Tate announces new arts programme

Last year’s riots in England were the biggest demonstration of civil unrest in the UK for over 30 years, and for five days, the country was subject to sporadic and concerted acts of looting, arson and vandalism.
There was a particular concentration of young people involved, with analysts commenting that their participation was indicative of deep-seated problems, a generation unaware of their place in society, opportunities lacking for them to transform their lives.
This isn’t the sole explanation of why the riots sparked up as they did, but it did highlight, very vividly, that something is amiss with youngsters. One innovative response to this is a new £5 million art programme delivered by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, said that the catalyst for Circuit: A National Youth Network for the Visual Art, as it is known, was the riots. Art institutions were more conscious than ever that they could offer young people something to help “develop their lives in a more meaningful way”.
“Cultural organisations play a vital role in encouraging young people to use their imaginations and to express themselves,” he added. “We can achieve much more working collectively than we can in isolation.”
Over the next four years, the programme aims to engage 80,000 people aged between 15 and 25, with a particular focus on those who have limited access to the arts.
The principle idea is to help them understand the powerful, human and enriching experience that can be derived from the arts, culture being something that is unquantifiable but affective nonetheless.
Hopefully such experiences will be inspiring, and instil young people with the confidence needed to make a real difference to their lives, whatever it is they choose to do.
“It’s a programme that recognises we still have a very long way to go in terms of the provision of arts in this country particularly to certain kinds of communities,” Sir Nicholas was quoted by the Independent as saying.
He was still confident, hopeful at least, that such a dedicated programme could “spark a long-term transformation in the way young people engage with art”.
As well as participation from all of the Tate galleries, many leading organisations have already signed up to the programme, including firstsite, Colchester; MOSTYN, Llandudno North Wales; Nottingham Contemporary; WhitworthArtGallery, Manchester; and Wysing Arts Centre in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, Cambridgeshire.
“We are delighted to be supporting Circuit, as a national youth initiative, working through a group of fantastic organisations including Tate, with high ambitions for reaching and opening up the arts to so many young people in the UK,” said Jane Hamlyn, chair of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which has donated more than £200 million over the last 25 years.
Cadogan Tate has extensive experience in shipping fine art all over the world.