Supporting the continuing professional development of artists at all stages of their careers, encouraging diversity and effectively promoting best practice in participatory community arts settings. Working with our partners to provide arts based learning programmes for people of all ages as a path to further education, volunteering and employment.
Head4Arts is currently registered as a Trinity Champion Centre for Arts Award, having helped 165 young people achieve a total of 170 arts awards over the past four years. Many of the young people achieving this worthwhile and recognized accreditation have been excluded from mainstream education or have struggled to achieve academic qualifications through more formal routes. Head4Arts has offered Arts Award accreditation as part of its work in partnership with Inspire 2 Achieve schemes (most recently with the Changing Gearz project in Torfaen) and with Youth Service projects in Caerphilly County Borough.
Head4Arts is qualified to deliver Arts Award at all levels from the entry-level “Discover” to “Gold” (equivalent to ‘A level’) and has an excellent track record of success with (to date) 100% of young people entered for moderation gaining their accreditations. Where possible, Arts Awards schemes are woven into project plans at the development stage (eg. being integrated into the Exhibition in a Box heritage project educational outreach workshops).
Head4Arts provides over 100 employment opportunities for artists every year, making it one of the biggest arts sector employers.
We help creative practitioners develop sustainable careers through offering training and mentoring opportunities, including work placements for arts students, volunteering programmes for aspiring community arts practitioners and a range of continual professional development schemes, such as training in bilingual arts practice and enabling 50 practitioners to deliver Arts Awards by helping them access Arts Adviser training.
Head4Arts nurtures creative talent and assists emerging arts organisations. We offer advice and practical support, such as hot desks and access to shared equipment.
Miles Warren, one of the co-founders of pyka, now a successful creative tech company working in education and the arts, explained how this early encouragement had worked for them:
“Head4Arts has been instrumental in the success of pyka. Without Head4Arts’ support our company wouldn’t even have started. Through our ongoing careers Head4Arts has always supported us wherever possible. This has rippled through the industry and has assisted in the sustainable employment of many artists, not only within our organization, but also within the wider community, as expressed within our creative network. The arts industry is a difficult one to start off in, and the first few steps are vital. Head4Arts always finds new ways to support early careers, and methods to develop later ones. Head4Arts is a linchpin that provides not only opportunities for creative engagement, but opportunities for sustainable employment within their operating area and beyond”.
A parent literacy group is now a successful publishing enterprise with its feet planted firmly in the Caerphilly community.
A long-term relationship with Parent Network in Caerphilly has helped take unemployed mums on a journey that started with setting up sessions where they could learn basic craft skills. Who would have thought that within four years they would be running their own community publishing company!
Back in 2014, when Caerphilly Parent Network had the chance to pilot a community book-writing project, it was to Head4Arts they turned to for advice.
‘It was a brand-new area of work for us and we needed guidance’, says Michelle Jones, who has shepherded it from a modest literacy project encouraging families to read with their children into Petra Publishing, a flourishing social enterprise. ‘Head4Arts helped us lay the strong foundations that have seen us grow from strength to strength – things like contracts and copyright as well as introductions to artists and illustrators. Whenever we’ve needed advice they have been there – it’s like having a critical friend at my elbow.’
‘The impact on the parents has been massive,’ says Michelle. ‘After the first book Petra the Penguin was published, their confidence went through the roof and they decided to run the book-writing group themselves. Some became storytellers, going back into schools as volunteers. One not only went on to run that group but set up another two groups across the borough. I remember one parent saying, “If I can write a book, I can do anything.” That stuck with me.’
And that’s to say nothing of the effect on the children’s literacy and imaginations. The project now runs to 52 different book titles, and is about to launch its own distribution company.
In 2018, with support from Head4Arts, Petra Publishing made an appearance at Hay Festival. ‘A project highlight that won’t be forgotten’, says Michelle. ‘Thank you Head4Arts for believing in the project and for your unfailing support.’