schools. Start gives schools in deprived areas the motivation, means and opportunity to engage their pupils in a series of creative experiences outside of the school environment.

Not only do the schools gain from Children & the Arts’ support, but through Start’s tried and tested infrastructure, art venues gain the tools, expertise and resources to open their doors to the children who need to be inspired by the arts the most.

Start in Arts Venues

Through Start, Children & the Arts provides funding and support to a variety of UK-wide arts venues for three years, empowering them to create long lasting and sustainable partnerships with local schools through a tailored arts engagement programme.

Built around a model of best practice, which is evaluated and improved on each year, Start ensures children visit their local arts venue at least twice, to see high quality arts performances and exhibitions. It affords children the chance to go behind the scenes to meet artists, directors, actors, choreographers, technicians and dancers. Start also provides an opportunity for pupils to take part in creative workshops, developing their own art works, performances or dance pieces.

Reach and impact

We know the arts have a huge impact on children’s confidence, communication skills and personal development. During the 2011/12 academic year, Start empowered 32 arts venues around the UK to reach out to over 12,500 disadvantaged children, taking them on a journey out of their schools into the exciting world of the arts.

Since 2006, Start has awarded grants of over £1.25m to arts organisations around the UK, enabling them to build strong relationships with their local schools.