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Arts Award


What is it?

Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world. Young people take on challenges in an art form, participate in arts activities and experience arts events whilst becoming inspired by artists and through leading others. The flexible framework of the Award can be based around any arts or media activity and reflects many different interests and ambitions. It encourages individual development whilst also helping young people define their creative futures.

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England, working with 10 regional bridge organisations. It is delivered by trained advisors all over the country. For more information, please visit:


How is it delivered at Rural Arts?

Rural Arts is an Arts Award Centre that supports young people to complete their Discover, Explore, Bronze and Silver Arts Award qualifications. Rural Arts’ learning programme supports individual creative development and places young people at the heart of the Arts Award process.

Through the term time weekly art club sessions, young people have the opportunity to explore visual arts, craft and design based activities (such as drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, print-making and design). To see the full Art Club programme please visit The Explore and Bronze levels are embedded into the Art Club programme so young people can embrace an understanding of art forms, art practitioners and art movements whilst documenting their process within a log book.

Our Silver and Gold Arts Award levels are delivered at Rural Arts through monthly 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with the designated Arts Award Advisor. Both levels focus on personal artistic exploration where young people define their own arts challenges and explore art forms to build up a portfolio of work. Young people are encouraged to get involved with Rural Art’s network of artists and events through work shadowing professional art practitioners, as a team hosting their own events at The Courthouse while competing public reviews of exhibitions and performances.

The Explore Arts Award can also be delivered on an outreach basis at your venue, organisation or School by experienced Rural Arts staff. Costing’s may vary so please contact us to find out more about how it can be included in a project with you.


How much does it cost?

Discover – FREE

Explore – £35

Bronze – £45

Silver – £85

Costings are detailed above, this is a one off payment for each level and includes a log book at Explore, Bronze and Silver levels and both Trinity College and Rural Arts moderation costs. Young people may also want to purchase a sketchbook or set up a online blog to document their journeys.

It is recommended that young people have access to printing and IT facilities throughout the duration of completing their award and are able to commit up to two hours a week on their Arts Award, particularly at the Silver and Gold levels. Advice and Guidance will be provided at all times, however young people are expected to take ownership and responsibility of their learning throughout the award.


Where do I start?

For more information or to Explore whether the Arts Award is right for you or your son or daughter, please contact Rural Arts’ Award Advisor Sorcha McCole.


Telephone: 01845 826536


What do young people say about the Arts Award?

"I enjoyed doing the Bronze art award because I learnt new skills like stain glass and pottery. After going to Rural Art sessions, I wrote about what I had done that day, about what I liked and what I could have done better, so I could create my own portfolio. I enjoyed making the portfolio because I can look back and it reminds me of all the things I did. My favorite part was setting up the Exhibition and seeing all my work on display."

- Charlotte, Bronze Arts Award 


Arts Award Story by Sophie Pointon (Year 12, Gold Arts Award)

A captivating arts journey that introduced me to wholly new skills, ideas and practices.

During my arts award, I shadowed a professional artist, forming an opinion on an issue within the arts, I visited several artsexhibitions (the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Leeds Art Gallery, the Prado, Madrid, the Guggenheim in Bilbao), I made my own art throughout the process to get better (mainly practicing drawing with pen and pencil), constructing and showing my own online exhibition and also showing all these stages publicly, on Instagram ( The end result was a huge sketchbook, over 100 pages long of all my drawings, planning and photos. 

I'm considering Architecture as a career so the Arts Award will have definitely helped me progress creatively. 

I would tell someone thinking about doing Arts Award to just do it. It's brilliant; far, far better than GCSE Art because you get loads and loads of freedom -you decide what you get to do, not a teacher in a classroom. The best bit of Arts Award is its originality, which is something school art is lacking in. I hadn't realised how true this was until I did Gold Arts Award. Yes, do Gold Arts Award. I loved it. 

See Sophie's work presented on her blog here: and her reflections here:

Sophie’s parents Mike and Elizabeth also commented:

"Rural Arts in Thirsk celebrates its first Gold Arts Award student, Sophie Pointon, 16, from Sandhutton. Sophie has this month received her Gold Arts Award, issued by Trinity College, London. Sophie started Art Club at Rural Arts, when she was just 10, six years ago, and has worked her way through the three stages, achieving the Bronze Award in 2017, the Silver Award in 2019 and finally this year the Gold Award.  A major part of the work for the Gold Arts Award was done by Sophie during Lockdown, with support from her mentor, Poppy Oldham."

Sophie adds:

"I am thrilled to finally finish my Gold Award and I could not have managed it without the encouragement and support of Rural Arts, and Poppy my mentor.  I just enjoy doing Art and this has given me 16 UCAS points as well."

Poppy goes on to say:

"It became a real goal for Sophie during very restrictive times. Through the years, Sophie has made many creative discoveries at art club with Poppy and also Claire Ford. Her experience shadowing professional artists, discovering about the arts charity and participating in community projects. For the Silver Award, she worked with others to host an exhibition at Rural Arts, whilst for her Gold Award she put together a virtual exhibition. I am really pleased for Sophie and it is very rewarding to see her projects and hard work come to fruition."