The Cultural Education Challenge: A New Direction


The Cultural Education Challenge is a new initiative by company A New Direction to make the arts more accessible to youths in London. In partnership with Arts Council England, and over 100 organisations involved, the company has recently launched a three-year programme in order to bring about this change in education in the arts for London’s young people, supporting seven projects with funding, which engage the young ones in some way


Having been involved with providing feedback on some of the expressions of interests, I can say with confidence that the seven initiatives picked are certainly ones that will help making the arts more accessible in and around London.


Projects and initiatives that are being supported by A New Direction are: ‘Cultivate’- a project taking place at South Bank’s Nine Elms, building a programme of creative activities in school and learn about more opportunities available to them. ‘Creative Youth’ is also one of the seven- an initiative with Ovalhouse to specifically aim their help at young people in Lambeth and Croydon.


The funding supports direct education opportunities in some of its funded initiatives. The Barbican are one of these, with their initiative ‘East London Cultural Education Partnership,’ which supports providing more training in the arts in schools, and is a particularly special one as they intend to continue the project even after the funding comes to a close. ‘Getting Ready Dance’ lets young dancers have the opportunity to work with professional dancers; and ‘Music for Change’ is a programme specifically for under 5s, providing music lessons at early ages who might suffer from speech and language development issues, and in partnership with the UCL Institute of Education and Roehampton Universities.


A New Direction’s funding also encourages young people to be active in the issue of expanding arts in London with a couple of their funded projects. The ‘#CultureMakers’ which is a West London initiative, which will encourage young people themselves to design programmes to benefit their community. The final project being funded by A New Direction, ‘The Creative Croydon’ initiative, is a group of Young Ambassadors celebrating the creative opportunities in Croydon, developing a new cultural hub themselves.


The Cultural Education Challenge also has a Youth Board, made of ten 16-25 year olds who are involved with the arts in London, who meet throughout the year to discuss new funding opportunities for fellow youths in London.


A New Directions’ Cultural Education Challenge is really a project to be merited as it really promotes arts and makes creative opportunities available to communities in London who otherwise would not be able to have access to such opportunities! You can find out more information here.