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The Bridge Programme


WHAT’S ON OFFER IN 2014? CURIOUS ABOUT . . . ARTS AWARD? For Schools, Youth organisations or Arts and Cultural organisations Completely new to Arts Award? Book an hour long 1-1 or group briefing session. Learn the basics about Arts Award and explore the potential benefits it could have for your organisation. FREE Arts Award Support Session: book an hour long 1-1 or group support session. Begin mapping the award to your work, get help preparing for moderations and refresh your skills. FREE

CURIOUS ABOUT . . . ARTSMARK? For Schools, Youth Justice settings or Arts and Cultural organisations Completely new to Artsmark? Book a 1-1 or a group briefing session. Learn the basics about Artsmark and explore its potential benefits to your school. Or if you’re an arts organisation, explore how your programme might help a school achieve Artsmark. FREE Attend Artsmark training: North West dates include: Thursday 27 February, School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester; and Thursday 13 March, Burnley Youth Theatre, Lancashire. Go to FREE Need help with your Artsmark application? Book a support visit. Receive a visit from an Artsmark expert to help you prepare your application or identify and fill areas for development. FREE

CURIOUS ABOUT ... WORKING WITH SCHOOLS? For NPOs, Museums or Arts and Cultural organisations Bespoke surgeries now available. If you missed the chance to attend our sold-out events last season then don’t fear. We are now offering a tailor made surgery session for you and your colleagues. The surgery will give you focussed time to learn more about the latest changes in education, to consider school priorities and needs, and to make a plan of action about how to develop your own schools offer. We are using bridge funding to subsidise these surgeries and so are able to offer them for just £50 for a half day session at your venue. Contact for more information.

Our year-round Curious offers, available to everyone. Free or subsidised through Bridge funding.

CURIOUS TRAINING AND FACILITATION – Creative Facilitators: we can provide bespoke facilitation of meetings or sessions. Using creative techniques to help you and your team generate ideas, make decisions, create a project-plan, etc. – In-house Arts Award advisor training: if you need to train 6 or more people, this subsidised offer will save you lots of money (all levels except Gold). – Artswork CPD: Curious Minds are able to deliver Artwork’s national CPD programme Artsplan, including: Creative Evaluation, Creative Facilitation and Creative Consultation. Visit for more information about course content and quote ‘Curious Minds’ when booking.

CURIOUS CONNECTIONS – To connect schools with the region’s arts and culture offer, we’ve produced the online portal Culture Hubs. Join up at – To connect you with the region’s cultural education news or give you the chance to steal the headlines and promote your own work, we have the Curious Minds e-bulletin. Join up by visiting – To connect the arts and cultural sector with the latest research, findings, resources or policy, we’ve created the Curious Minds digital library:

Interested in taking a more ‘Curious’ approach to business planning, funding and partnerships? Through our ‘Curious Kitbag’ programme, Curious Minds offers a 1-2-1 consultancy service; providing support and advice to arts organisations, especially grassroots groups and brand new start-ups. Our expertise comprises fundraising advice, mentoring, audience development, training opportunities and networking with other start up arts organisations. If you’re a grassroots or community based organisation or an arts practitioner wishing to extend your capacity please visit for more information or contact / 01282 435835. Interested in becoming part of our Creative Traineeship Hubs? In addition to our Bridge role, Curious Minds are co-ordinating Creative Traineeships across the North West. These are pre-apprenticeship type opportunities designed to give young people a broader understanding of employment opportunities in the arts and cultural sector. If you are interested in becoming part of our delivery hubs please contact holly.ball@

WHO ARE CURIOUS MINDS? We are a charity and Arts Council England’s Bridge organisation for the North West. Bridge organisations support schools, youth services and local authorities to connect children and young people with the region’s best arts and cultural organisations. Our mission is to improve and enrich the lives of children and young people by increasing opportunities for their active engagement in inspirational arts, culture and creative learning.


For more info please visit the Curious Minds website at: or ring: 01282 435835 Twitter: curiousmindsnw Facebook: Ebulletin: Creative Futures Cumbria is working in partnership with Curious Minds to use their experience and expertise to connect children and young people, schools and communities with arts and culture right across Cumbria. If you want to know more about their support offer in Cumbria please call 01768 893810 or email

Working with Arts Council England to connect young people with great art and culture


CURIOUS EVENTS MARCH Mental Health Training for Arts Practitioners For experienced, practicing arts and culture facilitators working with young people experiencing mental health issues : March 3 & 4, 9.30am - 4pm, 42nd Street, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester: This very specialised training delivered by 42nd Street ( will increase knowledge and skills around mental health support when working with young people in groups. You’ll learn about the impact that mental health problems have on young people and learn how to work safely and more effectively with them. This is a practical course that will involve experiential exercises as well as discussion. We expect demand to exceed the number of places available, so please send a short CV and no more than one side of A4 explaining how you will use this training opportunity in your practice to:

Arts Award Regional Round-up For Arts Award Advisers all levels : March 31, 9.30am – 3.30pm, Tate Liverpool: Join Curious Minds for a day of celebrating your Arts Award success and exploring ways to develop your practice. Meet the experts who can help you step up to a new level, prepare for moderation, explore creative portfolios, learn more about Artsmark and connect to some of our exciting support packages. This also presents a unique opportunity to be part of the regional launch of ‘Artsbox’ ( Places are limited so early booking is essential!

