Arts Award at the Sunderland Empire

14 February 2020

BLOG: Arts Award at the Sunderland Empire

By Grace Cameron, Creative Learning & Community Partnerships Officer, Sunderland Empire

Sunderland Empire has been operating as an Arts Award Centre for over 5 years. Since then we have incorporated Arts Awards into many projects engaging young people and their families. The Arts Award framework is great as it provides a really valuable way for young people to keep track of their own progress and really take ownership of their learning. Arts Award is a great framework for providing alternative accreditation routes for many young people, including those with additional needs.

We look to embed Arts Award across many of our programmes and activities due to the positive reactions we have had from young people taking part. Arts Award however, has made a significant difference for Curious Connections, an award winning group for young people with additional needs which runs weekly at Sunderland Empire. The young people in the group have completed Arts Awards at different levels including Discover, Explore and Bronze across a number of projects including Music Making, Performance and Composition. Some members of the group had never achieved an accreditation previously and as such it made a huge difference to their confidence.

It surprised me how adaptable Arts Award is, and as such how creative we can encourage our participants to be, whilst still having the support of the framework.

When considering projects we continuously look to embed Arts Awards due to the framework being an invaluable way for young people to map their own progress and really take ownership of their Arts based learning. It’s wonderful to see young people taking pride in their achievements after receiving their accreditations and this has even spurred our young people to take on further Arts Award projects at higher levels. We would recommend organisations thinking of becoming a centre to go for it!