Arts Award

Arts Award supports children and young people to develop as artists and arts leaders.

Arts Award supports children and young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. It deepens engagement with arts and culture, develops both creative and leadership skills, and importantly, the Arts Award leads to a national qualification.

Through the five different levels of Arts Award, children and young people aged up to 25 can explore any art form. The award builds confidence, helps young people engage and enjoy cultural activities and prepares them for further education and employment. At Culture Bridge North East, it's our job to support schools and cultural organisations to help more children and young people to achieve Arts Award, and to raise awareness of the award more generally.

For further information about Arts Award please visit:

Arts Award adviser training and supporter surgeries

Arts Award adviser training is available regularly across the North East.

Culture Bridge North East works closely with the North East-based Arts Award trainers and training agencies, as well as with Trinity College. Please contact the team if you have any queries about Arts Award on Tel: 0191 277 2243 or email:

Where to go to do Arts Award

Culture Bridge North East has produced a directory of organisations that can help with Arts Award. Take a look at our online directory or download a pdf of our printed directory.

Celebrating Arts Award across the North East

Over the last year, we've been celebrating the fantastic Arts Award achievements you’ve been involved in and together with The Customs House, we're developing a suite of resources to inform and support your Arts Award delivery.

Focus on Arts Award blogs

Got a question about Arts Award?

We often receive questions about Arts Award, both from those already involved in it, and those who've yet to take part. These common questions have been answered in a special film, launched during #MyArtsAward week 2018, and made by an amazing team of young people doing Arts Award - The Treasure Group over-5s from The Customs House, along with members of its youth theatre, working with animator Lesley-Anne Rose.

You can also find out more about how the film was made in a blog by Elizabeth Kane, Learning Officer at The Customs House.

WOW Arts Award stories

We want to build up a bank of North East Arts Award stories to showcase great examples and approaches as well as your experiences.

Please use our new case study template to capture your story and remember to highlight your 'wow' moments! Once you've filled it in, please email it to Elizabeth at The Customs House.

News and resources

Guest blog: Arts Award at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Jenny Phillips is Education Officer at Middlesbrough’s Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, which is part of the Making a Mark programme. Offering children the chance to gain an Arts Award as part of the programme has proven popular with teachers over the last few years. Read more...

Guest blog: Arts Award and Music Education Hubs, by Jacky Craig

As Lead Officer for Music Partnership North, the music education hub in Northumberland and Newcastle, Jacky supports and delivers many aspects of music education, both in and out of schools, from whole class music lessons, instrumental tuition, ensembles, workshops, projects, and continuous professional development. In this blog, she explains how Arts Award helps to broaden musical opportunities and enrich the lives of children and young people. Read more...

Guest blog: Gold Arts Award at Durham Sixth Form Centre, by Victoria Scholfield

Durham Sixth Form Centre offers Gold Arts Award to all Year 13 students, as an alternative qualification that sits alongside its curriculum plan. Victoria Scholfield, Lead Teacher of Dance and Gold Arts Award Adviser at Durham Sixth Form Centre, explains more...

Guest blog: Bronze and Silver Arts Award, by Paul Martin

Paul Martin, CoMusica Arches Project Leader, and Arts Award Leader for The Sage Gateshead, is a member of a peer mentoring cohort of Bronze and Silver Arts Award Advisers, who met for the first time last month. In this blog, Paul shares his experience of delivering Arts Award with a focus on Bronze and Silver. Read more...

Blog: Arts Award and Family Learning at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, by Clare Smith, Learning Programmes Manager

"“Help people determine their place in the world and define identities, so enhancing their self-respect and their respect for others.”  

"Reflecting our mission statement is at the heart of our Arts Award programmes. This is the intent to encourage young people not only to engage with arts and culture, but to also discover and explore their own individuality." Read more...

Blog: Building positive learning relationships at Hebburn Comprehensive School, by Siobhan Woodcock, Support & Inclusion Manager

"I’m responsible for a small cohort of pupils placed on an alternative curriculum, that requires them to spend part of the week gaining unpaid work experience, and the rest of their time in a specialised unit working towards GCSE qualifications.

