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Our vision

For our society to be fair and kind, every young person should have the chance to contribute to the culture they live in. That’s why we’re dedicated to levelling the playing field.

What’s the problem?

If you’re from an underrepresented background the odds are stacked against you becoming part of the UK’s cultural workforce:

  • personal networks and insider knowledge are vital for getting in
  • people of colour are substantially underrepresented
  • people of working class origins get paid less
  • unpaid work is accepted as an inevitable first step on the professional ladder
  • the chances of a working class candidate getting an industry job has stayed the same for a generation

Research from Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, by Dr Orian Brook, Dr David O’Brien, and Dr Mark Taylor, 2018.

What are we doing about it?

We help young people from underrepresented backgrounds break into the arts and humanities. Since 2013, we've opened up opportunities in higher education, the media and arts. We now support over 800 young people in London, Merseyside, Manchester and Thanet. We provide guidance so they can chart their own course. We create connections to help them get ahead.

We're growing too, with plans to launch an Arts Emergency project in three new locations by 2023, increasing the number of young people we support by 150% to 2,000. Learn about our vision and growth plans, including a list of our priority areas, below:

The Future is Another Place, Arts Emergency 2020-2023

We aim to:

  • provide local mentoring support to the young people who need it most
  • share high quality opportunities and experiences in the cultural industries with them
  • be a trusted and accessible resource to help them to make right choices about higher education and careers
  • influence gatekeepers to address the inequalities that shut out talented voices from UK culture

Our manifesto

  • There are things that are bigger and better than money. We have things that those in power will never understand.
  • We take it as a given that a civilised society values education, lifelong learning and creativity as a public good.
  • We are a social justice not social mobility organisation. Arts Emergency is no substitute for justice withheld.
  • Be fearless. You are just as entitled as anyone to have the life you want.
  • There is no recession of the imagination.
  • The future is another place. Allow yourself to believe a better life is possible. Say it loud, defiantly, to everyone.
  • Be generous. Now be more generous. Share your privilege.
  • Do something. Start small, start local, keep going.
  • Optimism is a weapon and if all else fails be silly.

Do you want to make a life-changing contribution to young artists and activists?