Support for Museums delivering Arts Award

Support for Museums delivering Arts Award

Picture of Amy Lee

BY: Amy Lee
07 Apr 2022

Interested in delivering Arts Award at your museum? The below guidance will help you get started, with case studies, tools, and support:

Use Arts Award to:

  • Strengthen a one-off or holiday project

Young people can focus on any art form represented in your museum, including ‘behind the scenes’ and technical activities like conservation, as long as it has an artistic aspect. Creative documentation can be part of the programme, such as video diaries, video documentaries and audio interviews, allowing them to create their own portfolio reflecting their own artistic approach.

  • Kick start a new partnership with a school, youth club, arts organisation - or another museum

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 others to share delivery of Arts Award, building audiences and offering young people a professional arts stimulus.

  • Add value to your regular activity with young people

By running Arts Award you will attract young people to take part in and enjoy your museum. Arts Award's flexible framework fits around existing learning programmes, enabling you to use activities and workshops created for school visits or families, accredit the work of interns or volunteers, or run open access Arts Award workshops.

Arts Award provides a framework for projects and offers young people a qualification, which can attract participants and may draw in additional funding. Applications to organisations like the HLF are strengthened if young people are gaining a qualification, helping you cover the costs of training and the per head fee to enter young people for Arts Award.

Although Arts Award is a qualification, it is not admin heavy; once you've assessed all the portfolios you need to complete an 'enrolment and marks spreadsheet' for the cohort and then you need to enter young people for Arts Award via the centre portal. Arts Award evidence can be captured within delivery using photos, posters, post-it notes, recordings and young people can gather feedback via social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr. They can then collate this evidence in a portfolio or arts log. This can take any format, from a physical folder to an online platform, like Wordpress.

Get started

The first step in delivering Arts Award is becoming a centre and then attending an adviser training course. Public training courses run online, with group options available.  Find out more about training or book a place.

If you would like to discuss Arts Award before you attend training you can request a pre-training support session, or email the team.

Tools to help you get going

  • Read museum case studies here on the Arts Award blog
  • Read about Orleans House in Richmond's Partnership for Excellence project, working with eight museums offering Arts Award for the first time, and the benefits it brought to museums as well as young people. Working at Explore, Bronze and Silver, with different age groups and across a range of museum and heritage settings, there's inspiration for everyone in this short film
  • Take a look at our new Museums and Heritage leaflet

Plan your delivery 

  • Find out how your museum’s existing learning and outreach provision can be adapted to fit the Arts Award framework with these activity mapping resources for DiscoverExploreBronzeSilver  and  Gold levels
  • Want to develop your own arts log?  Have your adviser Toolkit to hand and use this guide to help you cover everything!

Case Studies

Arts Award Discover has been popular with museums ever since it launched as it's perfect for primary aged children, a key museum audience.  We've worked with Culture Street to make a film showing three different approaches to Discover:

MK Gallery's family Discover, delivered over three months with monthly meet ups between the families and the adviser. The film focuses on a `Saturday Studio' session where family groups take part in a range of arts activities with Nicole Morris, one of the galleries' Associate Artists.

Maidstone Museum's a World War Two based `Discover in a Day' with a local school, finding out about war artists and how they made their work and trying out some of the tools and techniques they used.

The National Coal Mining Museum's partnership project with Wakefield Music hub, a two day intensive project that takes inspiration from the art and culture of mining communities and uses it to create a range of music. The students' work is shared through a performance at the end of day two.


What Museums are saying:

'This was the first time the Learning Team at the Discovery Museum had taken young people through an Arts Award and it has built up confidence in doing Arts Award in the future. It demonstrated a way of really bringing the archives and museum collection to life and interpreting them in a contemporary youth-led way.' 

Eileen Atkins, Learning Officer, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

 'Arts Award offers great opportunities to museums, as through it young people get the chance to explore and enjoy the richness of museum collections. As museums we are uniquely placed to use this award to the full.'

 Melissa Hawker, Learning Officer, Ancient House

'I think Arts Award is something that everyone can enjoy, where they can learn new skills, find and discover new paths and meet new friends. And the whole Arts Award experience is one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever done.

Laura, Luton Cultural Service Trust


Get support

Arts Award's flexible framework means it can be delivered in a way that works for your museum or heritage organisation.  If you are already trained as an adviser we have a range of resources and support to help you:

  • The Discover in a Day project model shows how a school visit to a museum can be tailored to complete Arts Award Discover

Support for advisers

Once trained, Arts Award advisers can access a range of free support via the adviser hub.

  • Resources - all our support resources are held together in one place and easily browsed or searchable using key words
  • Support - find out about our free support sessions and webinars

Contact us

For guidance on planning and delivering Arts Award in your museum, contact our helpdesk on or book in a support call.

Request a free support session
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