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DMU teams with Arts Council England to help find Britain's best creative talent


De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is partnering Arts Council England (ACE) to revolutionise the way creative talent is spotted and developed in young people across the country.


The Arts Council’s 25-year Creative Talent Plan – announced today by chief executive Darren Henley – aims to discover and develop creativity and innovation in children and young people.

It will forge a new plan for cultural education in the UK, promoting the kind of creative thinking needed to solve problems, embrace a career in the arts or apply a new approach to traditional careers.
A pilot programme will be run in collaboration with DMU, Leicester City Council, teachers and education experts this autumn, followed by a three-year pilot in Leicester from 2018-21, working with differing age groups of children and young people. 

Lessons learned in Leicester will then be used to develop a new national creativity scheme for all young people, ensuring a pipeline of talent into sectors across the UK economy.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “From its beginnings as the Leicester School of Art in 1870, DMU has been at the forefront of arts education, using creativity to transform lives and communities and nurture the creative economy in the city of Leicester.

“Art and culture have an incredible power to connect us more deeply with the world around us, yet they have been hit by years of austerity cuts. This strategy has the potential turn the tide and create a new generation of talent. We are proud to be working with Arts Council England and our partners in Leicester to make a difference.”

Studies have shown that young people whose education includes art - whether film, theatre, playing music, creative writing or dance - consistently perform better in literacy, mathematics and languages as well as “soft skills” such as self-reliance and communication.

The early stages of the plan begin this week, as stakeholders from the arts and cultural sector will be invited to share their ideas. An expert advisory group is being set up to oversee the programme.

Nationally, arts and culture funding have seen huge cuts as a result of austerity budgets, with museums, libraries, and galleries suffering from falls in local authority grants.

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Mr Henley said: “A plan would offer young people the chance to develop their creativity in different ways. Some might pursue a career in the creative industries, or apply their creativity to science and technology. Some might become cultural leaders; others would simply enjoy a more fulfilling life, shared with those around them.

“Just imagine the power of a plan that pulled together these initiatives, so that any young person could get the right help at the crucial points in their creative evolution.

“It would encompass our work with artists, arts organisations, museums, libraries, schools and universities. It would be transformative.”

Posted on Tuesday 14th February 2017

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