It begins as a one year mentoring project for 16-18 year olds and it’s the absolute chance of a lifetime. We can set up paid work experience, studio time, set visits, auditions, coaching, gallery space, free tickets, backstage passes, paid internships, academic help and so much more. They only need ask, and we can deliver it.
It’s our very practical way of giving marginalised young people everything we wished for at their age. It’s a first class ticket into the world of culture, learning, and creativity, that is underpinned by long-term practical support right up to the age of 24.
What’s revolutionary here is the fact our Young Members are supported along the way by what’s now a network of over 7,000 arts professionals, including 100s of the biggest names in visual art, music, film, journalism and more. These are people who can and do open doors at all levels of the industry.
Our work is funded almost entirely by members of the public. It’s a fact central to our mission and our identity and means that Arts Emergency is a genuinely public movement for arts and culture.
Some people give £5 a month towards our work, some people give £1,000 a year to support a student place. We only ask for whatever you can afford. Asking only for regular monthly or yearly pledges is deliberate and revolutionary. It means we actually spend less money directly on fundraising. Instead we can put more effort towards supporting kids who need this amazing project in their lives.
Our aim is that gatekeepers in the creative and cultural industries acknowledge not just the diversity problem but also the structural causes behind it and act to address these. We share best practice with our peers and advocate for the arts and humanities at high profile events. Recently we worked with Create and academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield to produce the Panic Report which analyses social class, taste and inequalities in the creative industries.