Children and young people

Hand drawn iIllustration by Supermundane with lots of intricate lines and patterns

Involvement with arts and culture is crucial to imagination, self-expression and creativity in young people. It also develops the skills that fuel the success of the UK’s creative industries, and that will result in the next generation of creative talent across the country. 

The Arts Council works with the Department for Education, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, cultural organisations and artists, schools, cultural partners, broadcasters, local authorities, Higher and Further Education institutions and other partners to ensure the provision of excellent art, museums and libraries for all children and young people. 

Since 2012, the Department for Education and the Arts Council have invested £267 million in a range of music and cultural education programmes. The largest investment has been made by the Department for Education for Music Education Hubs (£245 million over four financial years). Explore these pages to find out more about the other programmes we support.

The Arts Council also invests public funds in a National Portfolio of 663 arts organisations and 21 Major Partner Museums, with the vast majority of them committed to work with children and young people.

Latest news, blog posts and case studies

Children show thier dreams for London

Young Londoners commemorate Great Fire

Hundreds of Londoners aged 5-24 create the spectacular showpiece of Artichoke's London’s Burning festival, commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London

Three men are on top of a red car. One of the men is half on top of the car, half falling through the sun roof.

bOing! Festival 2016

bOing! returns to Kent this August for its third instalment, boasting two days packed with great arts activities for all the family – including three world premieres, a co-commission and the exciting ART31 stage.

A young urban music artist performing on stage.

Supporting young urban talent

Rapademic 100 returns to Cambridge Junction on 28 July 2016, showcasing some of the city’s finest up and coming urban talent.

Performers from the Enchanted Chandelier by Transe Express.

Pride of the community

Laura Dyer, from our Executive board, talks about how the Creative People and Places program is working to restore a sense of pride in our communities.

A young woman in a Create t-shirt holds a dance pose while performing on stage against a bright green backdrop

On culture and caring

Nicky Goulder on the impact of art and culture on young carers, and how creativity can helps us to step into someone else's shoes

Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Photo: Matt Austin / Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery 2. Children from Nottingham perform as part of In Harmony 2013. Photo © Alan Fletcher. 3. Shakespeare Week activities in Stratford, 2014. Photo © Alan Fletcher. 4. Slung Low's 59 Minutes to Save Christmas at Barbican Centre. Photo © Susanna Sanroman / Slung Low 5. Plymouth Music Zone participants making music. Photo © Plymouth Music Zone / Kevin Clifford 6. Turner Contemporary: You Are Here workshop 2011. Photo, Benedict Johnson. 7. Les Petits' Captin Flinn at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 Photo © Richard Davenport 8. School workshops: London 1666 by David Best with Artichoke. Photo © Hugh Myddelton 9. bOing! Festival 2016. RIDE © ZoieLogic Dance Theatre 10. Rapademic © Cambridge Junction 11. Appetite presents the Enchanted Chandelier by Transe Express. Photo © Clara Lou Photography. 12. A young carer performs at Sadler’s Wells during inspired:arts. Photo © Alicia Clarke 13. Daniel Copeland performs Joseph Coelho's Tree Child on the Spark Arts tour. Photo © Pamela Raith Photography / The Spark Arts 14. The Bristol Whales, Bristol Green Capital 2015. Photo © Paul Box. 15. Jeremy Bailey's Master Slave Invigilator. Photo © Chris Foster / Abandon Normal Devices 16. Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender 17. Atmosphere by Edmund de Waal at Turner Contemporary. Photo © Benjamin Beker. 18. Artificial Things by Stopgap Dance Company © Photo Chris Parkes 19. The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life by YAMAGUCHI Takayuki. Photo © Blast Theory.