Children hold up large pieces of artwork

How Arts Award works in arts and heritage

Accredit your arts education projects and attract more young people

Do you work for an arts organisation – a theatre, gallery, orchestra, dance company, museum, library or festival? Or perhaps you’re a professional artist or performer, or you may run a performing arts school. If so, have you considered offering Arts Award?

How does Arts Award work?
You can use Arts Award to accredit your existing activities with anyone aged 25 and under in any art form, or to kick-start new ones. It’s a great way of engaging children and young people with your work and can help you meet outreach goals with schools and the local community. The measurable outcomes could make your arts education projects more attractive to funders too.

Around the UK, arts organisations and artists are supporting young people through Arts Award in all sorts of creative and performing arts, including technical roles, and film and digital projects. With five levels on offer – Discover, Explore, BronzeSilver and Gold – you can use it to accredit and add value to your entire youth offer, with schools and the community. Created with accessibility in mind, it’s also ideal for projects involving learners with additional needs

You can offer Arts Award in any way that suits your organisation and your audience. For instance, you could do 'Discover in a Day' with younger children at a festival. You might offer a weekly club to take young people through Bronze Arts Award. Or you could make Gold Arts Award part of your apprenticeship scheme. The possibilities are endless.  

What's in it for young people?
At a time when arts subjects in the school curriculum are under pressure, Arts Award supports young people's artistic development and fosters a life-long appreciation of the arts. Each level also builds transferable skills vital for success in 21st century life: creativity, communication, independence, problem-solving, reflective thinking and leadership. 

Independent research shows completing Arts Award has a lasting impact on young people's creativity. Arts Award achievers are more likely to engage with arts activities into adulthood, and to pursue future education and careers in the arts.

Getting involved with Arts Award is what helped me decide on where I wanted to go with my future in terms of education and eventually career prospects.’
Meredith, Gold Award achiever, City Arts

What's in it for artists and arts organisation?
Running Arts Award increases young people's awareness of your work and raises your profile in the community. It can help you attract new audiences and funding, securing the future of your organisation and the wider arts sector.

It's also hugely rewarding and a lot of fun!

Arts Award provides a fantastic framework for young people to discover and
explore the arts, to develop leadership skills and investigate and enjoy the
cultural landscape of their local area.’
Owen McNeir, Development & Marketing Director, Bath Festivals

How do we get started?

You can get going with Arts Award as soon as you've completed online adviser training to run the award. Or if you're unable to run Arts Award with young people at present, you can become an Arts Award Supporter instead.

Take a look at our Arts Award blog to see how it works for other arts and cultural organisations.

Every aspect of the award encourages young people to link with creative professionals and to take part in or lead activities. It’s a perfect opportunity to partner with schools, youth settings or organisations to share delivery of Arts Award, building audiences and offering young people a professional arts stimulus.

Choose one of our related resources to find out more:


Take a look at our Arts Award blog to get inspiration from other schools’ approaches.

Download our Arts Award Arts and Cultural Organisations leaflet for more details.      


Download our Arts Award Museums and Heritage leaflet for more details.      


Download our Arts Award Supporter leaflet for more details.      



Arts Award Centre Map

Arts Award Shop

Book Training

Centre portal

Complete your centre registration and enrol young people