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23 September 2019

Arts Council England consulted on Shaping the Next Ten Years: Draft Strategy 2020-2030, which closes on Monday 23rd September 2019.


Our response

Our thanks to Action on Disability and Cambridge House for contributing to our response. Our response had the following key messages:

  • London Youth generally supports the aims in the Arts Council England’s draft strategy, particularly widening the creativity and culture that the Arts Council supports.
  • We strongly support increasing young people’s active participation in arts and culture in their communities. Young people deserve to be supported to be both active creators and makers of culture, as well as accessing the cultural options that London offers. We take the position that the Arts Council should seek to support culture provision in the places that young people choose to go, including community youth organisations.
  • It is our position that community youth organisations offer a huge untapped, strategic opportunity for the Arts Council to widen young people’s involvement in creativity and culture. We consider that community youth organisations play an important role in delivering cultural programmes and activities, fostering cultural capital among young people, and are an under-recognised asset in encouraging outreach to those young people least likely to engage in London’s cultural life. With the right support, there are great opportunities and enormous benefits to working with young people through community youth organisations.
  • However, we consider that the Arts Council needs to be much more explicit about how they intend to work with young people outside of formal education, such as in community youth organisations. There is enormous knowledge in the youth sector about working with young people creatively and expanding access to culture, and the Arts Council should be willing to listen.
  • Our challenge to the Arts Council is to ask what they are, or could be, doing differently to engage young people and the organisations that work with them

Read our full response below.


About the consultation

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body, which is funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to champion and develop arts and culture in England.

They consulted on their next 10 year strategy, in which they would like to address the following challenges:

  • Widespread socio-economic and geographic variances in levels of engagement with publicly funded culture.
  • Unequal distribution of opportunities for children and young people to experience culture and creativity inside and outside school.
  • A persistent and widespread lack of diversity across the creative industries and in publicly funded cultural organisations.

The strategy has three outcomes, each with four priorities, which are set out below.

Creative people: Every person can develop and express creativity throughout their lives

  • Ensuring more people, of all ages and all backgrounds, find, access and take part in a wide range of creative activities, both in their communities and online.
  • The creativity of pre-school children and their families.
  • The creativity of 4-19 year olds both within and beyond the curriculum.
  • Help for people from all backgrounds to understand and access careers in the creative sector.

Cultural communities: A collaborative approach to culture helps villages, towns and cities across the country to thrive

  • Place-based partnerships which deliver shared outcomes, i.e. to strengthen and connect communities, and support inclusive growth.
  • Cultural provision, including touring and distribution, that responds to the needs and aspirations of local communities.
  • Place-based cultural education that is co-designed with young people and others, and delivered through local partnerships of cultural organisations and education providers.
  • Cultural initiatives that achieve health and well-being benefits for people of all ages.

A creative & cultural country: England’s cultural sector is innovative, collaborative and international

  • Support for independent creatives that enables more people from all backgrounds to sustain careers in the creative sector.
  • Innovation and research and development, including the use of new technologies, to support new ways of creating and sharing cultural content.
  • Ensuring the country’s collections are dynamically managed, researched, curated and shared to the highest standards.
  • International, national and local collaboration that harnesses and develops the best talent, expertise and ideas, and can open up new markets.

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Samuel Howell, Policy Officer