Arts Development Worker Clare Mitchell tells us all about the steps Warwickshire are taking towards developing a cultural offer for young people
There is no doubt that Warwickshire, (despite being a shire county with no city centre) has a great wealth of cultural activity taking place. Currently young people can participate in award winning youth jazz orchestras and youth theatres, receive the benefits of excellent educational partnerships with world class business such as the RSC and can grow their own grass roots delivery by working with individual artists and community arts leaders. All of which is extremely vital to sustaining a strong cultural offer for children and young people in Warwickshire and essential to meeting the demands of a rigorous cultural offer.
While our young people shine on stage and screen, behind the scenes (if you’ll excuse the pun) are the hidden efforts of a small but evolving partnership group who are striving to work closer and smarter to ensure a more connected and purposeful cultural offer for children and youth people.
Beginning as a pilot back in 2003 and housed in a voluntary sector partners (WAYC) Warwickshire youth arts network (WYAN) was funded by Arts Council West Midlands to test the possibility of a network for youth arts deliverers. Now 5 years, a rebrand, and a new website later, the partnership are even more committed the cause of supporting the arts as a means of meeting Every Child Matters.
Warwickshire Youth Arts Network (WYAN) currently has 5 key partners who act as a steering group they are The Youth and Community Service, County Music Service, County Arts Service ( also rep Museums Libraries and Heritage) , Arts in Warwickshire Education and Warwickshire Council for Voluntary Youth Service and the voluntary sector. Over the next year in response to side by side and the cultural offer key areas of work have been identified as advocacy and information sharing (though WYANconnect meetings and training events and website) ,exploring joint practice (as a means of enhancing the cultural offer to young people and extended our own delivery and connectedness) and perhaps most importantly youth involvement which will enable young people to take charge of the cultural offer and become key partners in our delivery of cultural services.
The group are very keen to reach further in supporting all sections of the directorate who are interested in the using the arts as a means of working with young people.
If you would like to know more about WYAN or become a network member
THE WYAN PARTNERSHIP INCLUDES…