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

Primary school aged pupils taking part in a Samba drumming workshop

All our children

Richard Russell blogs about his new role at the Arts Council, addressing barriers to young people’s access to arts and culture

A black and white artwork inspired by childhood brain injury

Beyond my Brain

The London Brain Project uses art to explore brain injury in children, with beautiful results

Image of lady dressed as elf playing piano with lots of little children around

Theatre for children

Young children and those with additional needs get their first taste of theatre this December

News story graphic.

The Art of Libraries

Libraries in Gloucestershire will be developing the creative skills of children and young people through an ambitious new programme called the Art of Libraries.

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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. Primary school aged pupils taking part in a Samba drumming workshop 8. No Credit Displaying 9. Beyond my Brain artwork by Holly Birtles © London Brain Project 10. Santa Town by Proteus Theatre, 2015. Image © Chuck Douglas. 11. Lindsey Hall, CEO of RiO and Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP- Minister of State responsible for digital and culture policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - meeting schoolchildren at the Market Hall, Devonport. Photo: Tom Brewer 12. The images above are not representative of the story below. Images included: 1. National Centre for Circus Arts, Photo © Bertill Nilsson. 2. Create Graphic, Photo © Arts Council England. 3. Birmingham Weekender, Photo © Andrew Fox. 4. RAMM, Photo © Matt A 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, 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.