DMU and Arts Council England team up for action research project on creativity


De Montfort University is working with Arts Council England on Talent25, a ground-breaking action research project based in Leicester, working closely with families and communities.


Talent25 is dedicated to finding out about the benefits to babies and young children of being regularly involved in arts and creative activities.

Every child who experiences painting, singing and music, dancing, puppets, drama, reading and messy play instinctively knows the power and joy of art and culture – our challenge is to ensure that more of our young people get a chance to take part in consistent and sustained activity.

What will Talent25 do?

The first phase of Talent25 will follow babies born in specific parts of Leicester over their early life and on their journey to starting school, seeing what happens when they are given regular opportunities to get involved in a wide range of creative activities.

Over July and August 2019, Talent25 will host 25 free creative events in our focus neighbourhoods, featuring a range of different artists specialising in working with 0-5 year olds. Our facilitators will be able to talk to parents, explaining our plans and recruiting families for the research project.

It aims to sign-up 100 babies / families each year for the next 4 years.

Participating families will get access to four years of free arts and creative activities – co-created with the Talent25 team. Every 6 months, families will meet with our researchers to share their experiences and let us know how their child is getting on.


Why Leicester?

Leicester was chosen as the pilot area for Talent25 because of our reputation as a diverse city with a younger than average population – Leicester is also home to the second-largest cluster of creative industries outside London and has a vibrant cultural scene.

We also have some challenges. Lack of money, resources and sometimes confidence can be barriers to young children achieving their potential – talent is everywhere, opportunity is not.

Who are Talent25 working with?

To ensure that we are offering the best in arts and creative activities for families with young children and reaching the people who matter, we are working with several partners and artists including:

  • Leicester Libraries, Children’s Centres and Neighbourhood Services
  • The Spark Arts for Children
  • The Mighty Creatives (TMC)

Because we are based at De Montfort University and part of DMU’s Public Engagement work, Talent25 also benefits from great community networks and research support.


How can you get involved in Talent25?

Details of our free summer programme, open to everyone, and other Talent25 activities are available on our Facebook page.

To be part of Talent25 research project you should:

  • be the parent or carer of a baby aged 1 year old or younger
  • live in either Fosse, Thurncourt or Wycliffe wards in Leicester

If you meet these criteria and you’d like to be part of something special, please get in touch with the Talent25 team, letting us know your address, postcode and baby's age.

Telephone: 0116 207 8463


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