The Arts Emergency Service

In 2022, we awarded £25,000 to Arts Emergency to help young people from under-represented backgrounds access career opportunities, training and education in the creative and cultural industries.

Share

Grant type

Widening participation

Grant date

2022

Grant size

£25,000

Duration

1 year

Location

Inner London-wide

Arts Emergency was set up by comedian Josie Long and activist Neil Griffith, as they wanted to create more opportunities in arts and humanities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has since grown into an award-winning mentoring charity which supports hundreds of young people to access education, training, and employment opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

Through a large network of supporters and volunteers, Arts Emergency aims to widen access and participation so that every young person has the chance to contribute to the culture they live in. They do this through activities such as mentoring, workshops, newsletters, work experience, and networking events.

An important part of the support offered by Arts Emergency is the mentoring scheme, which allows young people aged 16 - 18 to benefit from monthly sessions with a successful professional in their chosen industry. The mentoring scheme helps young people to set goals, explore their interests, and make informed decisions about their future.

Being creative isn’t about what school you went to; it’s time we all levelled the playing field.

Arts Emergency Mentor 2024

Once a young person has completed a year of mentoring and turns 18, they become a part of the Young Community where they receive long-lasting support until their 26th birthday. Young Community members can enjoy reaching out to anybody in the Arts Emergency network as well as having access to free tickets and resources.

In the UK, statutory guidance currently says that schools should offer career advice to their students as they take the next step after mandatory education. Despite this, there’s still a lack of support for young people from under-represented backgrounds who want to join the creative industries.

In 2022, Arts Emergency pushed back against this narrative by providing 398 young people with a trained mentor and sharing 299 creative and cultural opportunities.

We loved attending the 2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martin’s where we got to see mentors and mentees meet each other for the first time.

2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins
Image caption: 2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins
2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins
Image caption: 2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins
2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins
Image caption: 2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins

At the event we met 16-year-old Alexis, who’s interested in building a career in academia and music journalism. Alexis is one of the many inspiring young people who joined Arts Emergency after feeling unsure about ‘how to get from A-Levels to a specific path in the music industry’.

To provide support and guidance, Alexis was paired up with her mentor Flora who’s a music lecturer and successful classical music journalist. Flora explained that one of the best parts of mentoring was the joy that comes from making the path into the creative industries less overwhelming and mysterious.

Alexis and Flora are at the very start of their mentoring journey together and we wish them the best for the rest of the year and beyond!

2024 Arts Emergency Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martins

We also got the chance to speak to another mentor who decided to volunteer after seeing that ‘not all young people have the same opportunities to get into the television industry’. Having been a mentor for over two years, they supported their last mentee to apply for university, where they’re now studying Media and Marketing.

Similarly, we heard from a music producer who’s helping his mentee to develop an extended play (EP) during their time together in the mentoring programme. The mentor said ‘having no connections to the industry can be quite daunting’ and mentoring is important as it ‘builds young people’s confidence’.

2024 Arts Emergency 2024 Mentoring Introduction Event at Central Saint Martin’s

Arts Emergency does a fantastic job of helping young people from under-represented backgrounds find exciting and accessible routes into the creative and cultural industries.

It was wonderful to meet so many people who are working together to make the sector more inclusive and fairer.

Want to learn more? You can find out more about Arts Emergency on their website.