Young people are the future of museums. They are the next generation of artists, curators, designers, scientists, conservators, educators and cultural leaders.
However, we know from recent research that many museums are struggling to provide opportunities for young people – and the pandemic, which has crushed museums’ budgets and left many young people feeling isolated and left behind, has only exacerbated these challenges.
As museums face unprecedented financial difficulties, building their audiences and serving their communities will be critical to their long-term survival. Now is the time to act: to enable museums to reach young visitors, and to ensure no one is excluded from all that the UK's museums and galleries have to offer.
We are passionate about the power of creativity and the importance of arts and culture for young generations.
Access to cultural experiences enriches young lives, fuelling creativity, confidence and curiosity. It helps children to see new horizons, appreciate difference and diversity, and get involved in their communities.
Through our initiatives such as the Student Art Pass, Teacher Art Pass and wider grant-giving we’ve been helping museums to engage young audiences and inspire thousands of young people to see more art.
But there is much more we can do.
We want to give £1 million in 2022 to connect museums and galleries with young people. We’ve committed £500,000 towards our goal already, and with your help, we want to raise a further £500,000. The money raised will boost our grant-giving and activity in this area, giving museums opportunities to engage young people in meaningful ways.
How your donation will help
We have funded ambitious museum projects across the UK to engage young people in a range of ways that benefit everyone.
Over the past three years we have enabled thousands of students to get closer to museums through our Student Art Pass programme, and matched over 200 young people with paid opportunities in museums across the UK – giving them the chance to gain valuable work experience and new pathways into the arts, and museums the opportunity to learn from and shape their programmes in collaboration with young people.
Elsewhere, our new Teacher Art Pass programme will help teachers across the UK to engage their pupils with the UK’s brilliant museum collections – an untapped resource that will help fuel children’s learning and imagination.
And through our wider grant-giving, over the past year we’ve helped many museums to reach out to children and young people at a time when in-person contact and school trips weren’t possible. With our support, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre have been able to livestream Dahl’s incredible archive into classrooms; New Art Exchange in Nottingham have been working with local creatives to deliver online workshops, learning packs and artist Q&As; and Lincoln’s Collection Museum and Usher Gallery have been looking at how to use virtual reality and immersive technology to bring their collections to life digitally.
Your donation will go towards continuing and scaling up our work in this area – helping museums to reach more young people and provide them with access, new opportunities and brilliant experiences.
'Following the pandemic and the slow recovery of the creative and cultural industries it is going to be more important than ever to have young people helping to shape the direction and programming of cultural organisations.'
We know there is huge potential in projects like this to build the resilience of museums and fuel a life-long love of visual arts. But demand far exceeds what we can offer, and the need for this funding is only increasing. Engaging with young people both onsite and online will be crucial for museums’ long-term futures. Raising £500,000 for this activity in 2022 will mean we can do so much more to help them inspire, engage and energise young minds.
So, if you’re passionate about inspiring the next generation, please consider donating to #EnergiseYoungMinds . Any donation, of any size, will make a huge impact.