APRIL Curious about . . . Arts Award for Libraries? April 10, 10.30am - 1pm, Liverpool: Curious about . . . broadening opportunities for children and young people to engage with libraries? This event will offer specialist insights and motivational advice regarding your arts and culture offer to young people. Focusing on Arts Award, the event will use real casestudies to illustrate how the national accreditation can be used by libraries so that libraries, young people and communities all benefit.


APRIL HOW to Engage Schools (In Partnership With Museum Development North West) For museum and heritage professionals : April 29, 10am - 4pm, Towneley Hall, Burnley: We are delighted to announce the V & A (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) will be facilitating an event for museums and heritage settings from across the North West. It will be a chance for us to workshop innovative strategies for engaging schools and explore creative practice in museum learning. This will be an active and engaging event, looking at how we meet teachers’ needs (and hopefully exceed them), respond to the new curriculum and complement classroom based learning.

Curious about . . . Parental Engagement in the Arts? For all arts and culture organisations working with young people : April 30, 9.45am – 12.30pm, Manchester: Last year, arts and culture organisations talked to us about the barriers they experience in reaching young people least likely to engage. Parental Engagement was among the most significant. So, we commissioned a piece of research to delve deeper, find out how other sectors tackle this, and highlight the implications for the arts and culture sector. This event will share what we’ve discovered, and get you thinking about how the findings could result in action.

MAY Curious about . . . Partnerships with Housing? For arts and culture organisations and Housing Associations who want to develop or strengthen their partnerships with each other : May 21, 9.45am - 12pm, Octagon Theatre, Bolton: Many arts and culture organisations and housing associations have benefited from working together. How can we build on this? Can we create more robust investment and partnerships that achieve even greater outcomes for children and young people? What can we learn from other national and international models? Join us for some exploratory crosssector discussion and inspiration.

HOW to Embed Arts Award (In Partnership With Museum Development North West) For museum and heritage organisations : May 22, 1pm – 4pm, Salford Art Gallery, Greater Manchester: This will be a great opportunity for museums and heritage settings to come together and find out how others in the museum and heritage sector have developed simple models for facilitating Arts Award and how they are using it as a tool to encourage new schools to engage with their settings. Featuring a mix of short presentations, activities and discussion, this event will enable you to see how others are benefiting from Arts Award and explore how best to make it work in your setting.

Introducing ‘Curious Kitbag’ For grassroots arts organisations and recent start-ups : May 29, 10.30am - 1pm, Habergham Mill, Burnley: Curious about ... accessing business advice to develop your grassroots arts organisation? To help maximise your opportunities in the North West and develop a successful business model, Curious Minds is proud to announce a ‘Curious Kitbag’ event. This event is aimed at grassroots or start up organisations and arts practitioners wanting fundraising support, audience development advice, or friendly mentoring for their new ideas.

COMING IN JUNE C-ED Talks – A SLiCE fellowship celebration June 12 Keep an eye on the Curious Minds website for more details about this event which will share the innovative ‘Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education’ (SLiCE) programme taking place in teaching schools and their alliances.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012/13 In our first year as the North West Bridge, Curious MInds has made connections with and across the education, youth, arts and heritage sectors. During 2012/13 we: –E  ngaged with over 450 North West schools through our ‘advocates’ scheme, introducing them to Artsmark and Arts Award. –A  dvised over 200 arts and cultural organisations on how to articulate their offer to schools. –S  ecured over £400,000 of investment into arts and culture for children and young people and schools through match funding from our Partnership Investment programme. –S  upported over 60 schools to apply for Artsmark. –D  eveloped new partnerships with the regions’ Youth Zones/MyPlace Centres working with them to ensure their venues become places where young people can experience high quality art and culture.

–B  rokered over 40 new partnerships between schools and the regions’ arts and cultural organisations. –C  reated a much-needed brochure that contains every Arts Council England national portfolio organisation in the Northwest and ensured that every single school in the region received a copy. –P  roduced a One Stop Shop website for cultural education in the North West – Culture Hubs, featuring over 300 of the regions’ arts and cultural organisations – –B  rought employment and freelance contracts to over 30 arts and cultural professionals and organisations during 2012/13.

3 key aims for the Bridge in 2013/14 1. Introduce and incentivise arts and culture to a wide variety of schools and children and young people’s services (particularly Arts Award and Artsmark) 2. Increase and improve partnership working between schools/youth services and arts and cultural organisations 3. S upport arts and culture orgs who wish to develop, grow or improve their offer for children and young people

Curious Minds Events and Support February - June 2014  
Curious Minds Events and Support February - June 2014  

Our regular round of events and support for arts, cultural and education settings across the North West.