Tees Valley Arts worked in partnership with Visit Tees Valley and Middlesbrough Connexions on the stART project. The stART Project was part of the Cultural Volunteering Programme supported by One North East.

The stART Project worked with young people aged 17 to 19 categorised as Not in Education, Employment, or Training, and delivered a package of creative activities and learning. stART took place in TVA’s art room, equipped and furnished with funds from the LSC, the Northern Rock Foundation, and the Cultural Volunteering Project.

“I wasn’t sure in the beginning what to expect but I thought the course was very educational but fun at the same time, you never felt like you were learning.”

Workshops took place with professional artists and involved fun and accessible art based exercises that develop individual creative skills building confidence and self-esteem. Other activities included games and exercises that used an informal approach to encourage positive engagement and reflective thinking, whilst developing pre-employment skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

stART involves

– Learning new creative skills
– Working with professional artists and photographers
– Going on visits
– Keeping a diary
– Doing a Bronze Arts Award
– Having fun in a relaxed environment

Activities include

  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Collage

All the young people worked as individuals and teams to achieve the Bronze Arts Award.

The award involves taking part in the arts, going to arts events, researching an arts hero or heroine and sharing skills with others. Participants’ achievements are recorded in a diary, including records of art work they have seen and been part of, their personal reflections on the process and research material. Learners do not need high literacy skills, and can create their diaries through visual or recorded means.

TVA have found the Arts Award to be an excellent means for adding value to outreach and engagement projects that target young people. The award enables young people to crystallise skills and progress made during an arts project. Through the Arts Award process young people learn to think in a down to earth manner and to validate their thoughts and opinions building a sense of cultural entitlement.


The Funders

Borough Council Funders