Arts Council England recently launched the Cultural Education Challenge with the help of organisations called ‘Bridges’ across England – in the North West that organisation is called Curious Minds.

But what is the cultural education challenge?

In a nutshell it is:

“We believe that all children and young people should be able to experience great art and culture. Cultural education fosters creativity and innovation, unlocking vital skills that drive the creative industries.”

We’ve attached below the useful info graphic from Arts Council England which explains what it is and how it happens. But we’ll walk you through our recent Young Digitals Festival and explain how that challenge was met through Peshkar’s work.

Every Child Should Have The Chance To:

Create: During the YDF festival our Young Steering Group developed and managed a film and digital festival held at Gallery Oldham on the 26 March. Students at Oldham schools had the chance to produce and make their own short films and create their own pieces of digital art.

Compose: During the YDF Festival young people and children had the chance to compose digital sound art with the fantastic Sonic Bloom – professional artists the steering group had chosen to be a part of the festival

Perform: students during YDF workshops in schools were able to perform in front of the camera whilst making short films. As well as young people and children at the festival being able to perform in front of the camera during Stroboscopic photography workshops.

Visit: Students from schools and young people across Oldham are able to visit Gallery Oldham and Oldham Libraries during the day of the festival. As well as the steering group being able to visit Manchester International Festival offices during the Into Film GMOFF festival.

Experience: All young people and children we engaged with were able to experience lots of different art forms and activities. From sonic art, to film making, to performance, to film screenings to photography and much more during the Young Digitals Festival and the workshops and planning leading up to the festival.

Participate: The Young Digital Festival allowed young people from the age of 3 till young adults aged 24 to participate in lots of different workshops at the festival and in school sessions, steering groups and screenings.

Know, Understand and Review: our steering group researched, gained understanding and evaluated and reviewed the Young Digitals Festival. As well as our school groups reviewing films in the workshops we ran for them.

“From early years to school and extra curricular activities” – our work on the young digitals festival included all of these ages and took place in school and as extra curricular activities. Not to mention strong family audience activities during the day of the festival.

“Working with professional artists and tutors.” – All of our workshops were run by professional artists who had been chosen by young people in our steering group.

“Earning qualifications” – participants at school workshops are working their way towards Bronze Arts Award qualifications, members of our steering group are working towards Gold and Silver Arts Award and participants (over 20) on the day of the festival all worked hard on gaining Discover Arts Award.

“…and entering the creative industries.” – All members of our steering group have now had the experience of building, managing and evaluating a Digital / Film Festival and this will help them towards their hopes to have careers in the creative industries.

The Cultural Education Challenge is also about partnerships and the cultural stock helping each other achieve goals and successes. During the planning and development of the Young Digitals Festival we have worked closely with Into Film, Oldham Council, Gallery Oldham and Oldham Libraries, amongst others. That partnership working ensuring that during the workshops and festival day Peshkar has had quality engagments and participation with over 50 young people and their parents and teachers.

The Cultural Education Challenge is a great thing for the future of our young people and arts and culture. Most organisations naturally deliver the cultural education challenge in our day to day work and with the help of Arts Council, Bridge organisations and maybe even you and your work, we can all meet that challenge.

Here’s that info-graphic from Arts Council England which relates to the headings above: Cultural Education Challenge

Originally formed in 1991 as a community theatre project for Oldham’s Asian community, Peshkar has evolved into the UK’s leading participatory arts organisation targeting young people who are deemed hard to reach or socially disadvantaged.

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