We are all living through unprecedented times that have had a huge impact on all elements of our lives. But in this time of uncertainty I am very lucky to be working in a sector that has shown enormous strength and resolve. There have been so many examples of people rising to the challenge of ensuring that ‘their’ young people continue to thrive and feel valued. I have been amazed by people’s generous and fast paced responses to help those in need.

After  so many weeks I am still in awe at how, with limited resources, people are achieving so much, from teachers designing completely new creative programmes and delivering them on platforms that they have never used before to gallery practitioners developing innovative on-line activities and finding new ways to communicate. Many arts, cultural and youth organisations that I work with are taking their first steps into the word of on-line delivery which has been a bold and sometimes scary move but it is becoming more and more apparent just how important developing creativity and ‘cultural capital’ will be for all young people.

Working with people who value the power of culture and creativity for young people has helped me to stay positive and emphasised just how valuable programmes like Arts Award are to acknowledge and celebrate the creative outputs of young people. It has been inspiring to see how young people are quickly adapting to on-line working and taking this opportunity to explore new media and reach wider audiences.

On-line delivery for many organisations that are running Arts Award programmes is proving to be a great way to combine delivery techniques and build personalised learning that is driven by young people’s interests and needs. Professionals from libraries to youth services are finding creative ways to guide and inspire their young people with a brave attitude to test new things and explore possibilities.

I sincerely hope that the future brings a continuation of this innovation and connectedness and I hope that our young people see the value of their creativity and continue to apply it no matter what our ‘new normal’ looks like.

If you would like to talk to me about Arts Award then please do.

Becky Thompson, Arts Connect, Arts Award Manager (P/T)