Arts Emergency

What we do

“Arts Emergency is a charity helping young underprivileged students get a leg up in the fields of arts and humanities. It’s an alternative ‘old boy’ network that mentors, supports, connects, and is, incidentally, making the world a better place.” Neil Gaiman, author


We provide 16-18 year olds with a subject specific mentor chosen to help them define and achieve their goals over the course of a year. When the year is complete we offer continued support and opportunities up to the age of 24. We currently work in London, Greater Manchester and Thanet in Kent. We recruit mentors every autumn and offer training, an enhanced DBS certificate and all the ongoing support they may need.


Our alternative ‘old boy’ network provides connections, confidence and opportunities for those young people most able to benefit from, but least able to access, the existing networks of privilege that dominate UK cultural, political and economic life.


Our aim is that gatekeepers in the creative and cultural industries acknowledge not just the diversity problem but also the structural causes behind it and act to address these. We regularly share best practice with our peers and advocate for the arts and humanities at high profile events. Recently we worked with Create and academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield to produce the Panic Report which analyses social class, taste and inequalities in the creative industries.