Get Gold on a budget

Well, here on Voice it's 'affordable art' month and I know that's handy after the Christmas splurge. For me it's not about the Boxing Day spend bonanza, or even the cost of presents. It's the cost of travel to see everyone and the meals out!

So what does this leave me for spending on theatre tickets etc? I went to the cinema after New Year and it was nearly £30 for two tickets and two drinks! For a mediocre film in a room with little atmosphere.

This reminds me of how good it is to go see live work, the buzz an audience and performers get, an exhibition of work that makes you think and discuss (versus sat silent in a room) or in my personal favourites, work that you can interact with; be it live art, great music that makes you dance or highly engaging theatre.

All of these opportunities are accessible, and the team are doing a great job of providing some tips on what to see or make on a low budget.

What are my tips?

  • Many galleries are free to enter, but a national art pass is a great way to get a years access for a low cost if you just use it once a month! You might not think staring at paintings is your thing, but installation work, interactive sculptures and so much more can be found in those white walls!
  • Most regional theatres tend to offer ticket deals for under 26 year olds. Quite a few local shows I've found will have tickets closer to £6 - that's still well under cinema prices. Join local mailing lists, follow venues and companies on facebook or twitter.
  • Make your own - get your hands on artwork or start dancing around your living room. Imitation is a form of flattery, so mimic ewhat you see on TV. Learn something from youtubre or use one of our guides

Now we're thinking about budgeting, what does this mean for your own gold award? Planning time and money for achieving your unit 1 part A challenge is a must. Most can do it for free, work with someone offering their time. But sometimes!es you buy in a tutor. There is always a free or low cost alternative to everything but remember quality or ease can be affected.

Your unit 2 leadership project is another must for being worked on. Think of everything you might need, set yourself a budget and always add on contingency! That's money unallocated to start with, and normally starts from 5% of your budget, but how much spare cash you find helpful is your call.

Remember, your adviser is always there to help you budget and plan your project. Always keep them in the loop - they might find you something helpful!

Another must when planning your Arts Award is checking there are any local offers from Supporter organisations. Head over to

Good luck, and frugal best wishes!


Emrys Green

Emrys Green Voice Team

Emrys is the Business & Projects manager at Upstart who runs Voice.

Alongside managing Voice and its related programmes of work Emrys manages web builds and live events through his own pursuits - with a wide encapsulation of the arts sector. Theatre, Dance, Circus, Spoken Word and a combination of contemporary and shakespearean work would all be in his wheelhouse.

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