"I first experienced Arts Award through The Customs House when my daughter completed a Discover Arts Award in just three days!" Read more...

Blog: Arts Award and Artsmark - One big journey at the Duchess' Community High School, by Ruth Brown - Head of Art & Creative Arts

"I was recently asked to explore how Arts Award has impacted upon the young people at DCHS and the value we afford it in the day to day running of our Arts Curriculum. It would be fair to say that for us, both Artsmark and Arts Award take us on one big journey...To explain, it’s best to share when we’ve come from." Read more...

Hundreds of children achieve their Discover Arts Award

The Customs House, on behalf of Culture Bridge North East, has supported North East arts and cultural organisations to successfully deliver a Discover Arts Award in a day.

551 children achieved their Discover Arts Award working with the following organisations: Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens; Amber Film and Photography Collective; balletLORENT; Northern Stage; Berwick Film and Media Festival; North Tyneside Music Education Hub; Beamish; Helix Arts and Gem Arts. Read more...

Film: Arts Award Peer Mentoring Programme

If you're interested in Arts Award or if you're an Arts Award adviser - take a look at our peer mentoring film.

Blog: Developing plans for Arts Award, by Eileen Atkins

"Because of the flexible nature of Arts Award it can be delivered in lots of different ways. I've been involved directly as an adviser and through bridge work for a few years now. In my experience, the longer you leave it between doing your adviser training and doing your first Arts Award delivery, the more daunting it can become." Read more...

Arts Award Impact Study

The study found that Arts Award is a driver of young people’s educational and professional success. All young people participating benefitted in some way from doing Arts Award and half experienced specific positive impacts on their education or job chances.

Benefits experienced by all participants included improved communication, people and organisational skills, new contacts or connections and increased confidence. 95% of advisers reported seeing a ‘great impact’ on young people’s personal confidence, which young people and advisers indicated as supporting a range of ‘hard’ outcomes. Read more

Read Arts Award Impact Study 2016

#MyArtsAward: Arts Award Celebration Week 2018

Between 5 and 11 February 2018, the whole region and beyond got behind #MyArtsAward - a week-long celebration of all things Arts Award, initiated in the North East.

Each day, a theme was chosen to highlight a different aspect of Arts Award and the incredible impact it has on young people and wider society, due to the fantastic work being done by children, young people, and organisations across the North East. We are very grateful to all our guest bloggers who so eloquently demonstrated what Arts Award means to them.

Our focus for day one was Every Child, as Arts Award can and should be be for every child and young person. Rachael Rickwood, Assistant Producer (Children and Young People) at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, explained how she works to deliver Arts Award to include every young person.

On Tuesday, our topic of choice was The Whole Child, and Hazel Stewart, Learning Manager at Education Northumberland EOTAS (Other Than At School) service, showed us how she, as an Arts Award Good Practice Mentor, sees the holistic benefits of Arts Award.

On the Wednesday of #MyArtsAward week, we also held our Big Ideas event, which explored leadership in children and young people, so Youth Leadership and The Child as Leader became our topics of choice for the day. Diana Karikis, 19, is a member of Team Juice and helped organise the event. She told us how her participation in events like this, through Arts Award, has helped her to become a confident and creative leader.

We also shared a very special film made by an amazing team of young leaders doing Arts Award - The Treasure Group over-5s from The Customs House, along with members of its youth theatre, working with animator Lesley-Anne Rose. The stop-motion animation, featuring a cast of characters created by the children themselves, aims to answer some frequently asked questions about Arts Award, and has a useful accompanying resource pack.

On Thursday, we celebrated Partnership, which is such a crucial element of Arts Award. As part of this, Val Tobiass, Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator at Berwick Visual Arts wrote about the role of Arts Award Supporters in creating the Berwick Arts Award Discover Trail.

As the week progressed, we continued to Celebrate Young Artists, with a blog from 20-year-old student Jonathon Graham on how Arts Award has helped fuel his career ambitions, both inside and outside the arts.

And last but certainly not least, we premiered another new film, Arts Award in Every School, with the help of some of our school-based Arts Award Advisers, who are committed to ensuring The Child's Voice is heard.