It's an annual event which is a chance for advisers to come together and share their practice. They get to hear about exciting projects & ways of delivering Arts Award from within the region and further a field. For newer advisers it's an opportunity to get inspired about the impact Arts Award has and consider new ways to integrate the awards in their projects.
With such a varied programme, here's a taster of what your adviser might have experienced:
- Inspiration about Arts Award from Arts Council England's Jane Beardsworth (How they're so useful when considering the 7 Quality Principles)
- Employability skills from Julie Neville at Trinity College (And some stats which just go to show how valuable Arts Award is to future employment)
- Stunning sharing from the Amber Film & Photographic Collective about their first Arts Award projects (presented by Catherine Scott)
- A breakout session about running Arts Award at Festivals (Featuring Latitude, Juice Festival & Deershed Festival)
- A breakout session on compact delivery models of Arts Award (like Discover in a day & Bronze in a week)
- A breakout session on delivering Arts Award Together - a session exploring partnership delivery examples
This year I, Emrys, went along for the first time in a couple of years. And it was great to meet more advisers doing a whole range of exciting work from schools projects to youth theatres. Hearing inspiring stories and even challenges make the day worthwhile. Because inspiring stories start from a seed, and challenges can always be overcome in some way. A day like the adviser conference is a chance to realise you're not alone, and that there are many other likeminded people out there also supporting young people.
It's always a shame not to have more young people there in person, it's a universal issue with conferences up and down the country - but I could certainly tell that young people were still front & centre of all the conversations being had.
The host venue, the National Glass Centre, is an amazing building. Tranquil yet innovative, showcasing awesome work and giving a clean outlook - the glass & white construction might seem plain, but actually it allows your mind to focus on what's important for the day rather than be concerned with the 'clutter' of interesting old architecture in itself. Still a marvel in it's own right, but not imposing. I'm so glad they are an Arts Award Supporter.
I also heard a particular story from Jane in her talk on the virtues of Arts Award (having been involved for 10 years I can attest to them!) about a young lady who did her awards and has since moved on to being a youth theatre leader for the younger ages. This type of progression within an organisation is what I love about the arts world in general - the willingness to support each other and help young people find the next step - especially when that includes helping another generation of young people too. She did her Gold Arts Award, and I can't say more than what this shows of it's support as a framework for developing real young arts leaders. I'm sure we'll be publishing a case study of her on Voice soon.
Thanks Culture Bridge North East for having me, and thanks for the support you're giving to the hundreds of advisers on your patch supporting thousands more young people to achieve.
Also a big thanks to the The Customs House Learning and Participation team who,Working on behalf of Culture Bridge North East, organised the conference. They are also the strategic leads for Arts Award in the North East Region.
If you'd like to find out more about the other organisations who presented at the conference please do take a look at their website & find out more about the amazing work happening: