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Purple Tuesday: Creative Bridges at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Creative Bridges at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum explores the use of cultural engagement to support young people

Creative Bridges explores ways to use cultural engagement to support young people with learning difficulties and/or social disadvantage to gain entry to the world of work.

The pilot programme established a need to fill a gap in provision between statutory education and next steps – work, further study or volunteering. Creative Bridges is built on the foundation that everyone deserves to play a meaningful role in society, and to improve the employment statistics for people with disabilities.

Consequently, a mini college was created within The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, which enables easier transition from special schools to next steps. Creative Bridges recognises that neuro-diverse people have great problem-solving skills and are inspired by creative challenges. Creating opportunities for learners to be off site and independently interacting with new people, both neuro-typical and neuro-diverse, helps them see beyond their current school life.

The project delivers a person-centred approach and responds to individual targets identified in combination by the school, project staff and the learners themselves. Core outcomes centre around confidence, social skills, teamwork, and most importantly new experiences. 

Many participants have achieved qualifications and secured further internships, or jobs.

An Arts Award Moderator says: ‘The young people clearly had an incredibly rich experience and the opportunity to take part in a huge variety of exciting arts activity from filmmaking and photography to animation and dance. I am impressed by the way that communication challenges have been overcome and individual reflection supported along with individual choices. I am glad that young people have used this framework to support their progression and employability – it has clearly made a difference to their learning, lives and future options.

Creative Bridges will continue to work with:

Freelance artists from animators to digital creators
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Open Theatre Company


Find out more