It feels like Christmas...

It feels like Christmas...

Picture of Alan Lynch

BY: Alan Lynch
21 Dec 2015

Every December it’s natural that people will reflect on the year passed while looking forward to what’s coming up in the next 12 months. So that’s exactly what we’re doing! What happened with Arts Award in 2015? What’s coming up in 2016?

We Are Ten!


Arts Award reached a huge milestone this year when we celebrated our tenth birthday in October. There was cake, lollipops and, most importantly, Start Your Arts Award Day! On 1st October centres all over the country used Start Your Arts Award Day to kick off their Arts Award journeys, with young people signing up to our Ten Month Challenge and pledging to complete their Arts Award by July 2016.

Access Fund

The Access Fund Grant continued to support centres working with young people who might otherwise be unable to work on Arts Award projects. In the two application rounds grants have been awarded to centres across England, working with young people in a wide range of sectors and art forms. Projects funded this year include centres working in circus skills; setting up radio stations; running film clubs and more!

Award ceremonies

CYP Now Awards

Arts Award was lucky enough to dress up and attend some awards ceremonies this year, sponsoring categories at both the Museums and Heritage Awards and Children and Young People Now Awards!


This year Arts Award popped up at Latitiude Festival and MozFest – two very different festivals, highlighting the range of approaches young people can take to completing their awards. At both festivals young people were introduced to Arts Award by completing Discover, using the wealth of opportunities available at these events tobuild up their log books. You can read about our experiences at Latitude and MozFest right here on the blog.

Cultural Education Challenge launched

This year Arts Council England launched The Cultural Education Challenge, an initiative aimed at fostering links between sectors to ensure high-quality arts education for all young people. As discussed in a previous blog post The Cultural Education Challenge is something which Arts Award can directly contribute towards.

What next?

2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Arts Award as we work towards 250,000 young people achieving ArtsAwards by July 2016! Our counter will be regularly updated as July approaches – just like on Blue Peter.

AA CounterWe’ve got other surprises in store as Arts Award’s tenth birthday celebrations come to a close, and you can keep up to date with them by checking out, or following us on Twitter and Facebook.

2016 will also see some important cultural milestones which should make for interesting Arts Award projects – most notably the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This is a great chance for young people to complete their Shakespeare Challenge, celebrating Shakespeare’s career, life and work! Keep watching the blog where we’ll highlight these links throughout the year.

And finally...

We’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to Arts Award in 2015.

Special thanks to those of you who wrote for the blog as well. We love hearing about and sharing the great Arts Award projects taking place around the country, and we look forward to even more.

So from everyone in the Arts Award team – you’ve met some of them already – have a great Christmas and a happy new year. See you in 2016!

The Arts Award Blog will be back on 18 January

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