A £5m national arts programme for under 25s funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation was announced yesterday at the Tate in London. The award will be rolled out across the country through selected galleries in the Plus Tate network. Circuit will be launched in April 2013 with a young people’s festival in the Tanks at Tate Modern. This is the latest in a series of awards made by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which has given a total of £200 million in grants since its creation 25 years ago.
It is one of a series of unique gifts to mark the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary which also includes the recently announced donation to the Roundhouse Studios in Camden. Circuit aims to reach 80,000 young people aged 15–25 over four years. The programme provides opportunities for young people across the UK, particularly those who have the leastaccess to the arts, to participate and shape their own cultural experiences. Six lead organisations are involved in Circuit. Alongside Tate are five national partners selected from the Plus Tate network: firstsite, Colchester; MOSTYN, Llandudno North Wales; Nottingham Contemporary; Whitworthm Art Gallery, Manchester; and Wysing Arts Centre in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, Cambridgeshire. All four Tate galleries will be involved: Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives (working closely with Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange). Circuit: A National Youth Network for the Visual Arts will comprise a number of strands: a live arts festival, peer-led projects which will be developed and delivered by young people in each area; artist-led projects; and an extended reach with its youth sector.
There will also be an online platform which will allow connection across sites, through digital projects that present and capture the circuit of activities. These projects will encourage participation, develop excellence and build confidence in young people from a wide range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “Cultural organisations play a vital role in encouraging young people to use their imaginations and to express themselves. We can achieve much more working collectively than we can in isolation.
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has made an extraordinary gesture by giving £5M to support this national network of galleries and young people. Circuit will spark a long-term transformation in the way young people engage with art.” Jane Hamlyn, Chair of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “As part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s 25th anniversary, we are making some significant gifts to organisations we know well, and that we know are able to deliver impact through the work that they do. 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.”