Project information

South London Gallery: Young Arts Project

Every year thousands of 16-25 year olds take part in our Young Arts Project. From our weekly forum for young people to our online arts resource, we offer unique opportunities for young people to explore contemporary art, access training, mentoring and qualifications.

January 2015 - December 2015

Charity information: South London Gallery

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  • Need


    Over the past 5 years, our Young Arts Project has transformed from a weekly forum into a multi-stranded programme which addresses issues experienced by many young people in London. Problems faced by these young people include:
    • Lack of access to work experience and skills
    • Youth unemployment/ underemployment
    • Economic & social barriers to arts careers and higher education
    • Government budget cuts to arts education
    • Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, lack of positive role models


    By ensuring the South London Gallery continues to provide young people in Camberwell and Peckham, and across London, with an innovative and far-reaching programme of digital and gallery-based activities which:

    - inspires their interest in contemporary art

    - offers opportunities for participants to enhance personal and social skills

    - provides access to real-life work experience, training and career pathways

    - increases young people’s aspirations and ambitions

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Offer a range of gallery-based activities and opportunities for young people throughout 2015


    » Run a weekly arts forum, Art Assassins, for local 14-20 year olds, through which they produce three public events and exhibitions each year
    » Deliver a mentoring scheme for young people, through which they can gain the Gold Arts Award
    » Offer monthly open tours around London galleries and art spaces which are devised and led by young people involved in our programmes

    Success will be a thriving Young Arts Project with over 1,500 participants engaging in gallery-based activities in 2015.

    Aim 2

    Provide opportunities for young people to create content and shape the direction for REcreative


    » Monthly meetings of the REcreative Editorial Board, a group of yung people (aged 16 – 25) who shape the website’s direction and devise content
    » Delivery of an annual Film School, providing free practical training and real life work experience on REcreative.
    » Partnership projects with student group at schools and colleges to respond to online briefs and produce content for the website.

    Success will be young people at the heart of REcreative, taking increasing responsibility for shaping the site and with the Editorial Board leading on 20% of its content.

    Aim 3

    Expand the REcreative community of 16-25 year olds who actively use this contemporary art resource


    » Production of high quality and engaging film content , going behind the scenes in the art world and offering arts career insights and guidance.
    » Promotion of REcreative as platform for young people to document, showcase and share their contemporary art projects.
    » Delivery of talks in schools by members of the REcreative Editorial Board
    » Sharing learning across the visual arts sector to strengthen knowledge about how galleries can better connect with young and online audiences.

    Success will be more than 1,800 young people regularly profiling their creative projects on REcreative and accessing the website’s resources.

  • Impact


    Young people will have increased self-esteem and communication skills, enhanced CVs & confidence to move into work or formal education, discovering the diversity of arts and non-arts careers open to them. Long-term, our ambition is for REcreative to be led by young people, as editors, filmmakers, bloggers, promoters, interviewers. This scale of peer-led activity is unusual but an approach which offers potential for large numbers to benefit and gain real-life work experience, skills & training.


    The key risk is not securing funding to sustain our Young Arts Project at its current level. We want to involve as many people as possible in raising funds to ensure we can continue our ambitious work with young people over the coming year and beyond. We receive around 45% of our annual income from Arts Council England and Southwark Council. Individual donations, no matter the size, through programmes such as The Big Give can make a vital difference to our charitable activities.


    All donors will receive a thank you letter. They will receive regular updates about the Young Arts Project and be invited to events which the young people devise and produce. Based on the level of donation, they will be acknowledged as a supporter on the gallery's donor board and website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,500 Digital Production of digital content and activities.
      £20,000 Events and activities Delivery of weekly Art Assasins forum, regular tours and events
      £12,000 Training and qualifications Delivery of the Editorial Board, Film School, mentoring scheme, Arts Award, and partnership projects
      £24,000 Digital infrastructure Digital hosting, maintenance and website improvements
      £8,500 Marketing and Evaluation Print and publicity materials, documentation and evaluation
  • Background


    The South London Gallery is located on the borders of Camberwell and Peckham, south-east London. This is a vibrant and multicultural area with the gallery situated amidst several housing estates and residential streets and adjacent to Camberwell School of Art. However, the area experiences high levels of socio-economic deprivation and compared to other parts of London, the area has higher than average levels of young people living in the borough with almost half the adult population aged 16-34.


    Predominantly young people who live locally to the SLG. Many are not from ‘traditional’ arts background and we work with an unusually diverse group. Many are from black and minority ethnic communities, some have special educational needs or experience mental ill health. The majority are from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Young Arts Project has proven effective in connecting long-term with young people, particularly with those considered less likely to engage with the arts, because we:
    - encourage young people to shape the programme
    - take risks but maximises successes
    - embrace online engagement, taking arts education beyond the physical gallery space
    - share best practice across the sector
    - have spent many years building positive relations within our local community.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Margot Heller, Director

    As director of the SLG for more than ten years, Margot will bring her leadership skills and experience to directing the Young Arts Project.

    Sarah Coffils, Young People's Programme Manager

    Having managed the growth of the SLG’s Young Arts Project since 2009, Sarah will manage all aspects of the project through this next phase.

    Scott Burrell, Young People's Coordinator

    Scott has been at the SLG since 2013 and previously worked at the Arts Council. He'll continue to work alongside Sarah to ensure the project's success