The Bridge Programme

Looking back over 2012/13 and onwards to 2014


For Schools, Youth orgs, Arts or Cultural orgs
Introduction 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, refresh your skills. FREE

CURIOUS ABOUT ... ARTSMARK? For Schools, Youth Justice settings or Arts and Culture Orgs
Introduction 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. Attend Artsmark training: Northwest dates include October 3 or 10, November 6 or 20, December 5 and January 15. Go to Artsmark Support Sessions: Receive a visit from an Artsmark expert to help you prepare your application or identify and fill areas for development. Artsmark Celebration events: Attend one of our twilight celebration events - a chance to receive a regional ‘congratulations’ for your school and students, share your Artsmark success story with other interested schools and be rewarded with large amounts of cake! See for dates.

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

– 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 have 6 or more people needing to be trained, this subsidised offer will save you lots of money. (all levels except Gold) – Artswork CPD training: Curious Minds are able to deliver Artwork’s national CPD programme - Artsplan, including Creative evaluation, Creative facilitation, Creative consultation. Visit for more info about course content and quote ‘Curious MInds’ when booking.

– 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:


– Curious about accessing business support to maximise your opportunities in the Northwest? We can support and guide arts organisations, especially grassroots groups and new startups to develop their business models, submit successful funding applications, connect with other organisations and develop audiences. Visit for more information or contact / 01282 435835.

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 about ... Working with Schools?
For all Arts Organisations : 30th October, 1.30pm - 5pm, Manchester Art Gallery: The educational landscape is changing all the time, many of you have told us it’s hard to understand what the changes mean for you and your schools’ partnerships. In this event Curious Minds will present the findings from the 2013 State of the Region report and will use creative activities to explore the relevance of topics such as pupil premium, academisation, changing curriculums, school commisioning and communicating with schools.

NOVEMBER Arts Award: Stepping up to silver
For Arts Award advisors : 5th November 1.30pm - 3.30pm, Z-Arts, Manchester: Have you been delivering bronze but find the step up to silver challenging? This session will help identify and overcome barriers and make supporting young people to gain the silver Arts Award a breeze!

Curious about ... working in youth justice settings?
Curious Minds – Enabling Creative Collaboration For arts practitioners : 21st November, Band on the Wall, Manchester: Contact for more information and to book Following a partnership between Curious Minds and Unitas that targeted youth offending teams across the region, you are invited to a one day training event for arts practitioners who are working, or would like to work with groups of young people who are hard to engage such as those in the youth justice system.

Curious about ... Working with Schools?
For Museums : 27th Nov, 1.30pm – 5pm, Silk Heritage Trust, Macclesfield: For Museums : 29th Nov, 1.30pm – 5pm, Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston: For Visual Arts Organisations : 28th Nov, Media City, 1.30pm - 5pm Contact for more information and to book The education landscape is changing all the time, many of you have told us it’s hard to understand what the changes mean for you and your schools partnerships. In this event Curious Minds will present the findings from the new State of the Region report and will use creative activities to explore the relevance of topics such as pupil premium, academisation, changing curriculums, school commisioning and communicating with schools.

DECEMBER Curious about ... connecting with curriculums? (English and Literacy)
5th Dec, 1.30pm - 4.30pm, Museum of Liverpool: Particularly suitable for Libraries, Theatres, Drama and Literature organisations Led by a team of creative practitioners, teachers and education experts, this session will focus on gaining a better understanding of the English curriculum and literacy within schools. We’ll explore the potential contribution arts organisations can make to schools and how to communicate that as part of your schools marketing.

JANUARY Arts Award : Creative Portfolios
For arts award advisors : 13th Jan, 1.30pm - 3.30pm, Tate Liverpool: If part of your Arts Award programme feels too much like school or homework, you might need to explore new ways to keep it creative. A session exploring tools, ideas and models that keep creativity at the core of young people’s portfolios and reflections.

Curious about ... Partnerships with Housing?
January 17th (Subject to change) 3pm - 5pm, Octagon Theatre: Contact for more information and to book Many arts organisations have benefitted from strong partnernships with housing associations. How can we build on this? Can we create more robust investment that achieves even greater outcomes for children and young people? What can we learn from other models across the country and internationally? Join us for some crosssector discussion and inspiration.

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:
– Engaged with over 450 North West Schools through our ‘advocates’ scheme, introducing them to Artsmark and Arts Award. – Advised over 200 arts and cultural organisations on how to articulate their offer to schools. – Secured over £400,000 of investment into arts and culture for children and young people and schools through match funding from our Partnership Investment programme. – Supported over 60 schools to apply for Artsmark. – Developed 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. – Brokered over 40 new partnerships between schools and the regions’ arts and cultural organisations. – Created 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. – Produced a One Stop Shop website for cultural education in the North West – Culture Hubs, featuring over 300 of the regions arts and cultural organisations – – Brought 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. I ntroduce and incentivise arts and culture to a wide variety of schools and children and young people’s services (particularly Arts Award and Artsmark) 2. I ncrease 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

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